Belly Fat Takes Aim At Aerobics In Study

By: Pat Prescott
Published: Aug 31, 2021

A new study shows the best way to burn fat around the belly and abdominal area by comparing aerobics to resistant training.

According to research conducted at the Duke University Medical Center, aerobics is the key to unwanted fat. They compared aerobics to resistance training and a combination of both to find those doing strictly aerobics lost about 2.5 square inches around their belly over an eight-month period.

The exercise did more than just reduce a pot belly. It helped to reduce what is known in scientific communities as visceral fat and liver fat, which lies deep within the abdominal cavity and fills the spaces between internal organs. This is the kind of fat that has been most related to the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.

“When it comes to increased health risks, where fat is deposited in the body is more important than how much fat you have,” says Duke’s exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, Ph.D., lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Physiology. “Our study sought to identify the most effective form of exercise to get rid of that unhealthy fat.

The loss through aerobics was about 1.5 times greater than that of those who did a combination of the exercise and weight lifting. And it was 20 times more than those who just did weight lifting. “Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass,” said study researcher Cris Slentz, an exercise physiologist at Duke University. However, the exercise is better for losing belly fat because it burns more calories, he said.

To find their results the researchers had the aerobic group perform exercises equivalent to jogging 12 miles per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate. The resistance-training group performed eight weight-lifting exercises, doing three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each lift, three times a week. The combination group did both regimens in full. The study was comprised of 196 overweight people randomly broken up into the three groups.

“What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk and how many calories you burn,” Slentz says. “If you choose to work at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat.”

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