The best way to lose weight is to focus on your overall health first and the weight will follow. In previous articles, I have discussed what you consume = the impact on your overall health and of course your weight. However, in this article we will focus on exercise, the other part of the equation. There are 2 parts to exercise, A: Endurance (cardio) is for our cardiovascular health and B: Weight bearing exercises is for our bones, muscles and immune system. Where do you start? Start with what you know you are capable of achieving. Don’t set unrealistic goals, why put that pressure on yourself, look to achieve not to fail.
For example, if you are a very sedentary person, begin most days with simply getting up every ½ hour to stretch or walk around. The next step would be to add in a more regimented, moderate cardio routine for 20-30 minutes, 3 days a week. This could be in 10 minutes spurts until you can consistently exercise for the whole duration. When ready, you can add in 1 or 2 extra days to your cardio regime and increase duration to 45 minutes.
To help you understand this, there are 2 methods below which are commonly used:
The fat burning zone: approximately 50-60% of your maximal heart rate or (220 – your age).
RPE Scale (rate of perceived exertion).
On a scale of 1 to 10
- 1 = you are relaxing watching TV
- 10 = you are totally exhausted and need to be carried to your car
For a short cardio day, aim for a 7 on the above RPE Scale- you will be perspiring and moderately winded and only able to say a few words at a time. If willing, you can add in extra spurts or bursts of the exercise you are doing to increase the intensity to an 8 and then bring back down to a 7.
Beginning your regime, you may only be able to as mentioned above (simply getting up and down often throughout the day). As you become more confident, pick up the pace and add in something like marching on the spot for 10 minutes. This to you may only feel like a level 5-6, adding in a few sets of stairs may move your exertion level to a 7 or 8, which you may find more optimum to meet your goals. Remember, start where you can and take it slow, gage your bodies response and gradually increase what you do so as not to get flustered and quit.
With cardio we can burn a lot of calories at one time and we can keep burning for up to an hour after. Below are some examples of a variety of activities are for a duration of 30 minutes and the number of calories burned:
- Jogging = 267.5
- Cross country skiing = 253
- Biking = 260
- Snow shoeing = 298
- Hiking uphill = 224
- Walking = 150
Whatever you choose to do, have fun, enjoy the benefits that are so plentiful. Besides the weight loss you may be after, it’s the mental part that you will see improve the fastest and in this age of Covid, this is what we long for the most.
Next week we will explore Resistant/Weight bearing exercise and all what this has to offer us.
*If this article or any past articles leaves you with questions, the want to be a better you, the courage to take the first step to a happier you, than please contact me at: