A new study from the Technical University of Madrid and La Paz University Hospital suggests that the type of exercise may be less important than previously suggested when it comes to losing weight. Findings from the study are published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

There have been many opinions on whether strength training, endurance training, or a combination of both are best for reducing weight and body mass. As part of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Programs for Obesity Treatment project, researchers aimed to measure whether the type of exercise combined with diet significantly impacted body weight and body composition (n=96). Study participants were followed through a 22-week supervised program following a similar reduced-calorie diet with 30% fewer calories than he or she burned each day. Participants were also randomized to one of three different exercise training programs (endurance exercise alone, strength exercise alone, or a combination of both) or to follow the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for weekly physical activity (200–300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity/week). They exercised 3 times a week for the same length of time and at the same intensity.

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Study findings showed the outcomes for participants, which included significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, total fat mass, and a significant increase in lean mass, were positive across the different groups though different types of exercise were performed. Researchers conclude that when following along a reduced-calorie diet, various exercise training programs or following physical activity recommendations are comparable in improving body weight and body composition variables.

For more information visit jap.physiology.org.