Get in the zone!

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If you want to hit your fat-burning zone, you have to exercise for a longer period of time. Your body uses mostly glycogen stores during the early stages of exercise, and uses more fat stores the longer you work out.

If you’re really trying to burn fat and lose weight, aim for an hour of low- or moderate-intensity exercise. Why not high-intensity? Because the harder you work out, the less time you’ll be able to keep doing it. Intensity and endurance are inversely related. When one goes up, the other needs to go down – until you get in shape. So, for fat burning, keep the endurance up and the intensity down.

Experts recommend working out at 70% of your heart rate max, which is considered to be the optimal intensity level for improving aerobic endurance. To calculate your fat-burning zone, subtract your age from 220 to find your maximal heart rate. Then, multiply this by 70% to find your ideal heart rate intensity.

For example, a 35-year-old person would have a heart rate max of 185 beats per minute (bpm) and their ideal intensity for reaching their fat-burning zone would be about 130 bpm.

You can monitor your heart rate by using a heart rate monitor or checking your heart rate manually during exercise. Staying within this zone will allow you to exercise longer and burn more overall calories in the long run.

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