Nutrition is what causes you to lose weight not exercise or the duration of exercise. In general the longer duration your workout the lower the "work"( intensity) you are doing. Most of the current research indicates that intensity of a workout is more important than duration with 30 minutes some form of break point. Other studies indicate that longer steady state workouts, especially cardio ones, tend to increase stress levels on the body. Stress elicits cortisol which is a fat retaining hormone.
From a practical point of view it is easier to fit an intense, quality workout of 30 minutes into our day than one of a longer duration.
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
7/2/13 12:36 P
I think they meant you should exercise " at least 30 min a day.".. So keep that heart going strong..
Fitness Minutes: (63,183)
7/2/13 11:15 A
I read a study recently that tracked men who did not exercise, exercised for 30 minutes a day, or exercised longer than 30 minutes a day. None of them dieted. The men who did nothing, lost no weight. The men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost more weight than the ones who exercised more than 30 minutes per day. Theory was that exercising for long periods of time made you hungrier and more apt to feel you deserved it so it was likely that the longer-exercising men ate more. Apparently, exercising for only 30 minutes had no impact on one's hunger. Since I also diet to lose weight as well as exercising, I am not sure how much this insight helps me personally, but maybe this is the study being referenced by the co-worker.
Honestly, I think he was referring to exercising in the "fat burning zone." That is exactly how M@L specified, it doesn't matter if you burn what you eat during exercise or during the day, if you create a calorie deficit, your fat stores are eventually going to be depleted.
I workout anywhere from 25-60 minutes. I do cardio at least 4 days a week, and weights 3. These days often overlap and I do both on those days. I often add high intensity intervals to my workouts to challenge me even further. I will warn you, when or if you add High intensity intervals, you will never want to quit them, because everything else ends up feeling too easy! (at least it does for me!)
Fitness Minutes: (16,011)
1,078 7/2/13 10:55 A
I second what M@L says about adding more intensity. I would rather add speed or hill intervals to my runs for 30ish minutes than run steady for an hour. I get bored with steady-state cardio. Throw some intervals into your routine and shorten the time, and you should find that to better suit you
Where energy is coming from during your workout is largely irrelevant to weight loss.
If you burn carbs rather than fat during your workout, then your body has no option but to turn to its fat stores to meet your energy needs for the rest of the day. If you burn fat during your workout, then those carbs are still available to meet those other needs. What matters for fat loss is the overall balance between calories burned and consumed over the ENTIRE 24 hour day.
To put things in context, most people burn 1300-1900 calories per day just keeping your natural body functions ticking over (known as your metabolism). While even a vigorous workout only burns a few hundred calories.
The significance of exercise is not that it burns fat directly, but rather than it helps swing a calorie surplus (which would have you gaining weight), into a calorie deficit.
However, your co-worker does have a point (although his logic is wrong) - workouts over 30 minutes tend to lead to greater muscle wasting. As muscle burns calories even at rest, over time this lost muscle can lead to slower metabolism, and make your longer term weight loss efforts harder.
Unless you are training for an endurance event, once you can work out comfortably for 30 minutes or so, you are probably better off adding intensity to your cardio workout, rather than more time.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,692 7/1/13 8:39 P
Mr. Coworker has no idea what he's talking about. Generally, it's not *necessary* to work out for much longer than an hour, but there's no time limit on fat burning.
If he knew what he was talking about, he'd know that losing weight and burning fat isn't about exercise at all (although it's absolutely crucial for healthy living and makes the process a LOT easier) but is about diet! You can exercise 30 minutes (or more) a day, every day, for the rest of your life, but if you don't eat less than you burn in a day, then you won't lose weight. Period.
7/1/13 8:27 P
So I'm confused. Mr coworker mentions to me today that you won't lose weight/burn fat by exercising longer than 30 minutes. I don't understand the scientific principle behind this as by exercising (running) for MORE than an hour your body is typically dipping into fat reserves for fuel if glycogen stores have been depleted. Someone enlighten me as to what she's talking about.
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