If the reason you exercise is to lose weight, you may have wondered which type of exercise will give you the best results: endurance training (like going for long runs) or strength training (like lifting weights).
A recent study found that combined with a reduced calorie diet, the type of exercise might not be an important factor when it comes to weight loss.
The researchers selected 96 obese men and women to enroll in a supervised 22-week program. The participants were randomized into four different exercise groups: a strength training group did an eight-exercise circuit routine; an endurance training group did cardio exercises; a combined strength and endurance training group did a combination of cardio and circuits; and a control group was told to exercise at least 200 to 300 minutes each week (this could include a variety of activities, such as walking and gardening).
All four groups exercised three times a week and followed a reduced-calorie diet designed to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.
So what happened? At the end of the program, everyone lost weight. There was a significant decrease in body weight among all four groups (a range of 19 pounds to 23 pounds)—so regardless of physical activity group assignment, participants shed pounds.
This supports evidence suggesting that the most effective way to slim down is to lower your calorie intake while also increasing your activity level. As a runner, you probably already have a pretty high activity level and watch what you eat.
But there are ways to improve both sides of the equation and boost your chance of weight-loss success. Give the following tips a try and you’ll be on the path to permanent weight loss.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. (It really does burn more calories!)
- Go on a 10 to 15 minute walking break for every hour or so spent sitting.
- Get co-workers involved by turning lunch breaks into walking breaks and starting friendly pushup competitions in the office.
- Leave some free weights under your desk and use them for squats and lunges.
- Learn how many calories your body needs by signing up for a food-tracker program.
- Set goals for daily calorie intake (a gentle reduction of about 200 to 400 calories, so not to leave you too famished) and track your food intake.
- Use portion control—eat from a smaller plate and serve yourself less.
- Fill up on vegetables and other lower-calorie choices.
Source: Runner's World
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