You have seen them at the gym. They get in and the first thing they do is hop on the treadmill. Then spend what seems like an eternity on it, sometimes to the chagrin of others who may be waiting to use the machine if it’s crunch time. Their objective is to lose fat, particularly belly fat. However, this approach is wrong.
While aerobic exercise is great, especially for your cardiovascular health, you may be short-changing yourself by overemphasizing this.
On the other hand, women often shy away from weight training. They may even avoid altogether. Or, they may do it in such a way as they may be getting little or no benefit. Like using such a light weight, that they may as well be using no weight at all. This emanates from certain myths and misconceptions, basically about building muscle and looking “like a man”.
There is no way a woman can look like a man simply by putting on some muscle mass. For one, male and female physical structures differ. Just as a man who doesn’t lift weights will not have wide (feminine) hips, a woman who lifts will not develop wide shoulders.
Unfortunately, there are also women who, consciously or unconsciously, live up to the stereotype and expectation of a woman as a “delicate flower”. Women are told, often by other women, not to train “like a man” when it comes to hitting the weights.
Women will build feminine muscle and men masculine muscle. It’s just how it works. How nature made it.
Secondly, hormones do play a role too. Men produce more testosterone, the most important of anabolic hormones. They therefore tend to build bigger muscles and more easily. Hormones are the main reason women find it hard to lose weight compared to men.
Women who lift and do look masculine are typically those who looked masculine to begin with.
Therefore, women need not shy from intense weight training. In fact, weight training can help add quality substance onto the right places, making the women look… well, sexier.
Weight Training, Aging, And Belly Fat
So, what does all this have to do with aging and belly fat? Well, According to a study published in the journal Obesity, quite a bit. What makes this study even more reliable is that it is a relatively large and lengthy one.
Aging is associated with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass. Therefore exercise relying on bodyweight alone may not be as effective for older people (say, 40+ years). Too, your waist circumference is a good indicator of overall health.
Researchers studied 10,500 healthy men over the age of 40. However, the results may be applied to women as well. The team analyzed changes in their activity level over a 12 year period.
The results showed that men who increased the amount of weights lifted a day had smaller waist than men who increased aerobic exercise. However combining weight training and aerobic exercise yielded best results.
These findings are not surprising, as regular weight training has been found to raise resting metabolism due to increased muscle mass, thus accelerating fat loss.
You should perform cardiovascular (aerobic) training after weight training. Women often get this wrong, for the same reason they shy from intense lifting. As for me, I find that high intensity interval training (HIIT) works best, and saves me some time as well. However, this is a controversial topic and one should follow what works best for them.
You can read the post about the study on weight training and belly fat Medical News Today website.
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