Aerobic exercise cuts visceral fat faster than resistance training

By • Published: December 1st, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

December brings holiday parties with spreads of fatty foods, plates of tasty cookies from neighbors and stockings full of your favorite sweets. Your taste buds love it, but this holiday season is really wrecking your figure.

You try to cut back on the calories, but something tells you it’s inevitable: January is going to mean a lot of time in the gym.

Here’s the question: When you get there, will you know what to do? Whether you’re an experienced fitness buff or a newbie, an article recently published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism contains information you should know about efforts to slim down.

The study analyzed the effectiveness of aerobic exercise and resistance training, two popular types of workouts. Aerobic exercise includes activities that really get you moving, such as swimming, running or walking. Resistance training uses weight to build strength. Some resistance training activities include weight lifting and exercises that leverage your own body weight, like push-ups or sit-ups. Study results showed aerobic exercise is the quicker way to cut one dangerous type of belly fat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, visceral fat accumulates around the stomach and between internal organs. It’s tougher to eliminate than fat that’s right below the surface of your skin. It’s also more dangerous because it’s correlated with higher than normal risks of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.

The study showed that people who engaged only in aerobic exercise saw greater reductions of visceral fat than those who did resistance training or a combination of the two. The combo group had the greatest waistline reduction, but didn’t lose as much visceral fat.

Now you know how to make the most of all those hours you’ll spend in the gym next month. Just make sure you go!