Weight training sheds belly fat

Weight training sheds belly fat

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that weight training sheds belly fat.

The study showed that 20 minutes of daily weight training reduced age-related abdominal fat better than aerobic exercise. The best results were shown with a combination of aerobics and weight training.

Because aging is associated with sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass, relying on body weight alone is insufficient for the study of healthy aging,” said lead author Rania Mekary, a researcher in HSPH’s Department of Nutrition. “Measuring waist circumference is a better indicator of healthy body composition among older adults. Engaging in resistance training or, ideally, combining it with aerobic exercise could help older adults lessen abdominal fat while increasing or preserving muscle mass.”

Previous studies on the subject were short and only focused on specific age groups. This study was long-term with a vide variety of men with difference body mass indexes (BMI). Mekary set out to find if weight training sheds belly fat better than other methods.

Study shows that weight training sheds belly fat

Mekary and the research team studied the physical activity, waist size, and body weight of 10,500 healthy men over 40. The participants were involved in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1996 to 2008.

They analyzed changes in the participants’ activity levels over 12 years to find which activities decreased abdominal fat the best.

The results showed that weight training sheds belly fat best. Those who increased their weight training rituals by 20 minutes daily had less weight gain in their waistline (-0.67 cm).

Aerobics were associated with -0.33 cm decrease in waistline. Yard work and stair climbing showed a -0.16 cm decrease. Participants who had a sedentary lifestyle had a larger gain in their waistlines.

This study underscores the importance of weight training in reducing abdominal obesity, especially among the elderly,” said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the study. “To maintain a healthy weight and waistline, it is critical to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercise.”

This study showing that weight training sheds belly fat was published in the journal Obesity.

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1. “Weight Training Appears Key to Controlling Belly Fat.” EurekAlert! EurekAlert!, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2014.
2. “Weight Training, Aerobic Physical Activities, and Long-term Waist Circumference Change in Men.” Wiley Online Library. Obesity, 19 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2014.

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