What's the best fat burning exercise? This is a question I get a lot, mostly because the idea of incinerating all that extra body fat is just too good to resist and there's just got to be some exercise that will get the job done, right?
Fat, in general, is highly flammable, but the fat that resides in our bodies (specifically, the love handles, the spare tire, the saddlebags and the batwings) seems stubbornly flame retardant no matter how hard we try.
So, when someone asks that question, I'd love nothing more than to offer a clear, concise answer, like, "Running at 8.69 miles per hour!" or "Doing 53 squats, followed by 19 pull ups and eating 16 egg whites!" or "Spending hours at this website!"
The truth is, fat burning comes from:
- Cardio - There isn't any 'perfect' fat burning cardio exercise. The key isn't so much what you do, but how hard you work at it. Intensity (and varying it with different workouts) is what you want to focus on to burn fat and you can find out how it works in Burn More Fat With Cardio.
- Strength Training - Muscle is to fat as a hummingbird is to my cat Ziggy. Muscle, like a hummingbird, is busy. It's pumping out calories to keep your metabolism going and it never stops. Fat, like my cat Ziggy, sleeps all day and, when it does get up, it eats and then, exhausted, goes back to bed. Strength training will make you more like a hummingbird and less like Ziggy.
- Consistency - Surprisingly, this is the most important part of the fat burning equation. The body, when exposed to regular exercise, becomes a fat burning machine, able to reach into each cell, oxidize the fat inside and hand it to you (or to your muscles) on a silver platter. Without exercise, your body does the opposite. Instead of getting more efficient at burning fat, it actually gets better at hoarding fat, making weight loss even harder.
So, there you have it: Consistent cardio and strength training. Not the wow factor I was hoping for, but the truth isn't always sexy.
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