Have you ever wondered why some people can be playing tennis, swimming and jogging so often, yet they are still fat?
The next time you walk past a tennis court, or go to a swimming pool, take time to notice the shapes of the regulars.
Many activity regulars began playing tennis, walking, running or swimming because they were told that these were aerobic activities and aerobic activities are beneficial to weight loss exercises.
Yes, it is true that aerobic programmes are important. However, what constitutes an aerobic activity is the key issue here.
In recent years, the aerobic activity has become the universally accepted component of any weight loss program. Hence, many sports advocates attempt to remake themselves to be an aerobic activity or at least, avoid the label of anaerobic.
Tennis, jogging, walking, running, swimming, jogging, golf all want to fight for aerobic status which eventually suggests that their particular sport is good for health and weight loss.
However, that is not the case. Let's review tennis and jogging as examples.
This activity is far from being aerobic by virtue of the fact that the game mainly comprises start-stop movement patterns. A player waits for the ball and rushes to return. He then watches and braces himself for the ball to be returned. Adrenalin rushes when speed and agility is called into action. This whole process is managed by our sympathetic nervous system because it is fast, responsive but anaerobic.
In typical jog fashion, joggers focus on speed as a benchmark of improvement. This is perfectly fine if you are training up for a running competition. However, in a weight loss program, increase in speed results in decreased aerobic performance. So, is there a speed threshold for aerobic activities?
No, there is no universal speed threshold for aerobic activities. Nevertheless, there are independent bio-markers that we can depend on to guide us into our most aerobic zone.
This is the core of this article's message. There is no such thing as an aerobic activity. There are only aerobic zones in an activity.
It is true that some activities, like walking, do have wider aerobic zones, but this does not mean that it does not have an anaerobic zone. Take a look at the Olympic race walkers and you will never doubt it for a moment.
The conventional aerobic guidelines for most sports and activities, dictate specific numeric benchmarks, like 10km/hour or 50 laps in 1 hour, without due consideration to individual differences.
Individual body differences can range from physical size to aerobic conversion ability. Hence, an arbitrary level would incorrectly advice participants to force themselves to achieve the 10km/hour (or whatever other benchmark). Then, in this process, they will constantly be subjecting their bodies to anaerobic exercises.
Ultimately, when you embark on any jog, run or swim as a means to weight loss, you have to ensure that you are doing it in the most aerobic zone of the activity. Although, some activities have more inherent benefits besides aerobic levels for weight loss, it shall be covered in our next article.
Until then, you should always maintain your activity in the most aerobic zone by following these simple guidelines.
- Always ensure that you are able to day dream and think while running/ swimming/ jogging. If you are not able, it means that you are working out too hard for your current aerobic level.
- If you are on land, you should be able to hear distant sounds as well as at least sounds from 3 sources, e.g. a car driving pass, television from a nearby house, chatter of passer-bys. If you are not able, it means that you are working out too hard for your current aerobic level.
- The optimum level can be achieved by trial and error. When you feel comfortable running/ swimming at a particular speed, you increase it until you are not able to think or hear. Then, you drop it back down by a little to achieve the thought and audio equilibrium.
- This zone will increase as you build up your aerobic base. Continually, test for this optimum zone and you will find that your workouts will be more efficient and satisfying.
Finally, do remember to keep a look out for our next article on choosing the exact activity for maximum multi-dimensional weight loss benefits! OR if you want to know more Right Now – Sign up for a FREE Health Coaching Consultation at http://phenogy.com!
The author, Winston Ng, is an avid peak performance coach and CEO of Phenogy Health Advisors Pte Ltd, based in Singapore. His Health Consultancy programmes are renowned worldwide for their efficiency, simplicity and independent unbiased advice. The Phenogy Health Concierge™ is unparalleled internationally in providing cutting edge Natural Health Alternatives to the busy individual who needs viable options to invasive surgery, dangerous synthetic pills and overpriced ineffective therapies!
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