Healthy men who do 20 minutes of daily weight training have less increase in age-related abdominal fat than men who spend the same amount of time doing aerobic activities, according to a study in Obesity. Combining weight training and aerobic activity leads to the most optimal results. Aerobic exercise by itself is associated with less weight gain compared with weight training.
"Because aging is associated with sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass, relying on body weight alone is insufficient for the study of healthy aging," says nutritionist and lead author Rania Mekary. "Measuring waist circumference is a better indicator of healthy body composition among older adults. Engaging in resistance training or, ideally, combining it with aerobic exercise, could help older adults lessen abdominal fat while increasing or preserving muscle mass."
Prior studies had been focused on a specific population (overweight people or type 2 diabetics, for instance), were of short duration, and had mixed results. This study was long term with a large sample of healthy men with a wide range of body mass indexes.
Mekary and colleagues studied the physical activity, waist circumference, and body weight...