Fitness Header
Fitness Newsletter | April 2012 | 
The Fat-Burning Myth Debunked


Program TreadmillThere's a lot of controversy out there about exercise and nutrition and what gives you the best results. As fitness professionals, much of our time is spent helping clients separate fact from fiction. One of the most common myths out there today centers around the most effective way to burn body fat.   

Myth: If I do my aerobic workouts at a low intensity, I will burn more body fat. It's more effective to work out in the 'fat-burning zone' than if I train at a high intensity.

This is music to many ears; who wouldn't want to work out at a lower-intensity and see better results? However, this myth is sending the wrong message for those concerned about their weight because it doesn't take into account the total number of calories we burn at a higher intensity versus a lower level.   

Here's an explanation from the American Council on Exercise:

While it is true that a higher proportion of calories burned during low-intensity exercise come from fat (about 60% as opposed to approximately 35% from high-intensity programs), high-intensity exercise still burns more calories from fat in the final analysis.

For example, if you perform 30 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise (i.e., at 50% of your max exercise capacity), you'll burn approximately 200 calories. About 120 of those, or 60%, come from fat. However, exercising for the same amount of time at a high intensity (i.e., 75% of your max exercise capacity) will burn approximately 400 calories, and 35% of them, or 140 calories, will come from stored fat.


So by sticking to the fat-burning zone for their workouts, many individuals are wasting valuable time. Keep in mind that you lose weight and body fat when you expend more calories than you consume, not because you burn fat (or anything else) when you exercise.

The bottom line is all forms of exercise have their benefits, but don't let the 'fat-burn' myth fool you. Low-intensity workouts do, in fact, promote weight and fat loss. You just have to do them for a longer period of time.

Quick Links

FREE Bootcamp! 


Saturday, May 5

9 am | Bayville Farms Park


Boot Camp

Experience a great workout in shaded Bayville Farms Park at this free one-hour bootcamp session!

No advance registration; just meet us in the parking lot next to the tennis courts.

Fitness Tip: Don't Forget Your Backside 


Spring is here and running season is in full swing. Cut down your time and your risk for injury by strengthening your back side. It sounds simple, but a stronger butt makes for a healthier runner. Step-ups, single-leg dead lifts and weighted squats will all do the trick.   


For more information on these exercises and other ideas for improving your strength and conditioning, contact one of our personal trainers or a member of our Fitness Team.

Register for Free Self-Defense Workshop 

Saturday, May 12 | 1-4 pm | Kempsville Recreation Center


Self DefenseDon't miss this opportunity to learn how to increase your awareness of the environment, learn about crime prevention, obtain personal safety tips, and learn how to escape from potentially dangerous situations. The Best Defense is a hands-on self-defense workshop, geared for ages 12 and up, led by Virginia Beach Police Department instructors. Those under age 16 must participate with a parent or guardian. A membership card is not required for this free workshop. Register by May 5 using EZreg or by calling or visiting any recreation center.

New Class Spotlight: Happy Hour Calorie Killer 


We've designed the perfect workout to kick start your weekend! This high-intensity workout is sure to burn tons of calories with heart-pounding interval work, cardio drills and a six-pack ab workout to finish. We leave the traditional choreographed aerobics routines behind and replace them with easy to follow, but demanding drills with pumping music to get you motivated and moving. Happy Hour Calorie Killer is offered at Great Neck on Fridays from 5:30-6:30 pm. View group fitness schedule.

Meet the Trainer: Dan Fernandez 


Dan Dan Fernandez attended Fork Union Military Academy and went on to get his Bachelor's Degree from James Madison University in Public Administration. While in college, Dan experienced firsthand what it's like to be overweight. Through exercise and proper nutrition he lost over 60 pounds and made health and fitness a priority. 


After college, Dan moved to DC and started working as a personal trainer. He eventually became the Director of Fitness at the International Country Club. Since his return to Virginia Beach, Dan has earned his MBA from the University of Maryland, University College and works in HR at a local IT firm. He is also currently enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician certification course through the City of Virginia Beach. 


Dan has always maintained his passion for fitness by working out several days per week and reserving time from his schedule to help teach others how to live a healthy lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Dan specializes in weight-loss training and thrives with clients who are motivated to see the end result.  


Dan is accepting new clients at Great Neck Recreation Center and has evening and weekend availability. Visit Great Neck to schedule an appointment with Dan or complete our online form.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


The pool at Kempsville Recreation Center will close at noon, Saturday, May 5 and reopen at 6:30 am, Monday, May 7 for a minor ladder repair.


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed on May 28 for Memorial Day.


The pool at Princess Anne Recreation Center will be closed May 19 through June 17 for maintenance.


Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If your child requires additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
Fitness Footer
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.