(RxWiki News) Trying to get a 'six pack' but just can’t make it happen? You might be doing the wrong kind of exercises. Aerobic exercise might be better for burning belly fat than resistance training.
Examples of aerobic exercise include running, jogging or cycling. Researchers say that these kinds of work outs are better for overweight or obese individuals looking to burn some belly fat.
"Start today and jog away your belly fat."
Cris Slentz, Ph.D., from Duke University in North Carolina, found that participants who performed aerobic exercise lost 20 times more fat around their stomachs than those who just did weight training.
The eight month long study included 196 overweight, inactive adults between the ages of 18 and 70. The participants were divided into three different groups: aerobic, weight lifting or both.
The aerobic group was able to lose 2.5 square inches of belly fat, while the group that performed a combination of the aerobic and resistance training lost 1.5 square inches.
Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, surrounds vital organs, while subcutaneous fat is found under the skin. Visceral fat is more dangerous because of its location and it is associated with diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
This does not mean that resistance training is not worth doing. Resistance training is better for improving strength and increasing lean body mass while aerobic exercise is better for burning calories, Slentz says.
The more calories burned is what really counts, so aerobic training is especially beneficial for overweight and obese individuals, he says.
James Crowell, fitness expert, advises others to do a combination of aerobic and weight lifting. He says, “Many people who only do aerobic exercise end up burning muscle. If you burn through your short term sugar and fat storage while doing aerobic exercise, which is approximately 35 minutes of running, you will actually begin to burn muscle.”
“The combination of high intensity resistance training combined with high intensity, shorter interval aerobic training can be an ideal training plan to burn fat and stay overall at your healthiest level,” Crowell states.
The research is published in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism.