Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why Running/Walking Won't Get You The Body You Want

You run and run but don't shed a pound. All that effort and so little reward is very frustrating! Why no results? It's simple: Cardio is not the fastest way to lose weight. There is a solution which will get you the results you're looking for and allow you to spend less time in the gym. But first,

For years many people believed that cardio was the best way to lose weight because it got them into the so-called "Fat Burning Zone". All activity is cardiovascular in nature meaning that all exercise will put a demand on the cardiovascular system and force it to work harder than it does at rest.

What is interesting is that the type of exercise does not matter as much as the intensity of the exercise in order to see improvements in cardiovascular function - and that toned defined body you're looking for. According to a study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports Journal, 4 minutes of very

high intensity exercise done for intervals of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds recovery five days per week had the same cardiovascular improvements as moderate-intensity aerobic training (e.g. running)

 for 60 minutes five days per week. That is a big difference in workload. Four minutes five days a
week versus 60 minutes five days a week. It is more a matter of what is the goal: Fat loss and fitness or to run in a marathon?

The fat burning zone is a myth. What many have believed for years was that you had to exercise continually for at least 20 minutes in order to get into your "fat burning zone" where you burn fat as

your primary fuel source. However, this would assume that your body automatically switched from one fuel source to another by the flip of a switch. That is not what happens. Your body is always burning a mix of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein that is stored in your body. There may be

 some truth that the longer you run more fat will be burned DURING the workout but that is not
ultimately what matters. What matters is getting an afterburn effect which is where the metabolism is running at a higher rate in the hours following a workout and burning more calories over a longer

time. To get this effect requires a workout that puts a high demand on the metabolism and the best way to do that is through resistance training. This is because muscle tissue is the driver of the metabolism. The more muscle tissue and muscle tissue stimulation, the higher the metabolism will run. This simply doesn't happen with running or other cardio activities.

In fact, a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Obesity has shown that regular runners, who logged the same weekly mileage year after year, actually gained body fat each year. The reason for this is your body gets very efficient with that repetitive activity so each time you go for a run,

your body will burn less calories than the time before unless you continually run farther, faster or longer. With a properly designed resistance-training program your body is never able to adapt and get

 efficient at it. Each workout keeps those calories burning and as you gain strength and muscle you actually burn more calories and shed the unwanted fat uncovering a sleek, toned body underneath.