What's the Best Fat-Burning Exercise?

What's the best fat-burning exercise? This is a question I get a lot, mostly because the idea of ridding ourselves of all our unwanted body fat with a single technique is just too good to resist. There's just got to be some exercise that will get the job done, right?

When someone asks that question, I'd love nothing more than to offer a clear, concise answer like, "Running at 8.69 miles per hour!" or "Doing 53 squats, followed by 19 pull ups and eating 16 egg whites!" or "Spending hours at this website!"

Three Keys to Burning Fat With Exercise

The truth is, fat burning comes from three exercise factors.

1. Cardio Exercise

There isn't any 'perfect' fat-burning cardio exercise. The key isn't so much what you do, but how hard you work at it. If you want to focus on burning fat, it's important to exercise with moderate-to-high intensity (and to vary your routine with different workouts).

2. Strength Training

Muscle is to fat as a hummingbird is to my cat Ziggy. Muscle, like a hummingbird, is busy. It's burning calories to keep your metabolism going, and it never stops. Fat, like my cat Ziggy, sleeps all day and, when it does get up, it eats and then, exhausted, goes back to bed. Strength training will make you more like a hummingbird and less like Ziggy.

3. Consistency

Surprisingly, this is the most important part of the fat-burning equation. The body, when exposed to regular exercise, becomes a fat-burning machine, able to reach into each cell, oxidize the fat inside, and hand it to you (or to your muscles) on a silver platter. Without exercise, your body does the opposite. Instead of getting more efficient at burning fat, it actually gets better at hoarding fat, making weight loss even harder.

A Word From Verywell

So, there you have it. Consistent cardio and strength training. Not the wow factor I was hoping for, but the truth isn't always sexy.

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