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Exercise & Fat Metabolism

What type of exercise is best for burning fat?

There are two kinds of activities which help your body burn its fat stores. The first is called "aerobic" exercise. During exercise, muscles require fuels, such as carbohydrates and fats, to produce energy and the fuel burning process is most efficient when enough oxygen is available to the working muscles to metabolize both fats and carbohydrates simultaneously.

Aerobic activities use the large muscles of the body, are rhythmic and continuous and can be performed for relatively long periods of time without fatigue. Some examples of aerobic exercises include walking, bicycling, swimming, and “boot camp” styled group classes.

An added benefit to aerobic activity is that it can continue to raise your metabolic rate — the number of calories you burn at rest — for a considerable amount of time after each workout.

Plus, aerobic exercise strengthens the entire cardiovascular system by improving oxygen uptake (respiratory system) and oxygen transport (circulatory system) while conditioning the heart.

The second type of activity to improve your ability to burn fat is weight-lifting or resistance training. These exercises help build muscle which, in turn, helps raise your resting metabolic rate. Basically, the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn both at rest and during exercise.

Just remember that, contrary to popular belief, we cannot burn fat in specific places. I always tell my clients that if your hips are the first place that fat is stored, it is the last place to lose it.  Typically, fat is lost first from the face and last from the hips and thighs and while spot toning will strengthen specific muscles, it cannot burn fat exclusively from the hips, thighs or abdomen. What works best is to follow a low-fat eating plan combined with aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises.

Finally, there are three elements that will have a profound effect on reaching your physical goals - frequency, intensity and duration. For intensity; exercise to the point of perspiration. Add to that; frequency (exercising three to five times per week) and duration (exercising 30-60 minutes at a time) and you're on your way to a trim, healthier body and happier life!

As always – Live Your Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.


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