Posted by: Andy | 2009/05/07

Weight loss + Excercise

Hi there, Doc, i am female, 47 yrs old, don' t go to a gym I have an underactive thyriod, take 1mg Altroxin, I need to loose some weight and start doing some excercise, but.. I have a lower back problem, had an op 12 yrs ago. What excercise would you say i could do for the area from the tummy down to firm up? Please help me with this, i can not afford to go to a gym. Thanks

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Our expert says:
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This is perhaps the most common question, even those who exercise regularly, although your situation is a touch more complex because of the thyroid issue and the back problem. However, the principle remains the same. 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. And in your case, it might aggravate your back and that is obviously not what we want. 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. Given your back problem (which might be a thing of the past now, recall, your surgery might have sorted it out), I’d say walking and swimming are the best bets to begin with.

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.

Finally, remember that diet is the great “enabler”. If exercise is perfect, but diet poor, then you undermine your progress. So cover that base, perhaps by seeing a dietician, and get cover all three bases.

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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