Reduce Your Waist With Weights

Nearly every day we find news flashes via internet, radio, television and newspapers that further support the wonderful benefits of a reasonable commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Recently, a study funded by The National Institutes of Health was released in which the virtues of weight training for females were evaluated. Yet again, testing has shown that weight training can effectively reduce unwanted, excess body fat specifically in the often hard to lose areas of the stomach and waist! Gaining fat in your abdomen is particularly unhealthy when compared with other locations in your body. Excess belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can help you battle your belly bulge.

The Strong Healthy and Empowered (SHE) study examined whether twice-weekly strength training would prevent increases in intra-abdominal and total body fat in women who were overweight or obese. The women in this study stayed leaner as they got older if they did regular weight training, even without improving their diets. It supports previous research that has proven the value of consistent, healthy, challenging weight training as part of a long-term weight loss program.

This study evenly divided 164 overweight and obese Minnesota women aged 24-44 into two groups. One group participated in a two-year weight training program that included supervised classes where they were encouraged to gradually increase the weights they lifted. The other group was given a brochure that recommended exercise of thirty minutes to an hour most days of the week. Both groups were told not to change their diets. The women in the training program decreased their body fat percentage by 3.7 percent, while the body fat percentage remained stable in the control group. Perhaps even more importantly, the women who did strength training were able to keep much of the middle age spread away while the other group increased their dangerous abdominal fat 15 percentage points more than the weight-training women. The plethora of amazing benefits from weight training includes; (1) enhanced body density, (2) increased energy to enjoy all aspects of life, (3) greater strength and stamina, (4) improved flexibility, (5) reduced stress and (6) more restful sleep. And keep in mind that specifically reducing unwanted belly fat decreases your risk of diabetes, gallstones and shortness of breath.

To take advantage of the information contained in this study, women need to get moving and start weight training. And if you are really ready to make an improvement to your health, don’t for get to improve your diet too. A comprehensive approach to lose (and keep off) unhealthy, excess body fat should include:

- 2-3 sessions per week of safe, challenging weight training.

- 3-6 days per week of heart-pumping aerobic activity.

- A balanced, moderately-caloric diet that features whole grains, lean protein sources, abundant portions of vegetables and a variety of fruits.

Now that you know the benefits of weight training it is time to reap these rewards yourself or share them with the women in your life to motivate and change in their lifestyles. The fall months are a wonderful time to begin or improve your exercise program. Be inspired! Have a healthy day!

Davis Islands Community News   ●   October 2009