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Half of all Americans are projected to meet the criteria for obesity by 2030 – up from 40% today. Over the next decade this increase in obesity would directly contribute to more than 8 million new cases of diabetes, 7 million cases of cardiovascular disease, and a half million diagnoses of cancer. 

Plenty of research points to a healthy diet and aerobic exercise as key strategies for weight control. But what about weight training? How does following a routine of resistance exercise contribute to preventing obesity?

A new study published last month in PLOS Medicine found that weight training substantially lowered the risk that someone would become obese. The study’s researchers looked at 11,938 healthy, non-obese adults ages 18–89 years who were examined at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas TX between 1987–2005 as part of the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Men and women who reported performing exercises for muscular fitness a few times a week, for a weekly total of one to two hours, were about 30 percent less likely to become obese over the years, based on waist circumference or body-fat percentage (even after accounting for participation in aerobic exercise). 

These results suggest that resistance exercise should be promoted alongside aerobic exercise as part of comprehensive physical activity programs to prevent obesity and health problems associated with obesity.

If you would like to start weight training, be sure to get personalized guidance from a fitness professional to help ensure you follow a routine that is safe and effective. 


by HealthEase, Inc.