Resistance Training Complements Aerobics for Women
training burns calories for more than an hour after a workout and may
be as important as aerobic exercise for women in the fight against fat,
according to researchers at Johns Hopkins and Arizona State
did a series of resistance exercises involving weights, their bodies'
energy expenditure was raised for up to two hours after the workout,
the study found. Typically, exercises such as jogging or aerobics burn
more calories during the workout, but increase metabolism for less than
an hour afterward.
want to lose weight typically do aerobic exercises to raise their heart
rate, thinking that's how they can burn the most calories," said Carol
A. Binzen, lead author of the study and clinical exercise physiologist
at Johns Hopkins. "To get the maximum benefit, women need a combination
of cardiovascular workouts and resistance training."
training is especially important for women older than 25, who
potentially can lose up to a half-pound of muscle mass every year, said
training could have a more lasting effect on metabolism than aerobic
exercise. It burns fat and increases muscle mass," she said.
followed a dozen women ages 24 to 34 who regularly did weightlifting
exercises. For the study, on one day the women performed three sets
each of 10 repetitions of the following exercises: chest press,
shoulder press, leg extension, leg press, seated row, latisimus dorsi
pull-down, biceps curl, triceps extension and abdominal crunches. On
another day, they sat still and watched a movie.
colleagues compared the women's energy expenditures up to two hours
after the exercises and while they watched the movie. On average, the
resistance exercises burned 155 calories, compared with about 50
calories burned while watching the movie.
"It might not
seem like the exercises burned many more calories, but up to two hours
after their workout, the women continued to have elevated metabolism as
compared to when they watched the movie," Binzen said.
regular women, not super fitness enthusiasts," she added, "so these
results may apply to most moderately active women. Sedentary people
would see even a greater benefit at first, but they should always check
with their physician before starting an exercise program."
appeared in the June 2001 issue of "Medicine, Science Sports and
Exercise," a journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.