Here are the three keys for getting the optimum benefits out of this simple approach to exercise losing fat.
Key Number 1: Intensity
You must balance the intensity of any exercise between the stress of exercise-induced inflammation and your ability to recover from it. The best goal is to cause just the right amount of inflammation, meaning that your body can respond quickly with standard post-exercise repair before you exercise again. This is an important principle for all types of exercise.
Walking is ideal because you can derive benefits from it without damaging your joints as you would by running. The intensity of walking should be what I call brisk. Walk fast enough that you know you are actually exercising, not sauntering around like you would on a Sunday stroll in the park. The level at which you consider brisk is up to you. Make it as brisk as you can without running or going so fast that it becomes race-walking. That is not the right idea. The key is brisk, not strenuous.
Key Number 2: Duration
You can, of course, get some benefit from short walks. However, getting into fat burning mode depends on what you can expect from a brisk walk of an hour or so. Here is what happens. During the first 15-20 minutes the stored sugar in muscle tissue, which is in the form of glycogen, is your main fuel. Beyond about 20 minutes, you begin to deplete circulating blood sugar (glucose) and free fatty acids. After about 40 minutes of brisk exercise, you start burning more of your stored liver glycogen and begin breaking down stored fats. Stored fats are the target that you are after. A brisk walk of 60 minutes gives you about 20 minutes in a low-level fat burning mode for stored fats.
By the way, walking is not the only form of brisk exercise that will give you the results you want. Anything that simulates the intensity and duration of a brisk walk will do. Indeed, at one time I referred my weight loss clients to a nearby dance studio, where they took part in a specialized dance class for exercise. It turns out that Latin-style dances were the best and most fun. An hour of Latin line dancing is a great way to have fun working up a sweat and getting into fat burning mode!
Key Number 3: Frequency
This is the final piece of the puzzle. You must do your one-hour brisk walk often enough to make satisfactory progress toward your goal. Once per week is not going to give you satisfactory results. Walking every day might be too much, although it would be great to do so. The most advisable frequency is what is doable for the results that you want. This is probably going to be 3-4 times per week.
Of course, if you throw in some Latin dancing, like I mention above, then you can consider that the equivalent of a brisk walk. Whatever you do, just be sure to stay in motion for as much of the full hour as possible.
Comment About Ab Machines
Although it does seem superficially logical that exercising your stomach muscles is effective for reducing belly fat, this is a fallacy. You do not exercise fat. You exercise muscle. You can, of course, strengthen ab muscles by exercising them. However, ab exercises alone will not provide a brisk one hour of exercise that gets you into fat burning mode.
Enjoy your walking (and dancing!). You will be better off with this kind of workout than with any kind of machine. -- See Dr. Dennis Clark's top scientific advice on fat loss at BodyFatLossBlog.com, including advice on losing belly fat naturally and choosing the best fat burning diet foods. Source: http://www.articletrader.com