By Dr. Jack Rutherford
If you’re trying to shed some of the extra weight you put on during the holidays and you’re pressed for time, you may be wondering which approach is best. Some fitness enthusiasts will recommend aerobic exercise, others recommend resistance training, while still others will suggest a combination of both aerobic and resistance exercise. Which type will give you the most bang for your time?
It turns out there is a clear winner on this issue. Several studies have shown that aerobic exercise programs produce the quickest and best results. In one particular study, subjects were assigned to either aerobic activity, resistance activity (weight lifting), or a combination group. The aerobic group exercised for 133 minutes a week while the resistance group lifted weights for 180 minutes a week. The combination group put in double the time of the other groups.
The results were conclusive. The aerobic group lost both total weight and belly fat while the resistance group did not lose a single pound. The combination group did lose weight but not significantly more than the aerobic group. For the time investment, aerobic exercise was the clear winner.
That is not to say that resistance exercise is not beneficial — it most certainly is. In fact, most fitness experts would recommend a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise for overall fitness and health. Nevertheless, if you are crunched for time, aerobic exercise reigns supreme.