Fat Burning Myths and Aerobics

For the past twenty years, everyone followed fitness professionals, nutritionists, dieticians and aerobic instructors repeated recommendations to follow a low fat diet and attend aerobic classes twice a week. According to experts, low fat diets and aerobic exercise were the only effective way to lose weight. Rapid increase of qualified fitness professionals only accomplished teaching everyone endless ways of how not to lose weight, or which exercise habits do not work. Professionals have yet to come up with resolutions that do burn fat. “It’s a Fact–Americans are getting fatter. Experts suggest that 75 percent of Americans will be overweight by 2015, and 41 percent of that group will be obese. Along with our burgeoning waistlines, the business of weight loss has become huge.”

(Villarosa, 2007)  When aerobics for weight loss are encouraged by any professional, including medical doctors, it is assumed the only acceptable form of aerobics were organized classes through a qualified instructor. Although the only visible evidence aerobic classes and low fat diets trim waistlines are only words written on paper, people continue to be deceived into thinking they can purchase their ideal fitness levels.

The market is flooded with a new fitness facility on every corner, a new diet, or new weight loss video created based on latest breakthrough research. New fitness programs based on the latest breakthrough research have been created for the past twenty five years with each new weight loss book, video or diet leading consumers farther from their fitness goals.

With promises of weight loss, aerobic classes increased in popularity overnight. Falling short of the improved fitness promises, aerobic classes remain popular. The industry attract customers using fitness promises to sell their products. Knowledgeable professionals use their education to gain peoples trust. There are an abundance of fitness professionals to explain technical details of the human system, naming scientific names for every muscle in the body. Educating the public with all this physiological knowledge does not result in more fat burning during aerobic classes.

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When fitness programs fail to keep their promises, even with financial obligations, or the trial period to return the item has passed, the focus switches off fitness goals. Fitness myths continue because lies are always explained away. After realizing one hour aerobics class twice a week is hardly vigorous enough to shed a pound, dietary habits are blamed.

After exposure of dietary myths, experts blame hereditary.  Popular fitness magazines write informative articles bringing newfound knowledge to customers explaining the cardio system and it relates to aerobics. The only people who will waste time reading article after article or listening to sales people’s lectures on human anatomy are the ones trying to tell someone the fitness advice is not delivering the promised results. People are told losing weight is beyond their capacity when there are no visible results from aerobic classes.

With professional’s enthusiasm to educate every client on scientific details of fitness, basic commonsense diet and exercise understanding is forgotten. The intensity level involving any activity determines weight loss results. It is common knowledge that excess body weight is unused calories or unused energy. Repeated muscle contraction burns up energy. The faster and more frequent the muscular contractions, more energy is consumed, muscles become fitter, stronger and more efficient. Stronger, fitter muscles move easier, allowing more calorie consumption during everyday routine activities.

“The energy required for muscle contraction comes from the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a substance that is present in the cells and is formed during cellular respiration.”(“Muscle,” 2007)  In simple terms, ATP is the scientific procedures explaining how vigorous exercise or repeated rapid muscle contraction burns stored body fat. Muscles, proteins, and engaged cells break down the stored energy the same way during aerobics, power walking, rollerblading, weight training, biking, mountain climbing, running stairs, or playing basketball.

Analyzing the term aerobic can give someone the misconception long term endurance exercising is essential for weight loss. Aerobic relates to oxygen or air. An aerobically fit person understandably has a healthy respiratory system. Anaerobic is the opposite of aerobic, using maximum muscular strength. “Anaerobic endurance is a short-term, high intensity muscular effort–less than about two minutes; cardiovascular endurance involves muscular effort for a much longer duration.”(Brzycki, 1993)  For years, experts believed a person could not exercise the muscular system and the cardio system simultaneously without sustaining serious injury or building oversized muscles.

“Keep in mind that compared to fat, muscle is very dense. Increase your muscle mass and your metabolism gets an automatic boost. Muscle weighs more than fat so it’s possible to build muscle mass and gain weight but appear smaller visually because you’ve decreased your overall fat percentage.” (Hanlon, 2007, p. 28) Adding weights to a cardio workout increases muscular contraction’s capacity, making the ATP breakdown more thorough. Aerobic classes, the most moderate walking program and even daily tasks such as shopping or house cleaning potentially engages higher percentage of working muscles adding ankle and wrist weights.

“When you exercise, your muscles burn sugar, fat or protein in the presence of oxygen to produce energy. If you exercise so intensely that you become short of breath and your muscles can’t get enough oxygen, lactic acid accumulates in your muscles.  Lactic acid removes the chloride, so it is easier for potassium to get back inside cells. Therefore lactic acid increases the ratio of potassium inside cells to the amount outside, and this helps the muscle contract with more efficiency.” (“Study: Lactic Acid Not,” 2007, p. C10) Combining weight training with aerobic activity decreases the exerciser’s size.

Cardio training can be fast weight lifting. Depending on gender, and as long as no supplements are used, the amount of weight during workout routines does not determine muscle size. People working towards a visually larger appearance lift weights very slowly, making sure to workout the muscles on the release. This is called working out the negative muscles. Either light weights or heavy weights used at a very slow speed will increase body size. Working out with heavy or light weights at aerobic pace utilizes fast twitch muscle fibers reducing body size. Anaerobic exercises or exercise strategies using fast-twitch muscle fibers are effective for fat burning.

Experts never encourage vigorous exercise; it is up to the individual to experiment with effective fat burning exercises. The fitness industry, including fitness magazines, is designed for people who have very little or no previous knowledge of workouts. The term aerobic directly relating to the cardiovascular system is one of the reasons it was the only effective exercises resulting in fat loss.  High speed muscle contraction, the build up of lactic acid, the breakdown of ATP, burns up stored fat. Endurance or aerobic training takes a long time to get muscles to the point of exhaustion. Using muscles to their maximum cannot be taught in a one hour aerobic class because the weakest fitness levels must be considered when choreographing such exercise sessions.

References

Bourne, G. H. (Ed.). (1960). The Structure and Function of Muscle. New York: Academic Press. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=91183119

Brzycki, M. (1993). Strength Testing – Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue. JOPERD–The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 64(1), 88+. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002191543

Muscle. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=112875101

Adenosine Triphosphate. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=112842222

Hanlon, K. (2007, June). Health and Fitness: Strong . and Lean. Dance Magazine, 81, 28. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=5021239018

Study: Lactic Acid Not So Bad. (2007, May 20). The Washington Times, p. C10. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=5020836376

Villarosa, A. (2007, October). Fat vs. Fad: Demystifying Diet and Exercise Programs. Ebony, 62, 165+. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o;d=5023144778

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