What’s Better for Your Heart: Aerobic Exercise or Resistance Training?


According to a review published in the journal Advances in Nutrition, combining aerobic exercise and strength training can help decrease abdominal fat.

Having excess abdominal fat can increase your risk of health issues such as heart attack and stroke.

If you ask a trainer how to lose fat, some swear by strength training, while others may suggest an aerobic plan like running. Fortunately, there’s no need to pick a side: New research concludes that both kinds of workouts work, especially if they join forces.

A review published in the journal Advances in Nutrition looked at 43 studies focusing on training styles and their effects. Researchers found that although aerobic exercise tends to produce slightly greater efficacy in decreasing abdominal fat, the biggest change comes when it is combined with resistance training.

There’s an important reason to knock down fat in this particular area: cardiovascular health. For example, one study of Korean adults found those with normal body mass index had more cardiovascular risk factors if they carried excess abdominal obesity.

Another study, published earlier this year, noted that excess abdominal fat can risk of repeat heart attacks and strokes for those who’ve already had one of those incidents. In that research, nearly 23,000 people were followed for about four years after their cardiac event, and those with higher belly fat amounts showed significantly more incidence of experiencing another event.

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