Which is better for your heart: exercising or losing weight?
In a randomised, controlled trial, weight loss and aerobic exercise as a means of preventing coronary artery disease were compared over a period of nine months. The 107 subjects were healthy, sedentary, obese, middle-aged and older men.
The men were randomised into either a weight-loss programme or aerobic-exercise groups. The aerobic group experienced an increase in their maximum aerobic capacity. The weight-loss group lost more weight as well as significantly decreasing fasting glucose concentrations compared with the aerobic group.
Weight loss, but not aerobic training, significantly increased HDL cholesterol and decreased blood pressure (Altern Ther Health Med, 1996; 2: 82-83).