What Kind Of Exercise Is Best When Time is an Issue?

If you want to lose weight, you need a to make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet and get enough exercise, but sometimes you’re too busy to work out, which can affect your weight loss as well as your wellness. However, according to researchers at Duke University, aerobic exercise has the speedy edge over resistance training, which can help you boost your weight loss and your wellbeing sooner rather than later.


For the study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, 234 overweight or obese adults aged 18 to 70 participated in one of three eight-month programmes, one consisting of aerobic training, one of resistance training and one was a combination of the two. The first group exercised at 70-85% maximum heart rate for 45 minutes three times a week, the resistance training group did eight to 12 repetitions on resistance machines and increased the weight as time progressed to remain challenged, and the last group combined these regimens.


The results were that groups one and three lost the most weight of around 1.8 kilograms, whereas those who did resistance training alone actually gained a similar amount of weight in lean body mass. However, the cardio group lost weight and lean body mass, and both they and the combination group participants had a reduced waistline and one and two percent body fat, respectively.


When you look at the results, it shows that a combination is the best to build a lean body mass, but if you’re pushed for time in your week, you should concentrate your energy on aerobic workouts. According to Dr. Leslie Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke and lead author of the study, aerobic exercise is ‘good to lose fat and body weight’ so if weight loss is your main goal, you should ‘spend time doing cardio training’. However, Willis did note that resistance training isn’t a bad thing by any means, and is still a vital component of your exercise programme because it promotes lean body mass, which is more and more important the older you get.


Abbie Smith-Ryan, an exercise and sports scientist at UNC also noted that, although the science behind the study is ‘flawless’ and adds great data to the body of knowledge on the subject, the results shouldn’t be taken too literally: ‘This to me doesn’t say, ‘Don’t do resistance training, or just do aerobic training.’  She added, ‘This study also highlights the importance of nutrition. Exercise is not only the important part of weight loss; nutrition is a big factor. The subjects were on a 2,000-calorie diet, which is practical, but there was such a small change in body fat and weight over a six-month period.’

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