Aerobics Beats Weight Lifting for Loss of Belly Fat

September 19, 2011 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Aerobics Beats Weight Lifting for Loss of Belly Fat
Researchers at Duke University conducted an eight-month study on aerobics (12 miles jogging per week) compared to weight lifting (3 heavy sessions per week) in overweight individuals aged 18 to 70. Aerobic exercise burned 70% more calories, reduced fatty liver and abdominal fat, lowered liver enzymes (liver inflammation), and improved insulin function.

Any drug that could improve any one of these four scores would be a blockbuster worth billions per year in our absolutely bizarre system of health care. I am sick and tired of drug studies that compare one drug to another or compare a drug to a set of numbers they are trying to change. All drugs should be compared to an exercise group as the reference. If a drug isn’t better than exercise then why should it be used at all? There is no excuse for laziness.

I understand that some people have physical limitations that make exercise a challenge--it can be done, however. I also understand that some people don’t have the energy to exercise or don’t get a good response to exercise, and these are top priorities for any person to change. In almost three decades on the front lines of clinical nutrition I can assure you that the point at which a person loses aerobic fitness is the point at which health deteriorates.

One of the great values of nutritional supplementation is enhancing your ability to get a good response to exercise. I’ve given you my basic tips in a previous article, Byron’s Running Tips. You don’t have to be a runner to improve your health. Consistent walking is far better than no exercise. If you want to have a good chance of being healthy as you grow older, you need to stay fit or become fit. Aerobic training is a clear path to better health.

Of course, I am also in favor of weight training as part of your overall fitness plan. Your muscles need to know that they are being used. Bottomline, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

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