Just as there are good and bad kinds of food, there are good and bad types of fat. Intra-abdominal fat, or "deep fat," is considered the most unhealthy type of fat because it wraps itself around the body's internal organs, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A new study has shown that strengthening exercises such as lifting weights can help contain intra-abdominal fat levels, without changing a person's diet.
In the study, 164 overweight and obese women (ages 24 to 44) were divided into two groups. One group participated in a two-year weight training program, using free weights and machines twice per week for approximately one hour. The other group was given a brochure that recommended between 30 minutes and 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Both groups were told not to change their existing diets in a way that might lead to changes in weight.
At the end of the study period, women who performed weight training had a 7 percent increase in intra-abdominal fat, but their overall body fat levels decreased by 4 percent. In the group that was just given the brochure, body fat percentage remained the same, while intra-abdominal fat increased 21 percent.
If exercise by itself can help keep deep fat levels at bay, imagine what a combination of exercise and a healthy diet can do! If you are concerned about your weight and are looking to reduce body fat levels, talk to doctor of chiropractic about drawing up a comprehensive program that combines exercise, a balanced diet, and other lifestyle changes to improve your health. For more information, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/sports/exercise/index.html.
Schmitz KH, Jensen MD, Hannan P. Strength training prevents increase in visceral fat among women. Presented at the American Heart Association's 46th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in association with the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism, Phoenix, AZ, March 2-5, 2006.