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Question
Posted by: Cindy | 2008/06/19

Pilates DVDs

Hi

I've got 2 x 20 minute pilates dvds, I am trying to loose weight and tone, how often should I do them and should I be doing both after each other? As 20 minutes doesn't seem enough exercise.

The one is a full body and then the other thighs, butt & legs.

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Cindy

I'd say every second day for a start, and certainly, you might wish to combine them, because they are separate in terms of which muscles they target. So I'd do them back to back.

The othe rthing you might wish to consider is some cardio training, because given your goals, it's the cardio that will make the biggest impact. The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole body exercise. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck
Ross


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