Energy to support low-intensity activity, such as walking, is primarily derived from body fat. As exercise intensity increases, carbohydrate becomes the preferred source of energy. Athletes who train at a high intensity may recognize the importance of consuming foods rich in carbohydrate to support their training, but many find it difficult to maintain a desirable weight or body fat percentage while following a high-carbohydrate diet. It’s important to recognize that excess body fat is a result of overeating and not due to carbohydrate consumption, specifically.
Compared to energy management through diet (i.e., caloric restriction), exercise is a poor strategy for promoting fat loss. This is because the amount of activity required to lose a significant amount of body fat is excessively taxing to the body and it’s time consuming. It’s been estimated that the approximate energy requirement of running a mile (after accounting for the energy requirement of merely keeping the body alive) can be computed by multiplying weight in pounds by .63.
There is evidence to suggest that a cross-training intervention can offer benefits to athletic dancers. Koutedakis et al. (2007) selected students from a modern dance company who were randomly assigned to an aerobic and strength training condition or a control condition. Those in the exercise condition (n = 19) participated in running, cycling, or swimming 2-3x/week and weight training with free weights 2-3x/week for 12 weeks. The compliance rate was 84%. Those in the control condition (n = 13) performed typical dance training activities. [Read more…]