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NMU 106 – Seven Ways Aerobic Exercise Gives You a High-Performance Fat-Burning Body

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 106 (September 26, 2018)

with Dr. James Meschino


Topic: Seven Ways Aerobic Exercise Gives You a High-Performance Fat-Burning Body

Source: McArdle, WD, Katch F, Katch V. Sports and Exercise Nutrition (Fourth Edition – Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)


Most people would love to have a high-performing, fat-burning body, so today I’m citing the seven documented ways that regular aerobic exercise helps you accomplish this. As you know, aerobic exercise is a type of workout where your heart rate and breathing increase, but not to the extent where you feel like you need to stop and rest.

Examples include:

  • Speed Walking – walking like you’re late for an important meeting
  • Jogging
  • Cycling or steady mountain biking
  • Long-distance Swimming
  • Exercising on an elliptical machine
  • Exercising on a rowing machine
  • Participating in numerous types of aerobic classes
  • Climbing stairs or exercising on a stair climber

Performing aerobic exercise 3-7 times per week has been shown to improve your body’s fat-burning capacity in seven important ways:

Here they are:

  1. Regular aerobic exercise improves the ability of fat cells to break down fat and release it into the bloodstream during exercise.
  2. Regular aerobic exercise increases the ability of exercising muscle tissue to extract the fat in the bloodstream (that was released from your fat cells) to enter the muscle to be burned during exercise.
  3. Regular training of this type increases the uptake of oxygen by the exercising muscle, which is vital to fat-burning, as fat can only be burned in the presence of oxygen within the muscle cell.
  4. Regular aerobic exercise increases the number and size of the fat-burning furnaces (mitochondria) within the trained exercising muscle cells, so that more fat can be burned per second during exercise.
  5. Regular aerobic exercise increases the concentration of fat-burning enzymes within the muscle, which boosts your fat burning capacity.
  6. Regular aerobic exercise increases the microvascular vessels that feed more fat to the exercising muscle.
  7. Regular aerobic exercise keeps your body in fat-burning mode for a significant period of time after the workout has been completed – post-exercise recovery period.

There really is no substitute for aerobic exercise. In addition to fat-burning adaptations, it also provides many other health benefits as you know. The key is to find an aerobic exercise that suits you – something you can really stick with and to do it 3-7 times per week for at least 30 minutes per session. If you’re just starting out, then you might want to begin with 15-20 minutes per work out and build your time up from there. The bottom line is that if you want to be a better fat-burning machine, then the recipe begins with regular aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of adults are consistent with this type of activity. If you’re not on board yet, I think you’ll be amazed to discover how much better you’ll feel and how much easier it is to stay leaner if you get started and develop some consistency.

I’ve included the references for these 7 key adaptations to aerobic exercise in the text below.

1. Main Reference:McArdle, WD, Katch F, Katch V. Sports and Exercise Nutrition (Fourth Edition – Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). 2013) P.176





Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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