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.
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