admin Posted on 10:26 pm

Reading makes you fat!

No, reading isn’t really fattening, but at least I got your attention. If you’re serious about losing fat, put the magazine down while you work out.

To optimize fat burning during a cardiovascular workout, you need to exercise at a high intensity. If you’re able to catch up on Brad and Jen’s relationship while working out, you’re not trying hard enough!

To maximize calorie and fat utilization and be able to maintain it for a decent amount of time, you should be exercising at about 75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). To determine your MHR, subtract your age from 220. Take 75% of this and this should be your approximate heart rate, in beats per minute, while doing your cardio. You most likely won’t be able to follow it in a magazine or book if you maintain this level of intensity.

If you don’t have the resources to measure your heart rate, there are some simpler methods to approximate your intensity level during exercise:

RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion): On a scale of 1 to 10 (called the Modified Borg Scale), where 3 is “moderately difficult” and 7 is “very difficult” (10 would be “make it stop now or I’m out of luck”) to do damage”), 75% would equate to a 5-6, or “hard”.

Conversation test: If you are walking or running outside with a friend, an estimate of the appropriate intensity level would mean that you can carry on a conversation with your partner, but you should…have to stop…every five or six words. .. to catch my breath. If you can recite the entire Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, you need to go faster or find a hill to climb.

Ideally, spend a minimum of 30 minutes, a minimum of 3 times a week, doing cardiovascular/aerobic exercise at this intensity. However, please note that these guidelines do not account for 12 hour shifts and 3 children needing to go to 5 different places after school. Don’t feel that if you can’t do the minimum recommended time, you shouldn’t do it at all. Some is better than nothing, so 2 times a week, or 15-20 minutes will still benefit you.

Important rules:

The suggested amount of time is at your target heart rate. You should spend 3-5 minutes warming up (at a lower intensity level to warm up your body) and at least 5 minutes cooling down; decreasing the intensity level until your heart rate drops to approximately 100 beats per minute.

If you are just starting an exercise program, or have only been doing it for a short time, you MUST start slowly. For the first few weeks to a month, don’t even worry about trying to hit a specific heart rate. Go slowly at a pace that you feel comfortable with. Gradually increase the intensity by increasing speed or resistance (walking uphill). Don’t feel like if you’re not working in the 75% range, you’re not doing any good. Remember that this target zone is for maximum calorie burn, and even at a lower intensity, you will still burn calories. Work at height! You will feel better exercising for 30 minutes on the 4 of the RPE scale than for 5 minutes on the 7.


Some cardio equipment has graphs or even flashing lights that show you if you’re in the “fat burn zone” or “cardio zone” based on your heart rate. These areas are tricky. The thinking behind them is this:

Every calorie used to maintain a function comes from the “burning” of carbohydrates and fat. Your body ALWAYS uses a combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein for energy; so let that quickly dispel the old “you need to work out at least 20 minutes to burn fat” myth. (That was going to be my next article). As the intensity of an activity increases, the percentage of fat and carbohydrate use per calorie changes in favor of burning more carbohydrates. Therefore, if you exercise at a lower intensity, you will burn a higher percentage of fat than if you exercise at a higher intensity. WAIT!!! Although you burn a higher percentage of fat, if you exercise at a higher intensity, you will burn a higher amount of total calories which will lead to a higher TOTAL amount of fat burned.

Not only are you burning more total fat than you would at a lower intensity, but the only real way to lose excess fat is to expend more calories than you consume. A pound of fat consists of around 3,500 calories. So, if you were to expend 500 calories per day more than the number of calories you consume, you would lose one pound per week.

So those graphics and zones on the equipment tell you to stay at a lower intensity level than you should be at.

Whatever your goals, it’s important to get up and moving. The American College of Sports Medicine and the Surgeon General suggest that people should get 30 minutes of some form of physical activity every day of the week.

But if you’re serious about losing fat with exercise in particular, put down the magazine and pick up the pace!

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