"10" Is NOT Always Perfect...

Whenever the word "overweight" is used in a conversation (or an article like this one) our minds tend to conjure up images of extremely rotund individuals that may tip scales in excess of 300 pounds or more. 

Or worse, a cartoonish depiction of that same individual.

Both images are stereotypical and clearly do not fit the medical definition of obesity.   

In this age of instant gratification a lot of people feel that at least 10 minutes of daily exercise is sufficient because it’s better than no exercise at all. 

However, medical experts and weight loss science itself both point to a minimum of 30 minutes per day, at least three times per week, as a highly effective way to combat excess body fat.

Let's say you happen to be “moderately overweight,” (that is, not physician-diagnosed as morbidly obese) and you just want to feel better by losing or shedding a few pounds, there’s good news for you....

Is 30 Minutes Really That Important?

Your body is a type of machine. It has moving parts that require a warm up period in order to function optimally. An analogy is needed here. For the most part, it would be unwise to start a car up & drive off immediately in colder temperatures. This could cause the vehicle to shut down at the least convenient time & it may cause long term mechanical defects as well. Why should you treat your body any different? 

Long-story-short: it takes more than just a few minutes to significantly reduce excess fat, and to burn enough of it to lose a substantial amount of weight. This is one of the main reasons why it seems so hard to  successfully lose weight.

Burning fat requires patience. You simply have to allow yourself TIME to let exercise effects occur.

Your Aerobic Threshold

Generally, exercise begins with a warm-up phase, at least 1-3 minutes. Provided your intensity remains within your target heart rate training zone, (about 120 heart beats per minute – an estimated average for most non health-impaired adults) you’ll spend the next 7-10 minutes reaching your aerobic threshold.

Staying near-to, but right below the point where your muscles burn (from a too-highly-intense performance causing lactic acid build-up) will bring you to a virtually perfect “fat-burn.” Yet, THIS very special meeting only occurs at medium-to-low intensities, which takes longer periods of time.

Lipids (a simplified word for “non-water-soluble-fats” within your system) have to move from the outside of a cell, through the cytosol, mix with pyruvate, plus oxygen… then proceed to your “furnace” (mitochondria). This is where you break fat down into your “rewarding and much-wanted” by-products – energy (the work you've achieved); sweat; and carbon dioxide (a lot of continuous “exhaling”).

So, if you quit at the 10-minute mark, you deny yourself approximately an additional 10 calories or more per minute of actual weight loss. Stopping this process at 10 minutes is much like going all the way to the door of your favorite party but never stepping inside…for the “real” action. 

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10 Is NOT The End

With all of that said, there’s an even more monumentally powerful yet scientific reason why you should work out for more than only ten minutes. In fact, at least 30-minute exercise sessions prove most beneficial for effective weight loss and improved endurance. You’ll get three fundamental benefits from this:

First, you preserve your LEAN body mass (which you need because it burns fat far better than fat can burn itself).

Second, you get to expend MAXIMUM calories (the true key to losing weight – maximizing caloric expenditure, which is a time-consuming venture).

Third, your extended physical activity makes you change the way your body USES food internally or metabolically (for example, getting three-fold increase in calories expended, compared to person remaining sedentary.).

Now That We All Agree....

The bottom line is that essentially all experts in diabetic science, obesity control, dietetics & nutrition, exercise science & personal training, and exercise physiology agree that extended, low-to-moderate-intensity physical activity is yet the most significant and flexible factor in energy expenditure for losing weight.

Base your safe, effective weight loss goals around the fundamental principle that you need to alter your energy balance in the NEGATIVE direction by expending about 500 calories per day from smartly manipulating both EXERCISE AND DIET. You’ll find that it's barely even possible to accomplish this feat by altering food alone. With exercise, however, you can obtain your weight loss objectives much more comfortably and conveniently, plus safely, too, for results that are long-lasting and health enhancing.

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