Heart fat efficiently reduced through weightlifting

July 12, 2019

Reducing fat around the heart is more likely through resistance training instead of aerobic exercise – researchers have observed that weight lifting reduced a type of heart fat linked to cardiovascular disease, and aerobic exercise (endurance training) likewise reduced another type of heart fat.

Dr. Regitse Hojgaard Christensen, a researcher at the Center of Inflammation and Metabolism and the Center for Physical Activity Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, speculates that participants doing resistance training burn more calories during the day and also in inactive periods, as compared to those who engaged in endurance training.

To participate in different exercise programmes, the research team recruited 32 obese adults who were sedentary but were not yet diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes – the participants were randomly assigned to three months of aerobic exercise, weight training or inactivity. An MRI scan was done before and after the study period.

The results showed that weight training on its own reduced pericardial adipose tissue mass by 31%, while aerobic and weight lifting exercises reduced epicardial adipose tissue mass by 32% and 24% respectively, when compared to no exercise.

According to Christensen, resistance exercises alone were effective in reducing both fat deposits of the heart, but resistance and endurance training combined would have potentially promising effects, which was unfortunately not explored in the study.

On a side note,Dr. Chadi Alraeis, Director of Interventional Cardiology at Detroit Medical Center’s Heart Hospital, US, suspects that the best way to combat heart fat is to do both endurance and weight training, and so recommends adding some work with dumbbells, or some lunges, sit-ups or pushups – “It might even be enough to bring some weights to the office so you can use them there.”


Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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