Weight training may reduce belly fat
Older men who lift weights every day accumulate less fat than those who spend the same amount of time doing aerobic exercise, suggests a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Between 1996 and 2008, 10,500 healthy men over 40 participated in a study that monitored weight, physical activity and waist circumference. In men, waist circumference is considered better than body mass index for studying overall impact of an activity on health.
Men who did no exercise showed a waistline increase of just over an inch as they aged. But men who did weight training showed a lower waistline increase than those who did only aerobic exercises, such as jogging or walking.
Previously, aerobic exercise was recommended for the best way to burn abdominal fat. Aerobic exercises stimulate circulation, and also have been shown to help reduce the risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. But researchers say the largest benefit comes from including both weight training and aerobic exercise in a workout. Weight training, they point out, is the most effective way for an older person to maintain muscle mass.