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Question
Posted by: Mickey | 2004/10/26

'Just 20 minutes a day'

I recently purchased the ORBITREK and remembered the ad that stated that you need only exercise for 20 minutes a day. After visiting the calorie corner, i find this bit of information hard to believe. I do an average of 10km's everday at a moderate intensity for about 25-30 minutes on the orbitrek, and manage to lose just about 150 calories. I was surprized to find that most fast foods contain typically just more than 500 calories! I do not consume fast foods on a regular basis but i'd like to know if it is possible to lose weight on the ORBITREK exercisng for just 20 minutes a day.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Mickey

ONe has to be a bit careful about counting calories. For one thing, it's an inexact science, and even the best equations and estimations are a little inaccurate. Secondly, remember that you don't only burn calories during the day when you exercise, you are always burning and so any estimations you make based on exercise alone only account for a tiny proportion of your total during the day, and that's a big factor.

In my opinion, then calorie counting is a fruitless exercise, and the body is too clever to be tricked into losing weight by calorie counting methods. As interesting as they are then, the key is just to exercise regularly and often and then to listen to the body with discipline. That means not overindulging, but it also means not being too regimented in things like diet. If you exercise for your 30 to 45 minutes a day, and you eat well, then the weight will come down (OK, a bit of a simplification because things like intensity, frequency and genetics also influence this)

As far as the orbitrek goes, 20 minutes is very ambitious. Even running, which is the highest 'metabolic' activity, requires a little more than this, and so I think that the makers are trying to give people a reason to buy the equipment by selling the idea that it can cut down on the exercise time. Of course, 20 minutes is better than nothing and if you eat right, you could lose weight anyway, but I think that 40 minutes is probably closer to the truth.

HOpe this helps

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