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The One Little Fat Burning Detail You're Forgetting

By Genevieve Cunningham

Oh the frustration of losing weight. We walk, we run, and we skip dessert, and yet, the weight doesn't drop. This horrible cycle continues for what seems like forever, and as our frustration grows, our resolve weakens. But as it turns out, we may be causing our own misery. While we think we're doing everything right, we're actually missing one important part of the weight loss process. If you're ready to finally burn some fat and get in better shape, take a look at this key aspect to improve your weight loss success.

Why Exercise Isn't Enough

Exercise is good. It's great, even. But if you're doing low intensity exercise without ever picking up the pace, then you're not challenging your body enough. You're never demanding that your body burn a new source of energy and so your body stays the same. How can you change this pattern and force your body to burn fat? You have to get your heart rate up.

The Magic: It's Your Heart Rate

Most experts agree that the fat burning zone occurs when your heart rate is between 60 and 70 percent of your maximum. Though a doctor or personal trainer can certainly help you find your maximum heart rate safely, you can use this trick to get started. Start with the number 220, subtract your age, and that's your maximum heart rate. So if you're 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180 (40 subtracted from 220). To burn fat, you'll need to maintain a heart rate between 108 (60 percent of 180) and 126 (70 percent of 180) for a period of time during your workout. This number could certainly vary based on individual body composition and general fitness level, so talk with a medical professional before partaking in any workout program.

How to Raise Your Heart Rate

If you want to raise your heart rate, all you really have to do is pick up the pace. If you jog, jog faster. If you walk, turn it into a power walk session. You can also raise your heart rate by adding resistance such as bands or handheld weights. To monitor your heart rate over the course of your workout, invest in a heart monitor. These might be in the form of a bracelet or a strap that secures around your chest. Whichever you choose, be safe! Monitor your heart rate, and as always, rest when needed in order to put safety first. 

If your body isn't changing with your current routine, it's probably time to do something different. Challenge yourself. Challenge your body. Give yourself a fighting chance to love your body and improve your fitness. Use your heart rate as a guide, and finally get moving in the right direction in your health and wellness.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sacramento, Calif.

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