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Belle Yambao, Contributor
September 15, 2011

New Study: Jogging Reduces Belly Fat More than Weight Training

Research shows you should start doing more aerobic exercise if you want to keep your tummy trim. By Belle Yambao
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jogging_to_lose_abdominal_fat.jpgIf you want to decrease your stomach fat, it might be time to invest in a treadmill--or at least make a commitment to jog around your neighborhood regularly. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology shows that aerobic exercise is more effective at removing abdominal and liver fat than weight training.

The fat stored in your stomach is called visceral fat, also described as the fat beneath your muscles. Compared to subcutaneous fat (e.g., the flab on your arms), it is more dangerous to your health because it turns into blood cholesterol and therefore increases your risk of getting heart disease.

To determine the best way to lose this type of fat, the researchers at the Duke University Medical Center divided 196 overweight and sedentary adults into three groups. The aerobic exercise group jogged 12 miles a week. Those who got resistance training did three sets of repetitions three times a week. The last group used a combination of both.

After eight months, the results showed that those who did aerobic exercise lost the most visceral and liver fat. Their resistance to insulin and the state of their liver enzymes also improved. Meanwhile, the resistance-training group reported no such benefits, and the combination group experienced the same effects as just doing aerobic exercise would have gained them. Aerobic exercise also proved to be the better calorie burner as it burned 67 percent more calories than resistance training.

If your focus is reducing your stomach fat, therefore, it's best to skip lifting dumbbells and stick to aerobic exercises like jogging, walking, and biking. The great news is that you don't have to exercise as rigorously as the people did in the research. The study's lead author, exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, notes on, "What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk, and how many calories you burn. If you choose to work at a lower aerobic intensity, it will simply take longer to burn the same amount of unhealthy fat."

Need tips to help you with aerobic exercise? Try these articles:

If you're in need of tips to help you get into the habit of working out, check these out on FN:

(Photo by bass_nroll via Flickr Creative Commons)

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  • jazzlawyer Sep 15 2011 @ 12:13pm Report Abuse
    wow this article is a breakthrough. Ive been a runner for 2 years now (although 10k distance) but I didnt see any difference with my weight. When I got a knee injury, my Ortho recommended me to stop running for a while. So I hired a personal trainer and concentrated more on weight/strength training. I noticed that I lost weight more on strength/weight training rather than running. Ill be starting my first half marathon this month and I hope this study is actually accurate and can overturn my weight loss experience. =)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • ube Sep 19 2011 @ 01:13pm Report Abuse
    I do believe in this.. Though I am not regularly working out,But I make time for a walk.. I think it depends on how we really do walking.. Brisk walking will make you sweat much.. And I practice good posture while doing the brisk walking.. It helps stretch my tummy. Keep inspiring FN =)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • buddybuilders Nov 01 2011 @ 11:09am Report Abuse
    interesting read. Cardio is always better for overall fat loss than weight training,calorie wise, though building muscle is also beneficial as muscle burns more calories at rest. I' obviously a lifting junkie, but i'd never neglect cardio
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