Besides launching millions of sit-ups, leg lifts and torso twists, the desire for a toned and taut physique has sold a long line of exercise devices of dubious worth. Countless inventions, such as vibrating belts and ''gut-busting'' contraptions, have claimed to miraculously tighten and tone our trouble spots.
But the miracles we were expecting never materialized, and our ''spots'' remained ''unreduced.'' What's wrong with spot reduction?
Where did we go wrong? In our efforts to tone our bodies we neglected the most important factor: fat. Exercises such as crunches or leg lifts improve the tone and endurance of the muscles, but they don't burn fat. When we do exercises that elevate the heart rate, such as bicycling, walking or aerobic dance, the body will draw upon its fat stores for energy.
Alternative solutions Eating a low-fat diet and following an exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training is the key to changing the shape of your body.
In addition to burning calories through aerobic activity, strength training will increase the amount of muscle, which burns even more calories. But many people shun the idea of intensive exercise, scared off by the idea of five-mile runs, barbells or aerobic classes.
Thankfully, any aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate can help you burn fat and take off unwanted pounds. Many experts recommend doing at least three sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Ideally, for long-term weight control, you should engage in at least four sessions per week, for 45 minutes each time.
ACE Fit Facts are reprinted from ACE FitnessMatters magazine, Permission Granted.
Download the full article here, at the American Council on Exercise
Fitness Articles by Cary Raffle | MS Exercise Science and Health Promotion | Certified Orthopedic Exercise Specialist | Certified Personal Trainer
Fitness Articles for You
Until now, most training programs have been based mainly on the experiences and goals of body builders, coaches and athletes. There's ap...
We're on track for ta hot summer, and with everybody sweating more, many of you have asked about hydration and fluid replacement strat...
Whether your goal is to improve performance, slim down, cut-up, bulk-up, reduce risk of injury or work around a problem area, a carefully c...
SUPERSET CIRCUIT TRAINING: THE NEW YORK STYLE WORKOUT by Cary Raffle Pro Trainer, New York Sports Clubs, NASM Certified Personal Trainer Cop...
If you think that paying the price for super-premium products is a way to avoid ingredients WE don't want - like corn syrup - think agai...
If you feel like you've been stretching a tight muscle forever and not making progress, you're not alone. Most people do static str...
Whether you're new to the gym, returning after a break, or resolved to bust through a plateau and take your fitness to a new le...