Well countless sit-ups (which 90% of the time are completed incorrectly leading to lower back complaints) and attempting your cardio in the ‘fat burning zone’ is most definitely NOT the way!
You need to increase your metabolically active tissue…
How do you do this? A: ALL forms of resistance training.
Adults (from about our 30s, give or take) who do not undertake regular resistance training lose muscle consistently on a yearly basis, which in turn leads to a decrease in metabolic rate.
Research literature (Westcott & Guy 1996, among others) shows that over an 8 week resistance exercise training period, the typical response for sedentary men and women (training 2-3x/week for ~ 1hr) is an increase in muscle mass of 1.5kg.
By adding 1.5kg of muscle in an 8 week window, literature also tells us that our resting metabolic rate increases by 7% (Campbell et al. 1994).
The moral of the story: *Resistance exercise training maintains (and can increase) our muscle mass and metabolic rate!*
With more muscle and a higher metabolic rate the ability to decrease body fat (and those ‘love handles’) becomes much easier! (Campbell et al. 1994).
What happens for muscle happens for bone. Resistance exercise training increases muscle proteins and bone proteins and mineral content. This is very important for post menopausal women and seniors.
Strength and resistance exercise training is really a ‘form of medicine’, as research has also shown it reduces low back pain, arthritic pain, depression, and blood lipid levels; while increasing glucose metabolism and gastrointestinal transit speed!
It is really a no brainer.
Want to look, feel and function better? Then make sure you are incorporating correct strength and resistance training into your weekly schedule!