Mon, Jun-11-01, 06:39
"Pumping iron helps women win the battle of the bulge"
Pumping iron helps women win battle of the bulge
NEW YORK, Jun 08 (Reuters Health) - Women gearing up to wage war on fat may want to arm themselves with a set of weights in addition to a pair of running shoes, a new study suggests.
According to the researchers, resistance training burns calories for at least one hour after a workout. Aerobic exercise such as jogging burns more calories during the workout but boosts metabolism for less than one hour afterward.
"To get the maximum benefit, women need a combination of cardiovascular workouts and resistance training," Carol A. Binzen, an exercise physiologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said in a prepared statement.
The study included 12 women aged 24 to 34 years who regularly lifted weights but were "not super fitness enthusiasts," Binzen explained. On one day, the women performed a 45-minute session of weight training that targeted major muscle groups including the chest, shoulders, legs, upper back, biceps and triceps. On another day, the women did not do any resistance training and watched a movie.
Comparisons of the number of calories women burned revealed that, on average, women burned 155 calories up to 2 hours after weight training and 50 calories while watching a movie. The findings are published in the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"The results from this study suggest that an acute bout of a typical resistance exercise session also facilitates a small increase in fat [burning] in moderately trained, young women," the authors conclude.
Binzen and colleagues suggest that the effects may be even more pronounced in previously sedentary women who take up resistance training, but stress that all women should check with their doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Besides boosting metabolism, resistance training can increase bone density and muscle mass, thereby protecting against the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
SOURCE: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2001;33:932-938.