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What are you exercising for 60 min., 5-6X a week for?

One of the hardest things to do as a fitness nurse is to get clients to realize, “their ability and their limits”.  They want to feel comfortable while exercising.  But soon they stop seeing results and say things like, “Exercise doesn’t work for me.”  You don’t actually believe that do you?  But as a fitness nurse, our job is to take them into the ‘uncomfortable zone’.  But only for a very short time.  C’mon nurses, you know we all have said, “This is going to be a little uncomfortable”, with a smile.  Do the same with training them for fitness.

Dr. Al Sears, MD (a cardiologist) has developed his wonderful PACE (click here) program and he says:

“Most people think the longer they work out the more weight they will lose…Actually, long-term exercise calls on the body to store more fat!”  I know…this has got to be a joke, right?  Wrongo!

The following chart helps us understand how this misconception became so widespread:

 **Type of fuel burned at varying activity intensity levels     (~ = approximately)

Intensity level Protein Carbs (sugar) Fat
At Rest ~1-5% ~ 35% ~60%
Low Intensity ~5-8% ~70% ~15%
Moderate Intensity ~2-5% ~40% ~55%
High Intensity ~2% ~95% ~3%

By studying the chart, you see that the body burns the greatest amount of fat (55%) during moderate-intensity exercise.

This led many people to the false conclusion that you burn the greatest amount of fat by long, moderate-intensity

exercise…it does not take into account the changes in your metabolism after you stop exercising.

Your body is always adapting to the demands put on it. When you burn fat during exercise, you are telling your body to

maintain fat stores so that they will be available for the next exercise session. In essence, your body hoards your fat

reserves to use as fuel for future workouts. Instead of decreasing fats, this type of endurance exercise triggers your body

to make more fat whenever possible. Now look back at the chart, you would get your highest percentage of your energy

needs from fat while at rest. But you wouldn’t use this strategy to burn fat!”

“One of the primary reasons people choose the wrong form of exercise is that they presume that their body changes

during an exercise session. It never does. All the important changes begin after you stop working out”.

When you burn sugar (carbs) your liver will in turn burn triglycerides on your belly to replace it’s glycogen that it used to refuel your muscles after exercise (replace glycogen in your muscles).  Let your liver do it’s job.

ALSO, he states:

“Long-duration exercise is a waste of your time, and can actually cause other health problems. 
This type of exercise makes the heart and lungs more efficient, but it reduces their reserve capacity.  Simply put, your reserve capacity is your  

body’s ability to respond effectively to sudden demands you place on it. For heart, reserve capacity is crucial. It can

mean the difference between a long healthy life and sudden death from a heart attack”.

Thank you Dr. Sears!  You can get his book HERE.  it’s called, “The Doctor’s Heart Cure”.

As fitness nurses, think like a nurse:  “Think what is everybody doing that’s keeping them sick?  How can I utilize exercise to get them well?” 

I have a great tip for you to give to your clients:  ALWAYS move BEFORE you EAT!

Exercise helps to ‘make room’ for glycogen to go, after you eat.  The next blog entry will discuss the importance of using the glycogen in your muscles on a regular basis to help ward off diabetes and weight gain.

Till Next Week,
Lori, RN, Fitness Nurse

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About fitnessnurse

President & Founder, FitnessNursing.com and Creator of Certified Fitness Nurse Academy, Paleo Fitness Nurse

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