Even more evidence on the benefits of exercise. In this month’s International Journal of Obesity, researchers at Wake Forest have shown that aerobic exercise along with diet actually shrinks abdominal fat cells – the infamous belly fat.
Too bad it can’t make them go away, but shrinking them is a good thing!
This group of 45 women all had a deficit of 2,800 calories a week, either through dieting or a combination of dieting and exercise.The women who didn’t exercise lost weight on their low-calorie diets, but their fat cells stayed the same.
The low-intensity exercise group walked at about 1 to 2 miles per hour on a treadmill for 50 minutes three times a week. The high-intensity exercise group also walked three times a week, but at 3.5 to 4 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Both exercise groups burned 400 calories each week through walking.
After 20 weeks, the women lost between 19 and 23 pounds, and lost 3-4 inches around their hips and waists. But, the fat cells shrank by about 18% in both groups of exercisers.
Abdominal fat is believed to be an important factor in the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Reducing it is a good thing. This study suggests that we don’t have to work very hard at it!
Even low-intensity exercise works. Three days a week, folks. That’s all it took. We can do it. Honest. We can.