Think of a boulder that shakes free of its fixed position at the top of a mountain and begins to roll downward. The farther it travels, the faster it goes, picking up momentum that only stops when it a) hits the bottom or b) hits something in its path that changes its trajectory or otherwise slows it down. The same general principle works when it comes to burning fat.
Your fitness is the boulder. For many people, it starts at a fixed position – sitting on the couch, doing nothing, wishing you could shake yourself free and start “rolling” toward a healthier, happier, fitter life. And then something happens that gets you up and moving. That’s an important moment, because new research suggests that as you get more fit each and every day from that moment forward, your body is capable of burning more fat. Just like the boulder picking up speed, your continually fitter self picks up fat-burning speed.
In the study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Medicine, healthy adults ages 19-63 participated in a cycling fitness test while researchers measured their fat-burning ability (“peak fat oxidation”). Across the age ranges included in the study, physical fitness predicted fat-burning efficiency when exercising: the fitter the person, the more efficiently their body burned fat. Interestingly, this relationship appeared to be stronger in women than men.
The moral to the story? The fitter you get, the more fat your burn! Now if that isn’t motivation to get back in the gym, call your fitness buddy for an outdoor workout, or talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program for the very first time … what is?