Which is Better, Low vs. High Intensity
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Scottsdale Fitness TrainerFitness myths permeate through the media, publications, and even among health care professionals and trainers themselves. In fact, some of the Mohr Results Team was presenting at a fitness conference recently in London -- and right next door, the speaker was presenting the exact opposite message!

That can always be a bit awkward to say the least! But not when there's no doubt about the correct answer --and it's the one you're saying.

Here is the myth: exercising at a lower intensity burns more fat than exercising at a higher intensity because when you exercise at a higher intensity, you instead burn more sugar.

Alright, here is the most simple way possible to explain this.

1. When you exercise, your body burns a combination of fuels (carbohydrates and fat).

2. The lower the intensity, the more fuel that comes from fat. This is because fat requires oxygen to "burn" and when you start exercising too intensely, it becomes anaerobic (which means, without oxygen--hence your huffing and puffing for air).

3. As your intensity increases, your body starts to shift more towards using carbohydrates for fuel (think walking to running).

4. When you increase your intensity (walking to running to sprinting), you burn more calories per total time spent exercising.

5. You need to burn more calories to lose body fat.

6. Therefore, exercising at a higher intensity is the winner if weight loss is your goal. It does not matter if those calories come from fat or carbohydrates; it matters that you are using calories by moving more!

Here is where the confusion lies. I said in #2 that more fuel comes from fat when you exercise at a lower intensity.

That does not mean you are burning more body fat -- you are not literally breaking down body fat and using it like gas in a race car. Fat as fuel and body fat are different.

In fact, research continues to mound that higher intensity exercise is more effective than lower intensity exercise for fat loss.

Most people like to hear that low intensity exercise is better -- because it is easier! But it is not as effective.

As Emeril says in his show, you have to "kick it up a notch."

In fact, saying lower intensity movement is better for weight loss is like telling someone sitting is more effective than exercising if they want to lose fat. Sounds goofy to recommend sitting for weight loss, doesn't it?

But if the thought is that low intensity exercise burns more fat, let's take it to extremes and burn the most fat possible by sitting or sleeping. What a joke! Of course weight loss requires smart nutrition to truly be effective!! Exercise in and of itself has little effect on fat loss -- when coupled with nutrition, the pieces to the puzzle start to come together.


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