Exercise! - What is more important....

View Full Version : What is more important....

06-15-2004, 02:19 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have a quick question. What is more important, getting in 30 minutes of cardio workout at a lower level (i.e. level 6 on the elipitical trainer instead of level 7) and not getting as good of an aerobic workout or going 20 minutes on the higher level and getting a great aerobic workout. I can't seem to stay on the machine for 30 minutes at the higher level, but want to get the most out of my workout.

lisa z.

06-15-2004, 02:32 PM
Lisa - I'm going to recommend that you check out "Body for life" by Bill Phillips it has, what I think, is a great training program that I myself am getting ready to start :) You can check out the book at your local library and see if you like what he has to say. He has the 20 min aerobic solution (I think thats what it was called, sorry I don't have the book right here) Also I recommend that you alternate 3 days weight training with 3 days cardio but as with any fitness program please check with your physician first. Also I have a thread here called Fundamentals of fitness check it out it may give you some good ideas. Good Luck!

06-15-2004, 03:36 PM
There is an old persistent myth that people trying to lose weight should work out for a longer period of time at lower intensities, because you'll burn through your glycogen (muscle sugar) stores and tap into fat. The fact is, it's your total caloric burn for the day that counts. So, at the durations you are talking about, in terms of calories burned, it's probably a wash. BUT, for cardiovascular and overall health, you DEFINITELY want to work in your target heart zone as much as you can. Even if you can't do more than 20 minutes now, you will be able to do more in the future. There are all sorts of strategies for increasing your time at cardio. For example, you could make a deal with yourself that you will increase your duration for 1 minute each session, or every other session, or something like that. Remember that if you do the same thing for the same duration at the same intensity, your body will get more efficient and actually require fewer calories than it did when you first started. One day during the week, you can add intervals to your routine, where you go hard and fast for 2 minutes, then at a more moderate pace for 2 minutes, and alternate. Another thing I do is have an extra-hard 20-minute workout one day, an interval workout for 30 minutes another, and a moderate (but still in my target heart rate) workout for 40 minutes another day. I also mix up what I do ... walk the track for the moderate workout, use the elliptical for the harder & interval workouts, even use the bikes occasionally.

The important thing is to do what you can, work in your target heart zone for as much as you can, and just work on doing a little more, gradually, over time. Also, as has already been mentioned, strength training is very important for overall health and weight loss, so if you're not doing that already, look into adding that to your routine. I actually workout 4 days per week -- cardio plus either an upper body or lower body weight routine, alternating. Then, if I have time, I might throw in a neighborhood walk, a yoga session (I try to do at least one every week), pilates, or something similar.

06-16-2004, 10:20 AM
Funnie it sounds as if you have a pretty well rounded fitness program. Keep up the good work :)


06-17-2004, 05:02 PM

You'll find lots and lots and lots of contadictory messages on this subject. All of which are based on individual interpretations of good or bad science.

The bottom line is that you should do 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week to reap a whole heap of health benefits.

Moderate is the rate YOU work at that makes you a little hotter than normal and a little out of breath but being able to say your telephone number - including dialling code - at all times.

Note that this amount is for health benefits, not appearance, body building or anything else.

The next thing to believe is that exercise alone won't lose you any weight NONE!!!! Exercise reshapes your body, changing your body composition from more fat% than muscle% to a more healthy balance, and it helps MAINTAIN weight loss - it does NOT cause it!

As for what sort of exercise the short answer is ANY YOU LIKE! There are benefits to both cardio and strength workouts. The secret to success is INITIALLY to find one you like and do that. Then you can move on to a balance of each - as you feel comfortable and capable!

I hope this helps. I spend a lot of my working day trying to get this message across to clients and I know that the slow and steady message is not one we like. Believe me if I knew a quicker fix I would have used it on myself and then sold the programme for a lot of money!!!