|Pick-up the pace if burning fat is your fitness goal.
Q: I was told you should exercise at a lower intensity to get in the fat-burning zone to burn more fat, is that true?
-K. Stewart, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
A: This is one of those misconceptions that I have heard over and over again. It's true that the body burns a higher percentage of calories from fat during more moderate exercise like walking and easy cycling. However, when you pick up the pace for a higher-intensity cardiovascular workout, you burn a greater number of overall calories (which should be your focus for weight loss) and subsequently just as much total fat.
The truth is all exercise is good for fat burning, a calorie burned is a calorie burned, however you will burn a lot more calories and in the end shed more fat if you vary the intensity of exercise while doing cardio rather than sticking to a moderate pace the whole time.
For example, with interval training you would do a moderate pace for 3 minutes and then go as fast as you can for 3 minutes then returning to your moderate pace for 3 minutes, alternating moderate and fast pace for the duration of your cardio session. You can perform an interval program changing the amount of the fast and slow spurts to whatever number you feel comfortable with.
The advantages to this:
1. You are working harder for half your time and burning more calories.
2. You will be increasing your level of cardio fitness – interval training is one of the best ways of getting fit fast.
3. You get an added calorie-burning boost after your workout. Research shows that you burn 25 per cent as many calories in the hour after your interval training session as you do during it. So, that means if you burn 400 calories during your session, you’ll burn an extra 100 calories in the following hour while you sit and relax. The body has to make more effort to get back to normal after intense exercise.
4. You would burn just as much fat and significantly more calories by working out at a higher intensity. What's more, high-intensity aerobic exercises kick your metabolism into high gear even after you're done working out. Your metabolism also stays revved up five times longer after a vigorous workout than after an easy one.
If this sounds like too much especially if you are beginning to exercise, remember exercise doesn’t have to be done all one way. It is more fun and effective if you mix it up. Interval training can be added every other workout if you wish. Bottom line is that some exercise is ALWAYS better than none. Before long, the cardio sessions will feel easier and you will burn more calories and shed more fat every time you exercise!
949.292.1799 | 30555 Trabuco Canyon Rd. # 101, Trabuco Canyon, CA | www.ShawnsStudioFitness.com