Fitness trends and cutting edge research |

Fitness trends and cutting edge research

Jackie Wright/The Fitness Trail

First of a two-part seriesEach year I attend the IDEA Health & Fitness Association Conference, where thousands of fitness professionals gather to refresh our minds and bodies. We learn about the latest health and fitness trends, have access to the most recent cutting-edge research, earn the required continuing education units to maintain industry certifications and network with our peers.There were several excellent lectures and workshops this year, so I thought it would be a great idea to share some of the content with you.One of the best lectures this year was presented by Len Kravitz,PhD, the program coordinator of exercise science and a researcher at the University of New Mexico. His lecture was called “Maximize Fat Metabolism and the Caloric Burn.”Dr. Kravitz discussed the following: The effect of glycemic index (61) on fat metabolism. Dr, Kravitz states that, 61 is a function of appearance or disappearance of blood glucose and that high glycemic carbohydrates pre-workout produce a sharp rise in blood glucose and insulin. This apparently causes a decrease in plasma fatty acid levels and decreases in fat metabolism. Dr. Kravitz indicated that lower GI carbohydrates have less of an effect on fat metabolism and encourages us to avoid eating high GI carbohydrate foods such as bagels, carrots, crackers, potatoes, and raisins (this is just a snapshot of all of the high GI carbohydrate foods) up to two hours prior to workouts because there will be less insulin to impair fat metabolism. For more information on GI foods, just Google Glycemic Index and you will have access to lists of low, moderate and high GI foods. Along with avoiding high GI carbohydrate foods two hours prior to workouts, Dr. Kravitz further suggested the following strategies to improve fat metabolism: Add low-moderate intensity workouts as well as some high intensity, shorter duration workouts, which should include some interval training as well as faster-paced steady state training. Vary your training modes (i.e. swim, hike, bike, run, walk for cardio and weight train, which also should be varied in frequency, intensity, type and time). Dr. Kravitz also discussed the f.p.a.c., which is the number of calories we burn directly following our workouts. If you burn 300 calories in a workout, multiply that number by 0.15 and that will tell you what your “exercise afterburn” is for that workout.This is important to know, particularly if your goal is weight loss. In the above example, you would burn an additional 45 calories after your workout, which can then be added to your total caloric expenditure for that day That may not seem like many calories in the short term, but if you burned an additional 45 calories daily for one year, that is approximately four and half pounds. With all of this in mind, what is the most important factor in mobilizing fat exercise. Consequently, while limiting the high GI carbohydrate foods prior to workout is Important, exercising regularly, efficiently and effectively burns fat and calories. So, get moving.Next week, I will share the seven training methods that Dr. Kravitz recommends to mobilize fat and burn calories effectively. Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address:

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