|Lets fact it, we don't always have time for Cardio,,,, or do we?
Any cardio is better than No Cardio but how do you fit it in on a busy schedule?
Getting In Your Cardio
As we've said countless times before, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn over a period of time to lose body fat. The best way to up your energy expenditure is by doing a mixture of resistance training and aerobic exercise. The problem becomes finding the time to do both. While a session of weight training may take only 20 minutes, cardio sessions take considerably longer. To burn about 400 calories by walking at a 15-minute per mile pace, you would need to walk for an hour. Even running 4 miles at 10 minutes per mile, which requires a high degree of cardiovascular fitness, takes 40 minutes plus time to stretch. For a busy person, that’s a lot of time. There are a few solutions.
The other answer is to consolidate your activities. In other words, get things done while you’re doing your cardio. If you can’t go without reading the morning paper, bring it on the treadmill when you get up. If you barely see your significant other, make it a point to exercise together. I trained a couple who had two treadmills set up side-by-side in their house’s office. They would each walk three mile every night as they talked and watched T.V. I often read or get caught up on the news while I do cardio. I also love The Simpsons, so a half hour flies by when it’s on. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching it, I cover two miles on the treadmill. It burns about 200 calories, which is 200 calories more than if I sat on the couch, and I don’t care so much about going to my cabinet and getting out the Doritos. Plus there’s nothing like a slow run on the beach at sundown.
Imagine you are back in the era of the Neanderthals, hunting and gathering as winter approaches. Edible vegetation is scarce, but the men have just killed a wooly mammoth that they have been chasing for a week. This will be the first thing the group has eaten in over eight days. Could you imagine the lead hunter telling his kin that he’s going to go for a jog now? No way. It’s ridiculous. This man needs to save his energy (and his minimal body fat stores) for the upcoming hardships of winter. The point of this story is that unless you find yourself in a situation similar to the caveman, you can’t really do too much cardio.
Before I go on, I want to be clear that we are looking only at the human body on a physiologic level. There are numerous mental illnesses associated with compulsive exercise, and we encourage everyone who exercises to an extreme to seek the appropriate treatment. Rather, this editorial is intended only to show you that, if you want to lose body fat, you do not have to worry about a negative effect on your body from doing an extra cardio session here and there. In fact, the effect is just the opposite.
Diet-book gurus know this, but they can’t sell it. It’s easier to get people to buy into a diet with minimal exercise. I have read things like: if you do too much cardio, you’ll loose your muscle; you’ll over-train. Sorry, but this just isn’t true. Only bodybuilders training for a competition and elite athletes with minimal body fat need to worry about overtraining, provided you follow a well-constructed cardio plan. Most people would benefit from doing more aerobics.
Our society is sedentary. We sit behind desks, drive cars, and take elevators. Doing aerobic activity is not part of most people’s lives, which is why it is necessary to take time to do it. The human body is excellent at storing calories. Our caveman friend needed every calorie he consumed. Today, we really don’t. There’s a McDonald’s at every turn, and I’d venture to say no overweight people are starving. Please follow with me.
As you know, in order to loose weight, you need to eat less than you burn. By burning more calories through aerobic exercise, you can loose the same amount of weight but eat more food, or eat the same amount of food and loose more weight. Not only that, but aerobic exercise is an incredible overall health booster. Among other things, it lowers your bad cholesterol, raises your good cholesterol, and lowers your blood pressure. Finally, when you follow a carefully constructed plan, starting slow and building, you will enjoy doing aerobic exercise. I haven’t met anyone yet who has eliminated simple sugars from their diet and enjoys never eating ice cream. The point is, by becoming more fit through exercise, you don’t have to starve yourself. It always strikes me as odd, even a bit ironic, that it’s the overweight individual that won’t eat a potato chip, while a marathon runner eats pasta and cookies. Why is it ironic? Because if the first gentleman trained to run a marathon, he would not be overweight and he wouldn’t worry about eating some carbohydrates.
No one wants to hear that they are going to have to run for 3 miles three or four times a week. I am telling you that you are going to want to run 3 miles three or four times per week. The secret is following a careful plan to avoid burnout and keep it enjoyable. That’s what we are here for. Let us turn you into the machine you’ve always wanted to be.
Charlie Seltzer, MD
Website coming Jan-10-2010 http://www.depersiamedical.com/