Ever wondered how to lose weight fast like your favorite celebrity?
The study, from the University of Illinois, looked at obese mice and divided them into four groups: one was sedentary, one exercised, one ate a low-fat diet and the final group both exercised and consumed a low-fat diet.
Exercise Reduces More Belly Fat Than Diet
Scientists checked the mice after six and 12 weeks and found that the combination of diet and exercise offered few extra health benefits than just exercise or diet alone. The only mice that increased their belly fat were in the sedentary group, which suggests that exercise can help prevent this from happening, even when the fat intake in the diet is high.
The mice that exercised were less sensitive to insulin and had less fat in the liver and less inflammation of belly fat. Fat around the abdomen, or visceral fat, has long been recognized as the highest risk fat to have. It has been linked to metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Modest Workouts Offer Benefits
The good news is that the amount of exercise the mice did to prevent the increase of belly fat was modest, the equivalent of a human walking for 30 to 45 minutes five times per week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should get a minimum of 2.5 hours per week of cardiovascular exercise, or about 30 minutes, five days a week, and muscle strengthening exercises on two days.
To incorporate a fitness program into your routine, remember these tips:
- You don’t have to do it all at once. Three brisk 10-minute walks each day are just as good for you as one longer one. And if it fits well into your schedule, chances are you’ll actually complete your workout.
- Choose something you like. If you don’t want to run or walk, try biking, swimming or even dancing around the living room with your children.
- If you’re into sports such as basketball or tennis, arrange a game when meeting with friends instead of just heading out to a restaurant.
- You don’t need to go to a gym, or have a home gym, to strengthen your muscles. Heavy gardening such as digging, yoga, and exercises using your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, are all effective.
- Once you get comfortable, set a goal, such as walking a five- or 10-kilometer race. It gives you something to work toward and motivates you to train consistently.
By adding moderate exercise to your routine, you can increase your energy levels and your fitness as well as reducing your risk of health problems due to belly fat.