Monday, January 9, 2012

Which Is Better - Running Or Resisting?

Sounds kind of like a plot from the TV Show Cops, huh?  But in this case, I'm talking about pounds, not the police and specifically the pounds that are associated with belly fat.  Visceral fat (also called liver fat) is the nasty stuff that's deep within the abdomen, filling the spaces between internal organs.  It's considered the worst of the worst and is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer.  Thus, it should be a prime target for focusing your fat-busting efforts.

So in choosing an exercise/lifestyle program to target belly fat, which is the best choice - aerobic (running) or resistance (weight training)?  For one thing, choosing something you can commit to forever is a prime factor in choosing any program, as there will be no benefit whatsoever you don't stick with it.

But beyond that tidbit, researchers have found that aerobic exercise beats out resistance exercise for reducing that icky belly fat.  In addition, it resulted in a significant improvement in terms of heart disease risk factors, liver enzymes and triglyceride levels.

Certainly, resistance training is not a bad thing, as it improves strength and lean body mass, but aerobic exercise burns more calories - 67 percent more.

The eight month study done by Duke University Researchers utilized 196 overweight adults, aged 18 to 70.  The participants in the aerobic group did the equivalent of 12 miles of jogging per week at 80 percent maximum heart rate, while those in the resistance group did three sets of eight to 12 repetitions three times per week.

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