In this series of articles we're examining the timing of fitness. We've already looked at when to eat for minimum fat storage, and also when to exercise for maximum fat loss.
The previous article was about morning exercise. Besides the benefits of burning more fat, morning exercise has several other beneficial effects:
1) Shifts our biological clock to kick-start key physiological systems long before we wake up. This enhances most bodily functions throughout the day.
2) Increases mental acuity. Exercise causes a release of endorphins and insulin-like growth factor I(IGF-I) that increases both mental alertness and acuity. True, this benefit is apparent at any time of day we decide to exercise, but early-morning workouts will facilitate this brain-enhancing effect. That mental sharpness we feel after our workout can last for more than eight hours! If we work out later in the day, we could be 'wasting' this effect on the time we're watching television or sleeping.
3) Provides an overall good feeling. After completing a challenging bout of physical exercise, we get a 'rush' and a feeling of accomplishment that stays with us for the entire day.
4) Puts us in a 'healthy' mindset that enhances our body awareness throughout the day.
5) Ensures workout consistency. Studies show that people who work out in the morning are more likely to consistently stick with their exercise program and diet.
PRIME THE PUMP:
The exercise timing tip in this article is not for everyone, and also is not for the faint of heart. However, if we really want to prime the pump and accelerate our fat loss efforts, this tip is something we should all at least consider.
As we all know, raising our metabolic rate is one of the keys to fat loss. Raising our metabolic rate burns calories and gives us energy.
One of the biggest bonuses to getting that regular workout is that our metabolic rate remains elevated even after we're done exercising. Research shows that resistance training boosts metabolism for hours after the workout.
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, researchers showed that intense weight training boosted metabolism after the workout. Scientists estimate metabolism by measuring oxygen consumption. Exercise increases post-exercise metabolism by increasing muscle temperature, stimulating chemicals called uncoupling proteins that increase calorie burning, and disrupting normal cell functions (cell water, electrolytes and minerals). Elevated post-exercise metabolism can make an important contribution to weight control.
Different doctors and researchers have come up with different results as to how long our metabolism stays elevated after resistance training. Because we all have different body types and different genetics, the answer will be slightly different for each of us. However, it's safe to say that the vast majority of us will experience a higher metabolic rate for at least four hours after a good workout.
TIMING TIP OF THE WEEK:
That was a big build-up to our timing tip for today. So, without further ado.....
For maximum fat loss, consider doing two-a-day workouts. Once in the morning and again sometime after lunch. Yes, it will take a little more effort. Yes, it will take a little more time. But the rewards will be tremendous.
Each time you exercise, you burn calories. Two-a-days will obviously double that result. Just as important, if we time those two-a-day workouts so we're doing one in the morning and another after lunch, we will increase our metabolic rate all day long. That will give us more energy and force our body to burn more calories throughout the day.
The first workout will prime the pump for the day, giving us all the benefits listed above. About the time our metabolism starts to return to normal, the second workout will again raise our metabolic rate.....putting us on 'afterburner' and smokin' those calories for the rest of the day.
Can't get back to the gym for a second round of exercise? How about walking on your lunch hour? How about walking home from work? Or how about mowing the lawn when you get home? As we've said over and over again, some exercise is better than no exercise, so be creative when coming up with ideas for the second 'workout' of the day.
As we've discovered, timing is everything. Although it may not be for everyone, two-a-day exercise will blast our metabolism and fat-loss efforts into the stratosphere. To get the most 'burn' from this tip, just be sure to space those workouts four or more hours apart!
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Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit www.letspickupthepace.com/ for more information.
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