I want to share an article available at the link below that describes the significant effect on fat loss produced by exercise intensity in the hope that it further explains why we should move our bodies with intention, not just duration. The evidence on burning fat is clearly stated by the authors and references provided in this posting. Here are a few additional thoughts of mine when applying these movement principles:
1. If it hurts, don’t do it! If it’s difficult, do two more!
My clients and students often hear me speak these words as encouragement to work through challenges in their training. The tendency is to move longer at more comfortable intensity levels, i.e. walk, cycle swim, etc, for 60 minutes while never pushing beyond present capabilities. The old adage, “No Pain, No Gain” is inappropriate in my view and should instead be “No Work, No Gain”. Push through your workout goals at every session with every minute, repetition and skill set used.
Seems clear enough, but how often do you effectively prepare for your training session? Each workout should consist of a plan composed of specific goals (e.g. Run for 2 miles in my Target Heart Range; spend 5 to 10 minutes using a foam roller and stretching exercises to release muscle tension and increase over all mobility; perform weight-bearing exercises that improve posture and stability). Record your results in a manner that suits you and never go though a training session without asking yourself what you will accomplish with your efforts.
You must eat prior to and after a training session to provide fuel and better recovery. These meals/snacks should be consistent with good lifestyle habits and in alignment with how you feel when you eat and exercise. In other words, do not have a heavy breakfast 30 minutes before training, nor deny yourself something nutritious immediately after your work because you are not hungry. Not feeding your body adequately will lead to poor results and frustration. Learn what works for you and nourish the body and mind accordingly.
4. Rest and Enjoy!
Recovery time in the form of quality sleep, effective stress management and regulating intensive exercise is vital to achieving optimal results. Do not train at high intensities daily, or repeat the same exercises at every training session. Our bodies are quick to adapt and should be challenged and rewarded equally. Enjoy the experience, knowing that a small measure of discomfort will lead to many benefits. Vary your workouts by adding classes that not only provide movement but also opportunity to acquire new skills, meet new friends and inspire others to do the same. Learn to expect and deserve that feeling of accomplishment and energy you get from completing each workout, regardless of how you may have felt getting to it.
Lastly, the only “secret” to attaining and maintaining good health is to do something every day to achieve it. Do not let a day go by without taking action that makes your life the unique experience it should be, for us and those around us. “Live life daily in a state of excellence and appreciation. Teach others to do the same.”
Please contact me with any comments and questions you may have regarding this message. Be well, stay strong.
Here is the link to the article on exercise and its metabolic effect: