Weight Loss - Burn More Calories In Less Time For Faster Fat Loss - Here's How
Are you burning the most Calories out of the limited time you have working out? If you are exercising to lose weight, you should know that not all aerobic exercises are created equal. Here's how to burn more fat in less time by understanding this one principle.
By Herve Bensabat, CFT, CSCS, NASM-CPT
How would you like to burn one and a half times more Calories in less than half the time? If you are interested in body fat loss, then you need to know that not only is the type of exercise you choose important, but so is the effort you place on your activity.
In fact, understanding and applying this one principle will always result in greater energy expenditure and consequently, faster body fat loss.
Do you recall from your grade school days the classic riddle, "Which weighs more, a pound of steel or a pound of feathers?"
If you drop a pound of steel from a nearby cliff, I assure you it will plummet to the ground with more force and more speed than a pound of feathers. But that wasn't the question.
The question was which weighs more, a pound of this or a pound of that? The answer being of course, that a pound is a pound-- so a pound of anything weighs the same.
Here's another question. Which burns more Calories?
--Running 1 mile
--Jogging 1 mile
--Walking 1 mile
I could list for you a half dozen cardiovascular fitness benefits to demonstrate just how 30 minutes a day can improve your health and stave off many chronic diseases.
But let's face it. Most people don't perform aerobic exercise to better their health or reduce their risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Most people want to lose weight.
Indeed, one of the best forms of exercise to burn Calories is cardiovascular exercise. And burning excess Calories is what will help you reduce your body fat. However, not all aerobic exercise is created equal.
Recently, a popular fitness magazine posed a very interesting and important question: Which burns more Calories? Running 1 mile, jogging 1 mile, or walking 1 mile?
The proposed answer was that it was a trick question because all three activities cover the same distance so they burn identical amounts of Calories.
This is false. It illustrates how much misinformation is out there today.
I can sympathize with the author because the notion is almost reasonable. It follows the logic of the classic riddle, "Which weighs more, a pound of steel or a pound of feathers?"
However, when it comes to cardiovascular exercise, it's not as simple as 'a mile is a mile'.
This is important to understand because many people believe that if they just walk the same distance, they'll burn the same amount of Calories as when jogging or running. Then they become disappointed when the scale fails to meet their expectations.
For starters, the amount of energy you burn is partly dependent on body weight. The more you weigh, the more Calories you burn per minute. For example, a 110 lb person walking at 2 MPH will burn about 2.6 Calories per minute, whereas a 190 lb person walking at the same speed will burn about 4.5 Calories per minute.
But to keep things constant, let's compare walking, jogging, and running for people of the same weight. Consider the following principle...
Energy expenditure in humans is measured using an approach called 'calorimetry'. Essentially, all physiological reactions in the body that release energy is dependent on oxygen utilization. By measuring oxygen consumption (VO2), you can get a fairly accurate estimate of energy expenditure.
When you go from rest to exercise, your heart beats faster to deliver more oxygen to meet the energy demands of your activity. The more fit you are, the more efficient your body becomes at transporting and utilizing oxygen.
Researchers have measured the 'caloric stress' of many physical activities. Although different sources vary slightly, on average, a 150 lb person will burn:
--4.2 Calories per minute walking at 3 MPH
--10 Calories per minute speed walking at 5 MPH
--15 Calories per minute jogging at 6 MPH
--16.1 Calories per minute running at 8 MPH
Hence, if a 150 lb person walks at 3 MPH, it will take 20 minutes to complete a 1 mile distance. At 4.2 Calories per minute, this person will burn a total of 84 Calories:
--4.2 kcal/min x 20 min = 84 kcal
On the other hand, running the mile at 8 MPH will take about 7 and a half minutes to complete. At roughly 16.1 Calories per minute, this person will burn a total of 120.8 Calories:
--16.1 kcal/min x 7.5 min = 120.8 kcal
Not only will it take 7 and a half minutes instead of 20 to complete the same 1 mile distance, but in this example, running will burn almost one and a half times more Calories than walking.
The take home lesson here is that if you're interested in cardiovascular exercise to burn excess Calories for body fat reduction, then remember that any activity requiring greater force production performed at higher intensities will always result in greater energy expenditure.
About the author: Herve Bensabat, CSCS, is a Strength And Conditioning Specialist and personal trainer. He is also certified in post-rehabilitation fitness therapy, biomechanics, youth fitness, and performance nutrition.
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Last edited by Scribbles on Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.