Visceral fat is notorious for raising bad cholesterol, blood pressure and encouraging obesity. Tackle the enemy with both hands – with a training programme suited for anybody.
Researchers from the University for Health Sciences, in Austria, found resistance training removes visceral fat in the abdominal region.
They said that “several studies have demonstrated decreases in visceral adipose tissue after resistance training programmes”.
This is a great thing, because excess intra-abdominal fat can be dangerous.
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“Excessive visceral adipose tissue has been linked to the development of hypertension, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes,” the researchers confirmed.
What is resistance training?
Nuffield Health Senior Personal Trainer Phil Goulding explained: “[Resistance training] refers to any form of exercise where you lift or pull against resistance.
“This could be using dumbbells, a barbell, bodyweight, machines, kettlebells, powerbands or any other external resistance.”
And this form of exercise does wonders for your health.
“Regular resistance training can decrease the risk of heart disease,” added Goulding.
“[It does this by] lowering body fat, decreasing blood pressure and improving cholesterol.”
And Goulding attests that “everybody would benefit from resistance training”.
He said: “Resistance training has unique health and fitness benefits that simply can’t be achieved through any other form of exercise.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that a resistance training programme should be performed on two non-consecutive days each week.
One set of eight to 12 repetitions is best for adults and, for older and frail individuals, the ACSM suggests to increase this to one set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
This is because “ageing is associated with a loss of muscle mass”, the Austrian researchers chirped in.
“And researchers support the use of resistance training to prevent an age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass.”
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While gyms are currently closed, resistance training can be performed at home.
Do remember to warm up first and to cool down after any exercise routine.
Bodyweight exercises include lunges, planks and pushups – and tutorials for good form are available on YouTube.
Resistance bands are a great tool that can be ordered online if you don’t already own one.
It can be used on the arms and legs in a variety of ways, strengthening muscles and helping to shift visceral fat.
One way to tell if you’re at risk of health problems because of visceral fat, John Hopkins Medicine suggests to measure your waist.
Men who have a waistline – in line with the navel – of more than 35 inches are at risk.
For women, this measurement is 40 inches or above.
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