Sports Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 191–212

Effects of Exercise Training on Abdominal Obesity and Related Metabolic Complications

  • Benjamin Buemann
  • Angelo Tremblay
Review Article

DOI: 10.2165/00007256-199621030-00004

Cite this article as:
Buemann, B. & Tremblay, A. Sports Med. (1996) 21: 191. doi:10.2165/00007256-199621030-00004


Excessive deposition of visceral adipose tissue is known to predispose to cardiovascular diseases. Considerable epidemiological and experimental evidence suggests that many physiological factors are involved in the aetiology of premature atherosclerosis associated with visceral obesity. Insulin resistance is frequently associated with abdominal obesity, and probably plays an important role in the pathophysiology of hypertriglyceridaemia, low levels of plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, hypertension and reduced fibrinolytic activity. Exercise training may counteract the aberrant metabolic profile associated with abdominal obesity both directly and as a consequence of body fat loss. Exercise may increase insulin sensitivity, favourably alter the plasma lipoprotein profile and improve fibrinolytic activity. Changes in the activity of insulin-sensitive glucose transporters and of skeletal muscle lipoprotein lipase are some of the possible explanations for the increased insulin sensitivity and improved blood lipid profile associated with regular exercise. This review presents physical training as a relevant nonpharmacological tool in the treatment of abdominal obesity and associated metabolic disorders. The impact of regular exercise on the different aspects of the insulin resistance syndrome is discussed. The roles of gender, age and the state of insulin resistance on the metabolic effect of physical training are also considered.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Buemann
    • 1
  • Angelo Tremblay
    • 1
  1. 1.Physical Activity Sciences Laboratory, PEPSLaval UniversitySte-FoyCanada
  2. 2.Research Department of Human NutritionFrederiksbergDenmark

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