Why Do We Store Fat Over Our Bellies? And How Do We Ensure Our Exercise Routine is Targeting Excess Fat?
Believe it or not...most of my ah-ha moments happened in College Biology and Chemistry! Yet, studying the basic bio-chemistry of the body makes one aware of how complicated the body can be! Especially when discussing a diverse group of hydrophobic molecules called lipids or...Fat! Why are these molecules so darn difficult to get rid of? According to the basic principles of biology: they are insoluble in water and therefore not excreted easily. Why have we evolved to retain them?! I know the negative connotation...what use are they?! Fat molecules are excellent storehouses for energy. It is truly amazing how much energy a tiny gram of fat can store. When metabolized they release 9 cal/g -more than twice the energy from the same mass of carbohydrate or protein. Above and beyond energy storage, we need fats for many reasons...such as insulation and protection of our VITAL ORGANS. Where does our genius body store this energy, insulation and protection? Typically, over our precious organs...hence our sometimes distended bellies. How does one work to metabolize -or get rid of- excessive fat? Good old fashioned basics...balancing a HEALTHY diet (energy in) and exercise/activity/movement (energy out). How to target belly fat during your workout: 1) Ensure you have enough water in your blood to help break-down this excess fat 2) Ensure your heart rate is sufficient to circulate this excessive fat out of your belly and into your excretory area (poop and urine). Determining your target heart rate can help! Below is the "How-To!" Calculating your Target Heart Rate Step-by-Step: 1) Determine your Resting Heart Rate (RHR): After 4 or more consecutive hours of rest, take your pulse for 10 seconds. Multiply your beats-per-10-second by 6. 10 beats per second X 6 = 60 RHR 2) Calculate your Maximum Heart Rate by subtracting your age from 220 (220-29 yrs = 191 MHR ). 3) Determine your Low Heart Rate Range by subtracting your RHR from your MHR, multiplying the result to .50. Then, adding your last result to your RHR. (191-60 = 131 HRR/Heart Rate Reserve; 131 *.50 = 66; 66+60 = 126 Beats Per Minute). 4) Determine your High Heart Rate Range by subtracting your RHR from your MHR, multiplying the result to .85. Then adding your last result to your RHR. (191-60 = 131 Heart Rate Reserve/HRR; 131 * .85 = 111; 111 + 60 = 171 Beats Per Minute). 5) Put it all together! Warm up until your heart rate is the result of your HRR. Next, begin your workout and exercise while your heart beats between the result of step 3 and no higher than the result of step In review: I (Annie) Am 29 years old and have a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute after take my pulse first "thing" in the morning. 220-29 = 191 Maximum Heart Rate; 191 MHR -60 BPM = 131 HRR; 131 * .50 = 66; 66 + 60 = 126 beats per minute. 131 * .85 = 111; 111 + 60 = 171 beats per minute. Therefore, I should warm-up until my heart rate is 131 beats per minute (by walking and dynamic stretching) and then continue to exercise for 30 minutes (running/biking/elliptical-ing) while my heart rate is between 126-171 beats per minute. Then cool down (walking) until my heart rate is 126 beats per minute. If you are still wondering, bring your resting heart rate number into a Stroller Moves Class (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will determine the values together. Or check out these websites: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/target-heart-rate/SM00083 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Target-Heart-RatesUCM434341_Article.jsp As a personal trainer, I recommend monitoring your heart rate with OMRON or Polar Product (such as the Polar FS1 Heart Rate Monitor Watch) which measures your pulse over your midsection.... Personally, I have had the most positive results using these monitors with clients.