By Paul Boisvert
When thinking about losing body fat, most people automatically turn to aerobic exercise. Aerobic acivity occurs when a large muscle group is involved in a rhythmic movement for an extended period of time. In most cases, the hip and thigh muscles are the main muscle groups involved. Taking cycling, step, and kickboxing classes, as well as exercising on treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical trainers are all considered aerobic exercises. The heart and lungs work together to supply the oxygen needed to sustain the exercise. The body also turns to its fuel stores of glycogen and fat to process energy for the activity.
All of these factors make sure that regular aerobic activity conditions your heart, lungs and muscles for more strength and endurance. It will also evict some of those body fat stores in the process. These facts are widely accepted by the general public.
However, one important factor is consistently overlooked. It is most noticeable when you look over to the treadmills and elliptical trainers and see their users slumped over the display board or leaning into the front handles.
This shows a lack of core strength and can cause workout results to drag at a snail’s pace. It may also put your lower back out of commission. The core muscles make up the body’s trunk and hips. Their job is to maintain a strong base while other muscle groups are involved in movement. These core muscles keep the base strong by enforcing proper body alignment or posture. For treadmills and elliptical trainers, it is more effective to let go of the handles and remain upright with your shoulders down and back. You will notice an increase in the intensity level as you include your core muscles in the workout.
All of Electra’s group fitness classes rely on core strength for effective workouts. One example is our indoor cycling class which depends heavily on the stabilizer muscles of the trunk for effectiveness. Without them, the legs would do more work than they need to. It’s better to start all classes at your own pace as you progressively learn how to use your core muscles more efficiently.
Consider this new factor as positive addition to your aerobic workout. Your metabolism will get a boost as new muscles develop and strengthen, the added intensity level will burn more calories, and maintaining proper alignment will help you gain more control of your body for better workouts.
Please Remember This:
Regular aerobic training, regular weight training, and a healthy meal plan are all needed to bring on the results.