November 02, 2009
80 Min Exercise Per Week Prevents Visceral Weight Gain

Fat around your internal organs is thought to be a much bigger risk factor for heart disease than fat near the surface of the skin. Well, if you go on a diet, exercise, get your weight down, and then eventually go off the diet continued exercise will prevent the resulting weight gain from happening where the risk factor is greatest.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A study conducted by exercise physiologists in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Human Studies finds that as little as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or resistance training helps not only to prevent weight gain, but also to inhibit a regain of harmful visceral fat one year after weight loss.

The study was published online Oct. 8 and will appear in a future print edition of the journal Obesity.

Unlike subcutaneous fat that lies just under the skin and is noticeable, visceral fat lies in the abdominal cavity under the abdominal muscle. Visceral fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat because it often surrounds vital organs. The more visceral fat one has, the greater is the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

80 minutes per week of either aerobic or resistance training prevents any fat weight gain around the internal organs. This is good news.

"What we found was that those who continued exercising, despite modest weight regains, regained zero percent visceral fat a year after they lost the weight," Hunter said. "But those who stopped exercising, and those who weren't put on any exercise regimen at all, averaged about a 33 percent increase in visceral fat.

It takes at least an hour a day of exercise to prevent weight gain. But 80 minutes per week to prevent the harmful form of weight gain is only 19% of the hour per day amount. So this is a lot easier.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 November 02 06:32 AM  Aging Diet Heart Studies

PacRim Jim said at November 2, 2009 9:08 AM:

Yikes, 80 hours a week? I give up.

Brian Moore said at November 2, 2009 11:44 AM:

I think people are finally starting to come around to the idea that it is activity/exercise that matter for health, not particularly weight. Those people who experienced "modest weight gains" may have even had that happen because they built heavier muscle from exercising. Your last sentence is perfect: (hehe, other than the hours-instead-of-minutes) don't care about your weight, care about your activity level.

averros said at November 3, 2009 2:17 AM:

When I actively excercise, I actually gain weight, without much change in body shape. Muscles are heavier than fat.

The obsession with weight is, well, silly. A bodybuilder without any fat may have BMI of 30.

Also... 80 minutes? I expect HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to require less than that (HIIT has an interesting property - it makes organism to burn calories for a few hours after the exercise).

Mary in LA said at November 3, 2009 10:53 AM:

80 minutes a week / 7 days = 11.4 minutes a day. I think even my gnat-like attention span can handle that. ;-)

Cardio Free said at November 3, 2009 12:44 PM:

The good news is, Cardio is out, strength training is in. Sweatin' it on a treadmill burns calories only while you are sweatin' it, and for a short time afterwards, plus its hard on knees, feet, hips, etc. from the repetitive and non-stop motion. Intense strength training causes an increase in muscle mass which means a higher fat burn round the clock, but without beating yourself up. 80 minutes per week is more than enough to make a person healthier, leaner and looking their best! Coupled with a healthy diet heavy on veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, mono-unsaturated fats, fish and poultry, you can slim down, live a longer and happier life!

Rhonda said at November 3, 2009 4:46 PM:

no... they said 80 MINUTES a week..not hours.. it doesn't take much..

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