As men get older, they tend to put on extra fat, especially in their mid-section which results in a pear or apple-shaped body. The truth is, it’s harder to get rid of that excess fat as the years go by. The reason for this is actually simple, as you age, you lose muscle mass. Decreased physical activity contributes to the loss of muscle mass which, in turn, decreases calorie usage and the weight starts piling on. It’s also possible that fat cells in the arms and legs are no longer able to store fat and the excess goes to the abdomen.
That round belly doesn’t just mean having to buy larger pants, or putting another hole in the belt, it’s harmful to our health. The problem comes from the visceral fat that collects around the internal organs, causing them to work harder. According to the Mayo Clinic, a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of many health issues including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and sleep apnea.
Cut the Belly Fat
Knowing that extra abdominal fat is bad for you is one thing, figuring out what to do about it is another. Cutting back on extra calories is an obvious place to start, but that’s not the entire story. To really make a difference, you also have to increase your physical activity. The advice that doctors, nutritionists, and fitness gurus give men is to increase the amount of aerobic exercise they get. But, there were also those that say that weight training is the cure for belly bulge. With the conflicting information, it begs the question; is aerobic exercise or weight training a better way to get rid of that excess fat?
Thankfully, there’s finally an answer to that question in a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Researchers compared the physical activity, waist size and weight of 10,500 men 40 and over. They discovered that men you spent 20 minutes a day on weight training gained 0.67 cm less in their waistlines than men who increased the amount of aerobic activity they did by the same amount. Not surprisingly, they also noted that men who spent more time in sedentary activities gained inches in their waistline.
Armed with that information, it might seem like a great idea to grab some weights and start working out. Slow down though, you could do more damage than good if you aren’t careful. It’s not a good idea to jump into any fitness program without first speaking to your doctor to make sure you’re able to. Once you’ve got the go-ahead, it’s a wise idea to consult a personal trainer to get some expert advice.
You don’t have to give in to age, in fact, you can fight it every step of the way. Starting a weight training program is one of the best ways that you can assure yourself of a healthy, happy and long life. Contact us to learn more about our personal weight training programs, or to schedule a fitness consultation.