Posted by: Shad | 2008/10/01


Please help I have lost 21 kgs and would like to start some sort of execises I am in my 50,s so I can,t do to much. Will it be ok to execise doing sit up' s running on the sport ect for about 15 mins and then using the execise bike for another 10 to 15 mins. I need to tighten up the stomach section.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Shad

Losing weight by exercise depends on many factors. First, there is diet, and I can't emphasize strongly enough how important diet is. You can train all you want but if you don't also eat very well, you won't lose weight, and so I encourage you to see a dietician or find a good diet if you are serious.

As far as exercise goes, it is the cardio training, like cycling, running, stepping, aerobics, walking etc. that is most helpful in losing weight. All these activities cause heart rate to go up, and are increasing your body's metabolic rate, which ultimately causes you to lose weight by burning more fat (again, assuming you are also eating well). So I would say you should continue with what you are doing, keep focussed on the cardio. I think that 4 times a week is the minimum you should aim to exercise, five is probably the ideal number, but four is fine too. The intensity you train is also very important. A lot of times, people train a little too easy, perhaps. I am not saying you should go out and push super hard and exhaust yourself every day, but stepping up the intensity once or twice a week is certainly a good thing. In your case, your current fitness level and age mean that you have to be cautious as you start out, and so maybe 20 minutes, three or four times a week is plenty for now. As you get fitter, this will increase. I'd advise, for practical reasons, that you don't just run on the spot - rather get outside and walk or jog around the neighbourhood (not sure if this is feasible), or else find a local school where you can walk on the fields away from traffic and so forth. But running on the spot is both boring and likely to injure you.

Finally, the weight training is also beneficial, though it has a different effect - by doing weight training, you increase your muscle mass, and that means that you body's metabolic rate is lifted. The effect of this is that once you begin to lose weight, you keep it off more than you would by simply dieting. So it is important to do some resistance training, though one or two sessions a week is plenty for the goals of fitness and weight loss.

So just keep it up, give it a few months to work - remember, you have to be consistent, one month of training, one month resting is not really that effective, it should be a steady training period over many months to really see great results.

Good luck

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