So you’ve probably heard all of the TV infomercials and fad products try to convince you that in order to get right back into shape, all you need is twenty minutes of exercise per day (and possibly their piece of equipment that probably fits nicely under your bed). We’re sorry to say that you’re being lied to!
When it comes to burning fat, some people think that if they work at full tilt for ten or twenty minutes, that they are burning fat. What you are doing is burning calories, not burning fat!
There are two ways that you can work out, and both of them involve elevating your heart rate:
The Cardio Zone
The first type of exercise is getting into the “cardio zone” which requires that you lift your resting heart rate high (depending on your age and weight of course) for a shorter burst of time. Yes, this method will burn calories, but what you really want is a workout that will burn away those unwanted pounds. Think losing vs. maintaining.
So, how do you go about exercising to actually lose weight? Well, what you are looking for is your fat burning zone, which means that you’re looking for a target heart rate that is maintained over a period of thirty minutes. Yes, you read that right we said thirty minutes, not twenty!
The Fat Burning Zone
In the first twenty minutes of your exercise, your body is going to use up whatever energy storage that is has available, which isn’t your fat! Once you start hitting the thirty-minute mark, then your body will start using up that fat and converting it for use. When you maintain your target heart rate over the duration of your workout, you will see the best results and burn the most fat.
There is a particular science behind how the body uses and stores energy, and it is based around the involvement of both carbohydrates and sugars and how exactly they tie into burning excess fat. When you eat a carbohydrate (hopefully a complex carb, not a starchy carb) your body starts to break it down into sugars that are called glucose and glycogen. Both of these sugars are what your body ends up using for short bursts of activity, like if you were doing a sprint on a track of a 50m freestyle swim in a pool.
What you are aiming for is to burn the fat that your body is storing, and this is achieved through working out for a longer period of time (10 minutes isn’t much more) at a consistent heart rate.
Want to learn more about the science behind Custom Fitness Concept’s advanced fat burning methods? Custom Fitness Concepts has class locations all across metro Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland so there’s a good chance you can find a location right near you – wherever that may be.