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Calories Aren't Everything
A common aerobic fat loss precription is to burn a minimum of 300 calories per session. The latest equipment from treadmills to ellipticals now have calorie counters on them. Millions of men and women watch the numbers slowly go up until they reach that magic number. Are they aware they could gain all 300 of those calories back by eating just one cookie?
People are still brainwashed into thinking they must do long slow cardio for a specified length of time, burning a certain number of calories to lose fat. The fact is this myth was debunked a long time ago. Long slow cardio is one the most inefficient ways to promote fat loss.
The new rules, which have actually been around for quite some time, promote more intense exercise in less time. While you may burn a few less calories during the actual workout, your post exercise metabolic rate will soar for hours and that's the key to weight loss. There is little increase in metabolic rate with traditional aerobic exercise.
One popular way to combine both aerobic and more intense anaerobic work is called interval training. Interval training simply means hard/recover. For example, you might go one minute hard and two minutes recovery for about 15-20 minutes. The intense anaerobic work is what provides the extra stimulus to positively effect your metabolic rate.
Probably the best fat burning exercise is weight training. Resistance training tears down muscle fibers during the workout. For the nest 24-48 hours your metabolic rate will substantially increase to complete the repair process. Also, weight training puts on lean muscle mass which is far more metabolically active than fat.
While the number of calories burned isn't the most important item when designing your exercise program, there is one area where calories do need to be considered: your daily nutritional program. You need some structure and discipline in your eating plan or even the best exercise program will fail.
Next time you go to the gym, think intensity over calories. Remember it takes only a cookie to replace the calories burned in a long slow cardio session. Add intensity and your body will continue to burn calories for hours.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness information and ideas go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com