I have a question, I am trying to get toned and lose a little weight, but I
have heard a couple of things. I have heard not to run too fast so you
stay in your fat burning zone heart rate, but I have also heard it doesn't
matter if your heart goes into the endurance zone because you are still
burning calories and fat. Which is true? I just want to make sure I am
getting the best bang for my buck when I am running, thanks!
— Fat to Burn
Who of us hasn't been suckered into the notion of the "fat burning" zone? Truth is though, to lose weight you need to burn up calories, and endurance training does that more efficiently and effectively than staying in a lower heart rate zone. While it is true that the body burns a higher percentage of calories from fat during more mellow exercise like walking and easy cycling, when you increase the intensity of your cardio workout, you burn a greater number of overall calories (which should be your focus for weight loss) and subsequently just as much total fat.
So be efficient and do both simultaneously, burn it all up getting your heat rate above the Fat Burning Zone. To add intensity and calorie burning potential to your workout you should try interval training. It not only increases your cardiovascular fitness but it also increases your body's potential to burn fat! If you want a workout in this vein, check out Get IT Up, Your Heart Rate That Is: Interval Training.