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The best workout for weight loss

8/24 10:28:13

If you’re trying to lose weight, increase the number of cardio workouts you do. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, aerobic training is the most effective and efficient fat-burning workout! 

Duke researchers compared aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of the two in the largest, randomised trial to analyse changes in body composition of the three modes of exercise in overweight or obese adults without diabetes.

The study found that doing aerobic exercise, like walking, running, and swimming, is an effective way to lose weight. 

Resistance training, which includes weight lifting, may also help with weight loss by increasing a person's resting metabolic rate, but studies on the effects of resistance training on fat mass have been inconclusive.

Researchers enrolled 234 overweight or obese adults in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three supervised exercise training groups: resistance training, aerobic training or aerobic plus resistance training.

The groups assigned to aerobic training and aerobic plus resistance training lost more weight than those who did just resistance training. 

"No one type of exercise will be best for every health benefit," said Leslie H. Willis, MS, an exercise physiologist at Duke Medicine and the study's lead author. "However, it might be time to reconsider the conventional wisdom that resistance training alone can induce changes in body mass or fat mass due to an increase in metabolism, as our study found no change."

The study found that aerobic exercise was the more efficient method of exercise for losing body fat. The aerobic exercise group spent an average of 133 minutes training per week and lost weight, while the resistance training group spent approximately 180 minutes exercising a week without losing weight. 

The combination exercise group, while requiring double the time commitment, provided a mixed result. The regimen helped participants lose weight and fat mass, but did not significantly reduce body mass or fat mass over aerobic training alone. This group did notice the largest decrease in waist circumference.

"Balancing time commitments against health benefits, our study suggests that aerobic exercise is the best option for reducing fat mass and body mass," said Cris A. Slentz, PhD, a Duke exercise physiologist and study co-author. "It's not that resistance training isn't good for you; it's just not very good at burning fat."

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