Harvard Study Shows Weight Training – and Not Aerobic Cardio – Reduces More Belly Fat

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Harvard Study Shows Weight Training – and Not Aerobic Cardio – Reduces More Belly Fat

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People who lift weights accumulate less belly fat over the years than those who spend the same amount of time doing aerobic exercise like running, jogging, spin classes, etc. according to a new Harvard study published in the Journal of Obesity. The 12 year study followed the habits of 10,500 men and followed their physical activity, waist circumference and weight. Excess belly fat is of particular concern because of its link to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other conditions.

“When we age, we lose muscle mass and we tend to accumulate more fat. If you only engage in aerobic activities, such as running, jogging, you will end up losing fat, as well as muscle mass,” said study co-author Rania Mekary, a researcher at Harvard School of Public Health. “That’s why you need to supplement your workout with resistance training, in order to preserve the muscle mass.” Combining weight training with aerobic exercise (which is particularly beneficial to our heart) would be optimal researchers said.

A phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption could explain why. In order to burn fat, the body needs oxygen, and with weight training, the body’s metabolic rate remains high up to two days after exercise, resulting in more fat-burning, said Mekary.

“This study underscores the importance of weight training in reducing abdominal obesity, especially among the elderly,” said Frank Hu, Harvard Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology. “To maintain a healthy weight and waistline, it is critical to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercise.”

As personal trainers in St. Louis, we’ve preached this for years to clients, family and friends. Weight training is critical to maintaining a healthy weight and body composition. To keep your bones thick so you survive a fall with maybe a bruise as opposed to a fracture, to keep your muscle mass so you can stay functional and strong, and to stay lean and prevent disease. Remember, exercise is the best 401k Plan you could ever invest in!

To learn more about weight training in St. Louis or to start a weight training program of your own, contact us here.

Read 4163 times Last modified on Friday, 09 January 2015 21:59

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