Cardio Helps You Burn Fat

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cardio workoutIf you want to get rid of flab, turn to cardio, say exercise physiologists. Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise, sometimes known as aerobic exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that pumps up your heart rate and involves the large muscles of your body.

There are many different types of cardiovascular exercise. Jogging, running, even walking fast all qualify as cardiovascular exercise. So do bicycling, swimming and jumping rope. If you prefer to exercise in a gym, there are many types of exercise machines that can give you a great cardiovascular workout.

The Fat Burning Zone

Experts talk about a fat burning zone. This phrase refers to the amount of exercise you will need to do to lose weight. The key to this is raising your heart rate a certain amount over your resting heart rate. There is a simple formula that can help you determine whether your exercise plan puts you in the fat burning zone:

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

If your heart rate is within ten beats of the fat burning zone number, you are effectively burning fat.

So if you are 35 years old, your heart rate will have to go above 146 beats per minute.

If you are 55years old, your heart rate will have to go above 124 beats per minute.

It’s easy to find your heart rate. Your radial pulse is located under your thumb on the proximal side of your wrist. All you need to do is use your watch to time your pulse over the course of a minute. That’s your heart rate.

Exercise First Thing in the Morning

Experts also say that if you really want to burn fat, exercise first thing in the morning. When you do cardio first thing in the morning, you burn up to 300 percent more fat than at any other time of the day.

The reason why is because you haven’t yet eat, so your body hasn’t had time to store glycogen. Glycogen is a specialized form of carbohydrate, customized for storing energy. Glycogen is easily broken down into glucose, your body’s main source of energy. Glycogen levels peak every time you eat.

If you exercise after fasting for a few hours — as you do when you sleep — then your glycogen stores are low. If your body needs extra energy, then it turns to your fat stores.

Can You Lose Weight By Lifting Weights?

Lifting weights is not an aerobic exercise. If you can combine lifting weights with aerobic exercise though, it can help you lose weight. Lift weights for half an hour and then start your cardio regimen. While you are lifting weights, your body will use its glycogen stores for energy. By the time you are ready to switch to cardio, your body will have made the switch to burning fat.

While it is possible to burn fat through cardiovascular exercise alone, it’s easier if you pay attention to diet too. Most medical experts recommend increasing cardiovascular exercise and decreasing calories as the best means of losing weight.

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