I picked these tips up from Yahoo’s Shine “Healthy Living”. Generally speaking, I think they’re pretty accurate and could be helpful, but there’s reason for exposition, aka, “my two cents”. So, read on for the inside dope.
The idea here is to tweak your workouts a bit so that you can maximize fat burning. The more of these seven “tricks” you do, the more the fat will have to struggle to cling to you. And for a change, it will lose.
1. Get Cool. Len Kravitz, PhD, coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico, says: “You’ll be able to comfortably work out longer and harder if you’re cool. Being too hot stresses your body out, so you don’t perform as well.”
The Health Living recommendation: Cool yourself off with a fan.
My two cents: Unless you’re a competitive athlete that exercises maniacally in an Arizona Summertime gym, be careful about bathing yourself in cool air when exercising. The modicum of fat burn that you might gain could be outweighed by getting too chilled and uncomfortable.
2. Track Your Heart Rate: “Wearing a heart-rate monitor makes it easier to burn more body fat by showing just how hard you’re really working,” Len Kravitz says. “Keeping your heart rate in the right zone prevents you from slacking off, so you make the most of every minute.”
The Healthy Living recommendation: Get a heart-rate monitor and wear it every time you exercise. Check out love Life Fitness’s new Dual Watch and Heart Rate Monitor ($60; at CVS stores nationwide).
My two cents: There’s been a lot of study about what’s most effective at burning fat relative to anaerobic (sprinting) or aerobic (jogging) activity. Traditionally, the idea was that performing an activity that worked your cardiovascular system such that you could talk without becoming breathless would maximize fat burning. But now it’s been shown that short bursts of anaerobic action intermixed with the aerobic rate burns even more fat, because those intense bursts more effectively increases metabolism. A heart rate monitor is great for blending aerobic and anaerobic exercise, as you can monitor how high your heart rate goes during the surges, track the amount of time spent there, and then reduce the effort until you get back to the aerobic threshold. The famous triathlete, Mark Allen, has a good description of how to incorporate a heart rate monitor in your workout.
3. Warm up Before Exercising: “Warming up for five minutes before each workout helps you lose more weight,” says Heather Dillinger, an IDEA Health and Fitness Association elite-level personal-fitness trainer. “It not only makes your muscles more pliable but also increases their range of motion, so you end up using more muscle fibers as you exercise.”
The Healthy Living recommendation: Do a warm-up routine that get some blood flowing to all of your muscles, not just the legs, such as three to five minutes of low-intensity walking while pumping your arms back and forth.
My two cents: Yeah, the walking/pumping is fine, or a few squats and push-ups, unloaded by weight. Some stretching is advisable too, but not deep stretching. Do the deep stretching after the workout, as performance is actually diminished if a workout is done after the muscles are completely stretched out.
4. Do High-Intensity Cardio Early: “Saving your energy for the end of your cardio workout may prevent you from losing as much weight as you can,” says metabolism expert Dixie Stanforth, of the department of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Healthy Living recommendation: Instead of starting out slow and then finishing up strong, do your high-intensity cardio early in your workout. After doing your warm-up, try exercising at a high intensity for 15 minutes before slowing down to a more moderate pace for the last 15 minutes.
My two cents: This is fine, with one proviso – If your cardio is done in combination with resistance training during the same work out, do the resistance training before the cardio. Studies show that more fat is burned this way.
5. Two Workouts vs One: “Two smaller workouts can be more effective than one,” Dixie Stanforth says. Every time you do high-intensity exercise, your metabolism stays elevated for an hour or more afterward. Splitting up your workout boosts your metabolism twice, giving you additional calorie-burning time from the exact same routine.
The Healthy Living recommendation: Divide your workout into two smaller, high-intensity sessions—preferably, doing one in the morning and one at night.
My two cents: Cool if you have the time and discipline to do it.
6. Use Positive Thinking: If you’re convinced that you’re melting fat while exercising, you’ll make a mind-body connection that will actually help you lose fat faster, Heather Dillinger explains. In a 2007 Harvard study, participants who believed they were getting a good workout showed greater reductions in body fat than subjects who performed the same activities but didn’t feel like they were really exercising.
The Healthy Living recommendation: Keep connected with your thoughts — remind yourself every few minutes that you’re giving it your all. This little mental move may motivate you to push yourself harder, leading to even greater fat loss.
My two cents: Becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions is the window to understanding your attitudes. And your attitudes certainly affect everything you do, particularly something that requires will power and discipline, such as regular exercise. Try to transform the negative thoughts/emotions around exercise into positive ones.
7. Rest Less Between Sets: “The less time you rest between sets when strength training, the more calories you’re likely to burn,” Heather Dillinger notes. “Keeping rest periods short keeps your heart rate at a higher rate, which naturally increases the number of calories you’re using.”
The Healthy Living recommendation: The best rule of thumb is to take only a 30-second break between sets.
My two cents: Hmmm… there’s a few things to consider here. Thirty seconds of rest is fine if you cycle workouts of this kind with other resistance training where a longer rest between sets is taken. Yes, 30 seconds is more aerobic, but two points I’d like to make about this: 1. Strength training requires the lifting of heavy weights (relative to your capacity) and doing multiple sets of such necessitates longer than 30 seconds of rest; 2. Should the type of exercise and technique employed be aimed at maximizing both muscle and strength (they’re not completely correlated), that new muscle will increase metabolism and burn more fat than an exercise technique that builds less muscle even with just a 30 second rest.
So, there you have it – 7 ways to faster fat blasting. Try a few, then add some more. Experiment, and maintain a light heart. To read the original article, go to Yahoo/Shine/HealthyLiving.
Published on June 10, 2011