010413 Strength-training combats muscle loss during the aging process

As a person ages the tendency is to lose muscle mass and gain fat tissue, especially the deep visceral fat that has been linked to diabetes. This is an inevitable process but it can be slowed down with proper strength training.

Not only will strength training increase your strength and your lean muscle mass you will notice a decrease in your waistline. The whole body training program is a natural fit for most people. Don’t fall for a spot reduction program that an unscrupulous trainer may try to sell to you. Unless you are undergoing liposuction it is impossible to spot reduce.

Brenda Davy, associate professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech, states, “We use a whole body training program, not a spot reduction approach.” She then continues with a controversial statement by saying, “is not that we target the abdominal area with exercises, it’s just that fat in the abs is the first to go.”

She explains this latter statement this way,” the abdominal adipose tissue depot is particularly sensitive, so it’s easier to lose fat from there then from other fat storage depots in the body.” Even though the statement is controversial in the training world and in real life Davy clarifies by saying” you may have reductions in the abdominal fat even when you don’t necessarily observe large changes in total body fat.” This means your belly fat may still be there on the outside, however, on the inside the visceral fat has actually decreased through your training.

During the training session, your body is rapidly trying to adapt to the stresses that are being put upon it. It’s natural to assume, and you would be correct, that you’re using energy to perform whatever activity you have decided to engage in. However, it is not only during exercise that you burn fat, it also during the recovery period afterward.

In fact, according to Prof. Colberg, an Old Dominion University professor of human new movement sciences in Norfolk Virginia, “recovery from exercise is fueled primarily by fat, so the real benefit for fat loss is burning as many calories as you can during any type of physical activity.”