Fitness Myth 9: The only way to burn fat on a treadmill is to run

Michelle Cagle, master personal trainer, WBFF pro, mother, and author of “Bounce Back After Baby”: Michelle Cagle

Running is a fantastic form of cardio, and has a host of health benefits, but to burn fat, you may want to switch it up on the treadmill — here’s why: Running puts your heart rate in the maximum heart rate zone and not the fat-burning zone. One of the best ways to burn fat on a treadmill is to briskly walk on an incline.

I recommend alternating between 3.4 and 8.5 elevation and tracking your heart rate. When you work out in your fat-burning heart rate zone, your body taps into fat stores for energy instead of using basic sugars and carbohydrates. This leads to fat loss. Other heart rate zones are resting heart rate, moderate heart rate, target heart rate, and maximum heart rate.

Your fat-burning heart rate is at about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the maximum number of times your heart should beat during activity. To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 35-year-old woman’s maximum heart rate is 220 minus 35, or 185 beats per minute.

To enter the fat-burning zone, you want your heart rate to be 70 percent of 185, which is about 130 beats per minute. This heart rate is easily achieved by briskly walking on an incline.

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