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Fat Burning Zone


Updated June 13, 2011

Definition: The fat burning zone is at the low end of your target heart rate zone, around 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This is low intensity exercise, around a Level 4-5 on this perceived exertion chart, or the equivalent to taking a walk, a slow bike ride, etc.

The name suggests that working at a low intensity will help you burn more fat and it is true that you use more fat as fuel when working at this level. However, you burn more overall calories when you work at higher intensities and your overall calorie expenditure is what's important when it comes to weight loss.

While low intensity exercise can be an important part of any fitness routine, staying in the 'fat burning zone' all the time isn't the best choice if your goal is weight loss. Working at a variety of intensities each week will help you get the most out of each cardio workout.

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