Maximize your metabolic potential

Cathleen Kronemer

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

Over the years, many clients have come to me in frustration, not understanding why their bodies refuse to change despite the grueling hours spent on the cardio machines. The answer is twofold:

1. the body needs a change

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2. the body needs resistance

When engaging in the same activity at the same intensity level day in and day out, sometimes for months at a time, the mind isn’t the only thing that is going to get bored…..the muscles will, too! Getting off the treadmill or elliptical and taking a hike, challenging yourself with uphill and downhill passages, will do wonders for the metabolism as well as the soul. If hiking isn’t your thing, try a bike ride or a fun aerobics class.

While I always stress the importance of cardio to my clients, I am always quick to remind them that they must balance those workouts with weight-bearing exercise. Women begin to lose ½ lb of muscle a year in their 30’s; for men, the process starts a bit later. Since muscle mass speeds up the metabolism, we definitely want to create it and then hold onto it as long as possible! Recent research out of Skidmore College shows that exercisers who combine cardio with high-intensity strength-training lost more than twice as much body fat over a 12-week period than those whose workout routines consisted of cardio alone.

Start shaking up your workouts, adding in some weight-bearing exercises, and trying some different moves. Wake up your body to the benefits of something new and exciting!