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0 Comments | Feb 20, 2011

Is there a best exercise to lose weight?

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What is the best exercise to lose weight?

It’s a loaded question, one that presumes that there actually is a single “best” exercise to help you drop those unwanted pounds.  The truth is, while there are some exercises that absolutely won’t help you lose any weight whatsoever (abdominal crunches, for example), there isn’t a single, best exercise to help you drop excess fat.

But there is an exercising approach that will help you maximize your body’s efficiency in all three major energy pathways, and help you lose weight by creating an efficient physical and biochemical system.

Sound complicated?  It isn’t, really, though it’s helpful to go through a few metabolic basics.

The best exercise to lose weight isn’t just one exercise

There are three major energy conversion mechanisms that your body uses to transform chemical energy to mechanical (motion) energy.

  1. Very short burst. Your muscles use a chemical called ATP to generate motion.  There is some ATP already stored in your muscle cells, enough for about 10 seconds of energy.  Get good at this region by running sprints (just run as fast as you can run for 5″ to 10″, and repeat five to ten times.  Trust me, it’s plenty of exercise!)
  2. Medium burst. This is otherwise known as “anaerobic metabolism” because it doesn’t require oxygen.  In this pathway, your body converts carbohydrates to ATP, with lactic acid as a byproduct.  Lactic acid is what makes your muscles sore.  Target this metabolic region through strength training with moderate weight and high repetitions.
  3. Endurance, or aerobic activity. This is the energy pathway that uses oxygen, and is the endurance pathway that distance runners use.  You can tap into this as well by jogging a few miles, rowing a few thousand meters, etc.

Vary your exercise routine so that you get work in each of the three major energy pathways, and you will find that your body responds to your demands with relatively rapid weight loss.

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