Background: Data have firmly established that abdominal obesity and especially increased levels of visceral fat are more highly associated with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases risk. Besides, exercise training is known as a best means to reduce the risks of such diseases.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of aerobic and resistance training on regional fat reduction, abdominal and some of the heart risk factors among 30 to 45 years old healthy females. Methods: 20 inactive healthy female, with a mean age of 37.56±0.48 yrs, height 164.66± 1.05 cm, and a body mass index of 26.68±0.84 (kg/m2), participated in the study in two trials [aerobic training-(n=10) and resistance training-(n=10)] in a counterbalanced, randomized design. The protocol included resistance training with 40% -60% 1RM and aerobic training program with 65-85% of individual maximum heart rate, 3 day/week for 8 weeks. Blood samples for measuring of lipoproteins concentrations plus abdominal, sacroiliac and thigh fat were measured by caliper, BMI and peripheral of abdomen from all subjects 24 hours before starting the program and after the last session of the program. Differences between post- test and pre- test were evaluated using a Student′s t-test for paired samples. A P-value < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: Data analysis revealed significant differences in levels of plasma lipoproteins concentrations and a significant decrease in abdominal, sacroiliac and thigh fat of both groups when following exercise training but these changes were not dramatic when two groups were compared.
Conclusion: Although physical activity is associated with reduction in abdominal and visceral fat, there is insufficient evidence to determine a dose-response relationship. Hence, further studies need to be done to understand how much physical activity would be efficacious for the management of obesity.