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We’ve all wanted to get rid of the extra fat on our bodies at some point, and we’ve certainly heard a lot about the ‘fat burning zone’ over the years. But what is the most effective strategy to lose weight? This is all about the various heart rates we obtain while exercising and how they affect the number of calories we burn. Let’s start with a basic understanding of the various heart rate zones.
When it comes to exercise, there are four different heart rate zones that are expressed as a percentage of your maximal heart rate (MHR). We begin with low intensity, which is defined as 60-70 percent of your MHR and is similar to what you might experience while warming up or doing light cardio. Then there’s moderate intensity, which is 70-80% of your MHR. This is the zone where you’re working hard but still able to converse.
High-intensity exercise is defined as 80-90 percent of your MHR; this is a strenuous cardio workout that makes it difficult to speak, and maximum effort is defined as 90-100 percent of your MHR. Advanced athletes and professional athletes are the only ones that have access to this zone.
Many individuals are startled to learn that the fat-burning zone is sometimes referred to as the low-intensity zone. This is because your body uses fat for fuel while you work at a low level. However, this has led to the misunderstanding that you should keep activities low-intensity to burn fat. Although working at a low level burns a higher percentage of fat calories, working at a higher intensity burns more overall calories. Let’s take a look at the science underlying fat burning.
Fat, carbohydrates, and protein provide the body with the energy it requires. Protein, on the other hand, is mostly used to aid muscle recovery after exercise, whereas fat and carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel sources. While we exercise, our bodies will draw on various fuel supplies, but which one they use depends on what we’re doing. Because the fat burning zone is at a lower degree of intensity, your body will use more fat for energy during this sort of activity. Carbohydrates are used by the body to provide energy during high-intensity workouts.
However, and this is the crucial part, if you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you ingest. To achieve this, you must put in a lot of effort during your workouts. Remember that even if you’re just sitting, you’re burning calories, but you wouldn’t want to sit more to lose weight! So, now that we know how we burn fat and carbs, what kind of cardio should we be doing each week?
You can undertake a variety of cardio activities that fundamentally operate by raising your heart rate to one of the zones we discussed before. There are machines, like as treadmills and elliptical trainers, that can help you get into the appropriate zone, as well as going for a run or doing jumping jacks or burpees.
The current recommendation appears to be that putting together an exercise routine with a variety of intensities might be really effective. To begin with, a range of exercises will excite all of your energy systems, protect you from damage, and provide you with diversity, all of which are important in keeping you motivated and working out.
So it’s a good idea to work out each week by alternating between the three various intensity zones. If we use this combination approach, if you work out once a week and want to lose weight while also improving your fitness, you should aim for 1-2 high-intensity exercises per week. Your heart rate should be between 80 and 90 percent MHR at this point, which means you’ll be too out of breath to talk for long and will definitely feel challenged. This isn’t a good idea for novices or if you have any underlying health issues. If you fall into the latter category, you should seek medical advice first.
A 20-minute fast-paced workout is an example of a high-intensity workout. Interval training, in which you work at a high intensity but generate intervals, is a fashionable thing to do these days. For example, you might run hard for 30-60 seconds, then stroll for 1-2 minutes before repeating the process for 20-30 minutes. His workout is commonly referred to as the 30-60-90 workout.
A mixed cardio programme could be as follows, depending on your fitness and time limits throughout a 6-day period.
Day 1 – 20-30 minutes of high intensity exercising on a bike or treadmill
Day 2: 45-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on the same equipment or rapid walking
Day 3 – Weight exercise at a low to moderate intensity could be an option.
Day 4 – 30-60 minutes on the treadmill at a moderate level Day 5 – 30-40 minutes on a cardio machine at a moderate intensity
Day 6 – Low to moderate level walking or cycling for 30-60 minutes.
As a result of exerting your body at varying MHR levels over a 6-day period, your body will burn both fat and carbs.
A newbie would not be able to follow the method given above. So, if you’re just getting started, start with beginner cardio and work your way up.
Always remember to properly warm up before exercising and cool down and stretch afterward. Stay hydrated by sipping water during your workout.