Try lifting weights to lose your gut
New research says the way to wage and win the battle against belly fat is increasing weight training in your exercise regime.
Officials from the Harvard School of Public Health found healthy men and women who did 20 minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with those who spent the same amount of time doing aerobics. However, aerobic exercise by itself was associated with less weight gain compared with weight training.
“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 Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of the study, in a news release. “To maintain a healthy weight and waistline, it is critical to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercise.”
The study took place over 12 years and involved more than 10,000 men and women who were 40-years-old and older. The study appears online December 22, 2014 in the journal Obesity.
But whether you lift weights or are addicted to the treadmill, Brandon Nemeth, fitness specialist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, says it’s essential to keep up your exercise routines to live a healthy life. If you’ve skipped a few days of exercise over the holidays, don’t make it a habit. Just resume your regular exercise routine as soon as possible and keep it up as best you can through the busy weeks ahead.
“Physical activity is key to managing blood sugar levels, keeping excess weight off, and enabling you to stay on track around the holidays,” says Nemeth “Thirty minutes most days of the week, whether walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or even dancing, is all you need to do and it doesn’t have to be continuous. Plan a time to get your workout in and stick to it.”
If you did overindulge during your holiday feasts, Nemeth says it’s time to refocus.
“The time is now to forget about all the leftovers and check and restock your kitchen,” says Nemeth. “Make sure no unhealthy foods like highly processed chips and sugary sweets have crept back into the cupboards over the holiday. Take a trip to the supermarket to replenish your healthy snacks, such as reduced-fat cheese, fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt, fresh vegetables, hummus, nuts and fruits.”
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