Weight loss – What’s the right training for me?

Will 15 minutes of biking per day get me to lose weight? Is more, better then less? Find out the correct way to exercise! As you already found out from the previous article, physical activity is divided into two major groups: aerobic exercise and resistance training. Both of them are very important in order to maintain a healthy body but only the first one plays a major role in the weight management. There isn’t any shortcut, the most efficient way to loose weight is through aerobic training (so you won’t have any doubts, once again, aerobic training is the activity that elevates the heart rate, creating stronger and more efficient heart and lungs). So far everything is very clear, so if you run for 15 minutes how much from your fat resources will you burn? Well here it comes the bad news: almost none. Does this come as a surprise for you? Let me give the backstage details of “burning fat” so you will understand better what happens. During the first 15 minutes of aerobic activity, glycogen or sugar within the muscles is used for energy. Fat metabolism for energy doesn’t occur until about 15 to 20 minutes after beginning aerobic activity. This is why it’s important that aerobic duration be at least 30 minutes.

Aerobic sessions greater than 1 hour continue to burn fat but at not the same rate as during the first hour. Additionally, sessions greater than 1 hour increase the risk of injury due to fatigue. Increasing aerobic frequency (greater than 5 times per week) does not give the body a chance to fully recover and can even reduce the body’s capability to defend itself against illness. It is important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Rest, adequate sleep, proper diet all become more critical when demands are placed on our bodies above the normal everyday physical stress.

So you have learned that time is crucial if you want to achieve best results. Now if you sit on your bike for one hour and cruise at low pase will this do the trick? Not necessarily why, because another very important factor comes into play, the optimal heart rate that you should maintain while training.

Fitness Level gains are determined by Frequency, Intensity and Duration of the Aerobic exercise. Each session (duration) should last from 20 to 60 minutes and be performed 3 to 5 days per week (frequency) at an intensity level measured by heart rate (60% – 90%) according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). In case you’ve misses the previous article here is a very simple to find out your training heart rate zone (THRZ). First need to know you Maximum Heart Rate (MHR):

MHR = 220 – agelower end of THRZ = 50% of MHRupper end of THRZ = 85% of MHR

For example a 27 year old person has the MHR 193 and the THRZ is between 97 and 164 beats per minute (BMP).

Now all you need to do is to get a fitness monitor watch (the ones able to read your heart rate) and slowly build up starting from 10 or 15 minute until you reach 30 or 45 minutes, or even 1 hour of exercise in the zone. Good luck!