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Cardio -- long or intense?

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Old 08-08-2005, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default Cardio -- long or intense?

Hi Everyone!

Looking for some input / personal experience/ 2¢ worth:
(BTW here's how I did the cents symbol Alt+0162 [numbers on number pad])

Apparently, this perimenopausal stage has really messed up my metabolism -- like NO CHEATING or I gain. So, I have a lot of belly fat to lose. I am on a weight lifting program, but am confused about cardio. I have read that HIIT is the way to lose fat. But, then, I read here and other places that long (45-60 min) cardio sessions are what is needed. To me, cardio is treadmill, bicycle, elliptical, stairmaster, etc. I don't like to take the classes (other than spinning).

Can anyone give me some input on what would work best to just burn off fat in terms of cardio?

Thanks!
Luanne
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:22 PM   #2
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Personally, I believe it is the TOTAL calories you burn that make a difference, NOT how long you exercise.

The idea behind 45+ minutes of cardio is that it takes about 30 minutes of activity before your body uses up the stored fuel (glycogen) in your muscles. At that point it starts burning fat stores. So, experts advocate(d) working at a moderate pace so you could get to that magic post-30-minute period of exercise to start tapping into fat stores.

HOWEVER, people who are really up on the research are now saying that if you work out more intensely for a shorter period of time and wind up burning more calories than the moderate long workout, that's better. In addition, you can actually break up your workout if calorie-burning is your primary concern. For example, there was a study fairly recently that had two groups of women walk briskly every day. One group took one 30-minute walk; the others took three 10-minute walks. The group that did the three short walks lost more weight in month than the other group! By being active throughout the day, you keep your metabolism cranked. That type of schedule isn't going to help with cardio-vascular health as much as the longer workout, but you could do 2 walk breaks during the day and then 30 minutes or so separately and hit both.

The other thing to keep in mind is that doing the same activity for the same amount of time and intensity every day makes your body more efficient, which is great for survival but bad for sustained weight loss. I mix up short, intense workouts with longer, more moderate ones, and throw in intervals every now and then. This prevents your body from figuring out how to get by on minimal energy expenditures because you're always doing something that requires different types of energy and muscle use.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:24 AM   #3
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Luanne -- Thanks for the ¢, I've been looking for it ... Anyways, that wasn't the problem was it? I like to mix things up a lot between intense cardio and HIIT, like funnygrrl said it's good to keep the ole body guessing... One day I will walk hills on the treadmill, the next time I will jog the hills, the next time I will jog outside at a regular pace, another time I will jog/walk/run at intervals of 1 min. each, another day I will bike... The variety keeps me from getting bored too...

Hope this helps...
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:49 AM   #4
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funniegrrl and Ilene -- Thanks for the response -- I have been mixing it up and doing cardio 5-6 days a week. Guess I'll have to re-visit my eating.

Luanne
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:35 AM   #5
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Your right Luanne re-visiting your nutrition is very important... I find journaling extremely important if I don't journal I'm not honest with my food intake...
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:44 AM   #6
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I've been reading lots of cardio advice lately. One "program" that caught my eye was on how to mix it up easier. Suggestion #1 was to do 10-15 minutes on 3 different machines in a ro. #2 -- pick a machine and each workout do one of the preprogrammed workouts until you've been through them all #3-- Set up a circuit where you warm up on cardio, do a few different weights exercises, 5 min burst of cardio, a few more weights, burst of cardio, etc. I do this now and again for a week or two (it's hard to keep motivated to do it much longer than that) and usually do 2-3 sets between bursts with about 3 bursts plus the warm up and a final cardio session at the end. You could do less exercises and do your circuit more than once. Hope these help a little bit.
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