When Trying to Lose Body Fat, Give Yourself the "Talk Test"

Written by Steve Mongno, General Manager, O2 Fitness Fuquay Varina

Many people wonder just how intense their workouts should be to lose fat. Everyone knows that walking or jogging on a treadmill or spending time on a bike or elliptical trainer helps burn calories but…How fast should you be going or how hard should you be training is always the mystery!

NC personal trainers and health club staff can tell you about target heart rates and that is the most accurate way of telling but it also confuses many people. Remember, the goal here is to burn “fat”calories and that is where the mystery gets trickier. To effectively burn fat a person should be at 60 to 65 percent of their maximum heart rate. But when we’re walking outside or simply don’t have a chart like at your local O2 Fitness club, how can you tell how hard to go?? Well, we have a simple solution for you…  try the talk test!

To effectively burn body-fat you should be exercising at a “moderate” intensity. This changes for people of different fitness levels. An easy way to tell is the talk-test. If you are exercising at a moderate level you should still be able to talk semi-regularly. Now, to clarify, it shouldn’t be like you’re walking around the mall shopping, but you should be able to get out a sentence or two without “gasping” for air. In other words…”moderate”. So the next time your jogging or fast-walking to burn calories, give yourself the talk-test and make sure that you are exercising to effectively burn those fat calories!

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