Do Weight Training to Reduce Belly Fat Instead of Aerobic Activities
According to a new study by HSPH researchers and colleagues. Combining weight training and aerobic activity led to the most optimal results. Aerobic exercise by itself was associated with less weight gain compared with 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.”
“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.”
For the study, the researchers looked at 10,500 healthy American men ages 40 and over who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1996 and 2008. Specifically, the researchers examined participants’ weight, physical activity and waist circumference to study how changes in the men’s activity levels over 12 years affected their waistlines. For older adults, waist circumference is a better indicator of healthy body composition than body mass index, the researchers said.
For an effective weight training program, follow this link.