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Question
Posted by: Flabby | 2007/03/12

Cardio enough?

Im 117kg and 1.86m tall.Male

I'm starting out on a balanced diet this week. I have a treadmill at home and want to know if walking/jogging everyday is enough exercise to loose weight or do I still need to go to the gym and do some weight training? I don't mind the treadmill but I hate going to the Gym

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Our expert says:
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Hi Flabby

I think that it's fine to start with. The cardio is definitely more important for the initial weight loss. The only way you will be able to lift your metabolic rate, and therefore burn more energy including fat, is by doing regular cardio training. Weight training has its place, as I will explain, but the cardio is the vital aspect that needs to be there to kickstart weight loss.

Cardio would include activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics, swimming etc. So you can make use of your treadmill. It is important to exercise between 4 and 5 times a week, for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes each session. It is also ideal to work at a moderate to hard intensity, but for a longer duration. You should aim to do these sessions at an intensity that allows you to complete the session without feeling completely exhausted, but having worked up a good sweat and feeling that your breathing and metabolic rate are elevated. Just a word of caution here - be careful about only doing the exercise at home, because in my experience, when one exercises only at home, there is a greater risk of boredom, and the key to success is to do this for a long time. That means months, not weeks, and so you have to do whatever it takes to do this for months. And any variety you can get, even if it is a walk outside, or a gym session, or some swimming or cycling, once a week, is a big help in this regard.

now, with regards to weight training, it is important because lean muscle has a naturally higher metabolic rate than fat does. So, if you can increase your lean muscle mass (by weight training) then the idea is that you will also increase the metabolic rate, which means that you will, even at rest, be able to burn more energy. Hence, you will be able to keep weight off. So, that is where it fits in. However, the most important thing is to get started and to actually lose weight, you must be doing cardio training - the increase you get in metabolic rate during a 30 minute bout of cardio (and for the few hours after) far outweighs the weight training increases, and so if it's weight loss you are after, then cardio is the way to go. Once you have achieved weight loss, or you are still busy achieving it, then the weight training becomes important to sustain it.

Hope this helps
Regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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