Our expert says:
I'll start with the last questions first, because their answer is essentialy the same as the answer to the first one...
I think you should be aiming for 5 days a week. THat does not mean 5 right away, you might do 3 now, and give your body a chance to rest in between, but eventually, you want to be working towards 5. I think the time of day is up to you - there is no "better" time to train. The best time to train is the time you will train. Some people can't get out of bed in the mornings, others can't find the energy to train after work. If you're the former, then train after work. If you are the latter, then go in the mornings. The main thing is to go...
Now to answer your first question, this is perhaps the most common question, even those who exercise regularly. It’s particularly troublesome as we get older, because we lose muscle mass and that makes it more and more difficult to combat the body’s frustrating tendency to store fat, which is really the problem here. Our genes determine where that fat is deposited, which is why some people battle with the stomach, others with arms or thighs.
Regardless of the location, the key is a combination of proper exercise and careful diet. Proper exercise means avoiding the myth that you can spot reduce. That is, there is a perception that you can target specific areas for fat loss by doing very specific exercise. Unfortunately, a million sit-ups a day is not the sole solution. It certainly has a beneficial effect, as I’ll explain, but by itself is not the solution. So rather than becoming pre-occupied on one area, your aim should be to increase metabolic rate – that’s how you burn fat. You do through regular cardiovascular exercise, which includes cycling, aerobics, taebo, spinning, walking or jogging.
You should then combine this with some weight training. Weight training, which includes sit-ups, is helpful because it increases muscle mass (which has the long-term effect of raising metabolic rate) and because it literally helps create more muscle. More muscle means a more toned appearance. Just doing sit-ups is a start, but you can raise the impact by doing a variety of exercises that target different abdominal muscles.
In terms of a programme, I'd say to check out the Fitness page of this site, click on "Programmes" and then take it from there - you'll see a number of programmes that you can mix and match, as you see fit!
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