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There’s no question that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce risks for chronic disease. And one of the main ways exercise accomplishes this goal is by helping to burn the fat that can lead to metabolic syndrome.
If you haven’t heard the term before, metabolic syndrome isn’t truly a health condition in and of itself.
Instead, it’s a constellation of factors that increase your chances of ending up with heart disease, diabetes and stroke. And the number one factor is an accumulation of fat around your middle.
That’s because excess fat in your abdomen is a greater risk factor for heart disease than fat stored in other parts of your body, like your hips.
This also means that burning off that fat through exercise is a powerful way to avoid disease.
And thanks to a study from researchers at the University of Kentucky, we know exactly which type of exercise to use to kick our body into “fat-burning mode” and start banishing fat at the molecular level.
Unique benefits for fat loss
Resistance training is exercise where your muscles work against a weight or force. And in a study of mice and humans, Kentucky researchers discovered that this type of exercise stimulates your muscle cells to release particles known as extracellular vesicles.
The powerful thing about these tiny particles is their ability to deliver genetic instructions to fat cells that trigger fat burn.
In fact, according to the researchers, their results demonstrated, “how weight training initiates metabolic adaptations in fat tissue, which is crucial for determining whole-body metabolic outcomes.”
In other words, they were able to show that doing resistance training can help you lose the fat and reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome!
Shore up your resistance to heart attack, stroke, and diabetes
This means that adding resistance training to your life can help protect you from the dangers of heart disease, blood sugar issues and much more.
And don’t be tempted to skip the weights just because you’re a woman.
Past studies have proven the value of resistance training for the fairer sex.
Additionally, there’s even more good news.
You don’t have to have weights to exercise, you just have to be weight-bearing. This means that you can easily get your training in at home with moves like:
- Lunges – Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and then step forward with your right foot. Slowly lower your hips and upper body toward the floor, making sure that your knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. Repeat with the other side.
- Squats – Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and lower into a squat, as if you were sitting in a chair. Return to your starting position.
- Hip raises – Lie on your back on the floor with your arms at your sides and your right foot resting on a chair or your couch. Your hips and thighs should be parallel. Next, press through your right foot to raise your hips and create a straight line from your right knee to your shoulders. Slowly lower and repeat on the other side.
- Wall pushups – Stand just a bit farther than arm’s length from a wall, lean forward, and place your palms flat about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your upper body toward the wall, bending your elbows. Pause and then push back into your starting position.
- Toe stands – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart using a countertop or sturdy chair for balance. Slowly push up onto the balls of your feet and hold before lower to the floor.
For each of these exercises, it’s important to remember to take it slow and work your way up.
So while you might do just one or two repetitions on your first try, you can add more as you build strength.
To get even more from your workout, you can try adding resistance bands.
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New UK Study Offers Insight on How Resistance Training Burns Fat — University of Kentucky
Metabolic Syndrome — NIH