Let me guess, it's February and you are trying to stay motivated right? You joined or returned to the gym, and you're going all out on the treadmill or another cardio machine killing yourself to try to lose those awful 5 to 10 pounds of weight you put on during the holidays. You made it through January and you are committed to this! But are you overdoing it? 

Predicament: You're psyched, champing at the bit, ready to go and on the treadmill, but the person next to you just won't just shut the heck up and leave you to the all-out intense workout you have planned. I mean, doesn't she know that you're serious about your training? Doesn't she realize that you are not just some average Joe weekend warrior? Doesn't she realize you are committed to losing this weight? Well that busybody may just be telling you something without you even realizing it. Her playful persiflage may be just the thing you need. 

The fact that she can carry on a conversation while running at a decent clip is an indicator that she's burning fat while that killer sprint you have planned may not accomplish the same thing.  Your muscles utilize two kinds of fuel while exercising and both at the same time; fat and sugar. What type of workout you're indulging in dictates what percentage of which of those fuels you burn the most. Ideally you would like to burn fat I am assuming. Seventy percent of the energy/calories comes from fat and is the type of fuel the muscle needs in order to keep the fat burning process going. Only thirty per cent comes from sugar. I will refrain from getting too technical and bore you into a nap, so let's just say that if the oxygen is cut off (you are out of breath) the muscle also gets "out of breath" and fat burning ceases although the body now will burn some sugar (glucose) through the anaerobic process. 

The principle to remember is that burning fat (and some glucose) requires oxygen so when one descends into a feeling of oxygen deprivation, one’s wonderful mechanism known as the human metabolism no longer has the capacity to use the fat as fuel. Of course intense explosive ATP burning exercise has its place but that is another article. This is why though that aerobic exercise, as much as some try to avoid it when trying to add muscle, is still paramount to facilitate the ability to access the fat stores in order to deplete them. The formula or recipe you want to find requires a little trial and error or maybe just practice. 

So, when putting yourself through your next run or aerobic endeavor, try to simply maintain the highest level at which you can perform without that oxygen deprivation. Ramp up that treadmill until you find yourself unable to eek out a complete sentence comfortably and back it off a notch or two. Find Chatty Cathy again and ask her how her mother-in-law is doing. You'll not only be happy about your faster results but hey, you'll have a new best Facebook buddy. It’s when she starts avoiding YOU that you have to worry!

Derek Kanady has over 30 years of personal training experience. He is a contributing editor to Examiner.com and Co-Founder of Texas HealthCare Partners and Founder of C.A.R.E Center, both rehabilitation companies. He is currently a personal trainer at The Core Houston.

The Core Houston is one of the largest personal training gyms and wellness facilities in the United States offering expert personal training, wellness services, state of the art equipment, first class amenities and other services to its members in Houston, Texas

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