Try lifting weights to lose your gut

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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Comments

9 Comments

  1. These are all great tips! Thank you!

  2. Good to know! I keep hearing more and more about the importance of weight training — planning to include more weights in my 2015 workout routine.

  3. I plan to continue to add weight lifting to my routine too. I might never get that six pack but I will keep in shape.

  4. What kind of weight training–squats, bench, deadlift????

  5. It would be helpful to know what exercises to do with the weights. Something simple to start with – or a website for progressive ideas on weight training.

  6. I’ve heard about older people using the “Starting Strength” method to good effect, even in their seventies or eighties. It’s pretty simple, it’s what I use at the gym. I remember one post about a lady who didn’t need her walker anymore. It’s worth a shot, anyway. Look it up, I know the book is on Amazon and they have a website.

  7. Lisa Parro

    I’ve done weight training on and off through the years but find it so boring! I would love to know how to make it more fun.

  8. Rats, I got sidetracked thinking about another article re: weight training and age. Seems to help with weight problems too, and I think most people who have trouble making the effort to start cardio would find it easier to do.

    It’s more exciting if you follow a program, make progress, and see changes.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.