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Resistance training, visceral obesity and inflammatory response: a review of the evidence

Authors

  • B. Strasser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Nutritional Sciences and Physiology, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall i. T., Austria
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  • M. Arvandi,

    1. Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall i. T., Austria
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  • U. Siebert

    1. Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall i. T., Austria
    2. Cardiovascular Research Program, Institute for Technology Assessment and Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    3. Center for Health Decision Science, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
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Dr B Strasser, Institute for Nutritional Sciences and Physiology, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Eduard Wallnoefer-Zentrum 1, A-6060 Hall in Tirol, Austria. E-mail: barbara.strasser@umit.at

Summary

Intra-abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for low-grade inflammation, which is associated with increased risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. For the most part, recommendations to treat or prevent overweight and obesity via physical activity have focused on aerobic endurance training as it is clear that aerobic training is associated with much greater energy expenditure during the exercise session than resistance training. However, due to the metabolic consequences of reduced muscle mass, it is understood that normal ageing and/or decreased physical activity may lead to a higher prevalence of metabolic disorders. Whether resistance training alters visceral fat and the levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines produced in adipose tissue has not been addressed in earlier reviews. Because evidence suggests that resistance training may promote a negative energy balance and may change body fat distribution, it is possible that an increase in muscle mass after resistance training may be a key mediator leading to a better metabolic control. Considering the benefits of resistance training on visceral fat and inflammatory response, an important question is: how much resistance training is needed to confer such benefits? Therefore, the purpose of this review was to address the importance of resistance training on abdominal obesity, visceral fat and inflammatory response.

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