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New Study Shows Treadmills Work Best for Burning Fat

Burns More Fat Than Any Other Piece of Exercise Equipment, Research Shows


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TreadmillBetween the stairsteppers, stationary cycles, cross-country ski simulators and the dozens of other pieces of cardio equipment jamming today’s typical gym, trying to figure out which of these machines is best for burning fat can be a real guessing game.

Fortunately, there are exercise scientists like Dr. Niall Moyna who actually test this sort of thing.

Recently Dr. Moyna and colleagues from the Center for Sport Science and Health in Dublin, Ireland, pit the popular cardio machines against one another in a battle for fat-burning supremacy.

And as it is with so many things, it seems basics are best for burning fat, as well.

Of all the latest, greatest newfangled cardio contraptions, the time-honored treadmill came out on top.

Subjects performed three exercise tests at selected intensities corresponding to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE): fairly light, somewhat hard and hard.

Energy expenditure (calories burned) at each RPE was highest on the treadmill for all subjects. Energy expenditure at all RPEs was lowest on the stationary bike.

“Our results indicated that there are large differences in energy expenditure between exercise machines,” the researchers write.

“Subjects can expend more calories at the same RPE during treadmill exercise, for example, than during exercise with other devices.”

And remember, more calories burned equals more fat lost.

Exercise Increases Brain Power, New Study Suggests

Brain PowerA team of researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has just given a new significance to the ancient Greek ideal mens sana in corpore sano.

Dr. Chuck Hillman and colleagues recently reported at the annual meeting of the Society of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal, Canada, that it’s true —creating a strong, healthy body through exercise can help lead directly to a strong, healthy mind.

In the study, the researchers, using an electroencephalogram (EEG), measured the thinking ability of 20 men and women asked to perform a computer test before and 30 minutes following intense treadmill running.

According to Dr. Hillman, exercising increased the speed of the decision-making process by an average of 35 milliseconds — quite a significant improvement as far as brain activity goes, he says.

What’s more, study participants answered test questions more accurately after exercise than they did when they had not exercised.


New Study Reveals the Best Exercise for Toning Your Stomach


Using an electromyograph (EMG) machine, researchers at San Diego State University recently measured abdominal muscle activity of subjects asked to perform 13 types of ab exercises.

The traditional crunch was used as the benchmark for the ratings. Surprisingly, the top-rated stomach strengthener, according to the researchers, was the bicycle maneuver, which created almost 250 percent more muscle activity in the rectus abdominus muscles — the six-pack set — than a crunch did.

To do it, lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee.

Study: Lift Your Spirits with Exercise


If you’re feeling down in the dumps, hit the gym. It’s the best way to perk yourself up, according to a growing number of studies.

In fact, researchers are now saying vigorous exercise may be just as effective — if not more so — than such “mood-boosting” drugs as Prozac for fighting depression.

The latest evidence that exercise can be a powerful natural antidepressant comes from a German study of people with clinical depression. Dr. Fernando Dimeo and colleagues at Freie University in Berlin found that as little as a half-hour of cardiovascular exercise improved the patients’ symptoms — faster, in fact, than antidepressant drugs typically do.

The study, which is presented in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, reports that half the patients had improved significantly.

“Our results indicate that, in selected patients with major depression, aerobic training can produce a substantial improvement in symptoms in a short time,” the researchers write.

This is just one study in a recent flurry of research suggesting exercise to be the best way to beat depression.

Another recent study from Duke University also found physical activity to be more effective at combating depression than prescribed medication.

Hopefully, this new wave of research will change the way some depressed patients are treated — especially those who are not interested in taking antidepressants, which oftentimes carry unwanted side effects.

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