So you may have put on a few pounds over the holidays or took on the winter protection of a little extra body fat, especially around the middle. You watch what you eat and have cut back on the junk food. You have always worked out, and in fact you are logging in the miles, but still can’t seem to budge that bulge.You need to ‘mix it up.’
The human body is a fine-tuned vehicle that operates with extreme efficiency. It also has the ability to adjust, adapt and heal itself, when allowed. It is this very fact that can keep the weight on. The amount of exercise is not as important as the variety of exercise you do.
When you keep doing the same thing, the body adjusts to the activity and functions at conserving energy by using less. Call it habit, but the body knows what’s coming and is ready. The answer to ramping up the energy burn is to mix it up. You must keep the body guessing so that it does not get complacent.
Your body uses both fast and slow twitch muscles in every activity. It is important to develop both groups in a balanced way.
The function of slow-twitch muscles is to enable your body to sustain aerobic activity. They allow you to run long distances, climb a long flight of stairs or spend hours swimming through the surf. Building these fibers will improve your endurance and give you more energy over long, drawn-out activities. Some examples of slow-twitch exercises are:
- weight training
- power lifting
- long endurance running, cycling, swimming or other activity
- performing relatively easy exercise a large number of times
If you spend all your time doing weight training you're using slow-twitch muscles and need to add cardio to the mix to get the heart-rate elevated.
The function of fast-twitch muscles is to enable your body to have more speed, agility and power. Some examples of fast-twitch muscle exercises are:
If you run or cycle distance, it’s time to add fast-twitch circuit training to your regimen. You’ll be surprised just how quickly you drop those excess pounds.