TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — For men, combining aerobic activities with weight training is key to preserving muscle and avoiding weight gain, particularly age-related increases in waist circumference, according to research published online Dec. 22 in Obesity.
The long-term study was conducted between 1996 and 2008 and included 10,500 healthy men aged 40 or older whose body mass indexes varied widely. The researchers examined whether weight training, aerobic activity, and replacement of one activity for another were associated with favorable changes in waist circumference and body weight.
The men who did 20 minutes of weight training daily had a smaller increase in waist circumference than the men who spent the same amount of time engaging in moderate to vigorous aerobic activities, such as stair climbing and yard work. Meanwhile, the men who became more sedentary over the course of the 12-year study had a larger increase in waist circumference.
“This study underscores the importance of weight training in reducing abdominal obesity, especially among the elderly,” study senior author Frank Hu, M.D., M.P.H, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said in a school news release. “To maintain a healthy weight and waistline, it is critical to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercise.”
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