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Aerobic Exercise Could Help Trim Your Belly Fat

If your doctor has instructed you to lose some belly fat, take note of a recent study from Duke University that has found that the best way to get rid of belly fat is through aerobic exercise.

The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology on August 16, 2011.

The researchers recruited 196 overweight adults between the ages of 18 and 70 who lived a sedentary lifestyle. The participants were split into three groups, with one group doing only resistance training, one group doing only aerobic training, and one group doing a combination of resistance and aerobic training.

The aerobic group exercised at a level equal to jogging 12 miles per week at 80% maximum heart rate, while the resistance group did three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions three times a week. The combination resistance and aerobic training group did the full combination of the two above. In order to ensure full effort, all of the exercise was closely monitored.

At the end of 8 months, the aerobic exercise group showed reduced liver fat and visceral fat, greater improvement in fasting insulin resistance, a lower number of liver enzymes, and lower triglyceride levels, compared to the resistance training group. The combination resistance training and aerobic group showed results similar to the aerobic only group.

Aerobic exercise also burned 67% more calories than resistance training alone. The researchers noted that resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass, but that aerobic exercise works best for losing weight.

Visceral fat (the scientific name for that deep belly fat) put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. The scientists in this study pointed out that less vigorous exercise will also work away at this unhealthy fat; it just may take a little longer to see results.

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