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Fat Oxidation During Activity and Exercise
What is fat oxidation? Does it help with losing weight during exercise? How do fats affect fitness and how does fitness affect fats? Those are all great questions. To answer them, we first have to start with how fats are stored in your body.
Fats are also known as lipids. Those lipids come in a lot of forms. A couple of them are essential fatty acids and triglycerides. Essential fatty acids are used for such important work as lubricating joints and reducing irritation and inflammation in your body.
Triglycerides, meanwhile, are a bit different. They're used as a form of energy to power the body. They're found in food, and, as a result of eating foods, they wind up in our blood plasma. For example, carbohydrates that we eat are often converted to triglycerides, if they aren't used quickly. Once the conversion takes place, they travel to storage cells in our bodies.
Fat oxidation is a process by which the stored, giant lipid molecules are broken back down into their smaller parts, triglycerides and fatty acids. Why is the process necessary? Well, we eat more lipids at a given time than we need at that time. However, we don't eat constantly all day long. So, it's a form of time release that allows us to have energy throughout the day.
Without the fat oxidation process, fat molecules would stay in their larger form. The larger molecules can't be used as energy by the body, so, they just stack up. They provide some insulation, but that's about all. So, fat oxidation is extremely important, if we want to function on a daily basis.
How does the magic happen? Well, our bodies are full of hormones and it's the job of some of those hormones to regulate the triglyceride conversion. It's a bit like controlling a valve to slowly release air into a tire or balloon. Without that slow release, we'd have far too much energy being released to use at a given time and we'd run out in times of need.
A lot of people think that fat is bad. After all, it's drilled into our heads from a young age that, if we eat too many fats, we'll get fat ourselves. The right lipids are not the enemy, though. Yes, saturated fats and trans-fats are bad, but there are also such things as healthy fats. As mentioned above, the body needs fats to function, so it's not about eliminating lipids. It's about having a little lipid control.
Too Much of a Good Thing:
There is definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing. That's true of a lot of things, including lipids. If you take in more than you need, even if they're “healthy” fats, they start to stock pile and store up. That's what causes our waist lines to expand and our energy levels to drop. It can also cause or be caused by a variety of health problems.
Having too many triglycerides can be the root cause of a problem. In fact, too many triglycerides in your system could give you an increased risk of such things as coronary artery disease. However, sometimes you also have to scratch beneath the surface of the problem.
Typically, diet and exercise can keep our triglyceride levels well balanced. If you have an underlying illness, though, it's a different story. Diabetes, for example, can cause elevated triglyceride levels. So, it's important to find out what the cause of the triglyceride problem actually is. For that, you should consult your doctor and have your plasma tested, to begin with. Then go from there, based on the results.
Triglycerides, Fat Oxidation and Exercise:
The fat oxidation process supplies important energy to your body. So, a lot of people feel the need to stock up on triglycerides before a workout by increasing their carbohydrate intake or eating more fats. The truth is, though, that that really only needs to be done by some pro athletes. The average person just needs to eat a balanced daily diet to have the triglycerides they need. Over loading on carbohydrates before an average workout by an average person is only going to make fat oxidation harder in the long run.
What Too Many Fats Do to Exercise Routines:
Now, if you are building up too many fats, it can cause a lot of problems that can impede your weekly workouts. For one thing, it can make you lethargic. If you're tired, you aren't even going to want to exercise.
Not only that, though, but being over weight and having an excess of fats is going to make you more prone to injuries. It will also make you more likely to develop problems during exercise, such as shortness of breath. So, triglycerides are good, but extra triglycerides can be very detrimental.
If you want to regulate your triglycerides and make the most of your exercises, as well as your life in general, there are some things you can do. One of the most important is to watch how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol can really raise your triglyceride levels through the roof.
Next, be sure to eat a balanced diet. That means getting plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, especially. Also, reducing red meats and increasing fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help your triglyceride levels quite a bit. Sardines, tuna and salmon are a few of the healthier fish.
What it all comes down to is that fat oxidation is a major process that goes on in our bodies. We've got to give our bodies the right fuel for the process and the right amount of fuel, just as we give our cars the right amount and type of gas. That way, our bodies will be much healthier and we'll be much happier.
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