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Cardiovascular Exercise - Basics Of Aerobics For Fat Loss

Cardiovascular Exercise Basics - The Fat Burning Zone

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Cardiovascular Exercise On The Recumbent Bike

Cardiovascular Exercise On The Recumbent Bike

Photo Credit: Lina Rivera
Aerobic training such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or running is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone and as long as it is used only in addition to a good weight training program. It should never be used as a substitute for weight training since it does not permanently increases your metabolism and since it does not has the ability to re-shape your body.

Fat Burning Zone

In order for aerobic exercise to be effective, it needs to be performed within the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is the zone at which you are doing enough work to burn fat. Your pulse (how fast your heart is beating per minute) determines this zone.

The fat burning zone formula is the following:

Fat burning zone=220-(Your Age) x (.75)

The result of your formula will give you an approximate value of how fast your heart should be beating per minute. For example, a 20-year-old would need to reach a pulse in the neighborhood of 150 beats per minute in order to be in the fat burning zone. It is important to remember that this is not an absolute figure, this is an approximation. So as long as you are plus or minus 10 beats from the number that the formula provides you with, then you can rest assured that you will be burning fat.

Best Times To Perform Aerobic Activity

Another important point that needs to be raised is that in order for aerobic exercise to be an effective fat burner it needs to be performed at the appropriate times. There are only two times that aerobic exercise is effective in burning fat.

  1. In The Morning On An Empty Stomach: The best time to perform cardiovascular exercise is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach after drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water in order to prevent dehydration. When performed at this time you burn 300% more body fat that at any other time in the day because your body does not has any glycogen (stored carbohydrates-sugar) in the system to burn. Therefore, it has to go directly into the fat stores in order to get the energy necessary to complete the activity.

  2. Right After Weight Training: The other time when aerobic exercise is effective is immediately after the weight training session. The reason for this is that when exercise is not performed first thing in the morning it takes your body approximately anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes to start burning fat. This is because that it how long it takes the body to deplete its glycogen stores and switch to a fat burning environment. Therefore, it would not be efficient to perform aerobic exercise by itself at any other time during the day because you would need to perform it for 20-30 minutes just to get to the fat burning stage and for an additional 20 minutes just so that you burn fat. This would give a grand total of 50 minutes a day and in my opinion, I think that unless you are a competitive bodybuilder with a perfect diet and a superb supplementation program designed to protect muscle mass, aerobic exercise should not be performed for more than 6 sessions a week of 20-45 minutes a day for males and 30-45 minutes for females since this would put you at a risk of losing muscle mass. Only competitive bodybuilders sometimes need to go as high as 45 minutes, twice a day, for seven days a week. Keep in mind however that this is performed for a short period of time and only in conjunction with a pre-contest diet which consists of a high frequency of meals and with supplementation like glutamine, which helps to protect muscle tissue. Remember that more is not always better and this is especially true when it comes to aerobic exercise.

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