Jen Hamel, Edmonton Fitness Trainer

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I do Cardio all the time how come I can't lose weight?

Posted by onthegofitness on May 31, 2009 at 8:07 PM

As a Personal Trainer, I hear this question all the time - I see people at the gym all the time constantly on the treadmills, ellipticals, etc trying to LOSE weight, day in - day out. Looking the same as they did weeks ago!We've been mis-informed for years that doing tons of cardio is the golden road to weight loss. That is only a fraction, small fraction in the equation!I tell my potential clients - if you are not willing to change your eating habits, do more weight training then I cannot help you. You see friends...cardio is just a small fraction. To boost the metabolism - you need to "feed the furnace" which is your stomach with 5-6 small meals a day. You will be eating every 2-3 hours or so but that will help to rev up the metabo so it's constantly burning and working in your favor!! HEALTHY, low-fat meals now...I'm not talking fast food stuff either, lolA healthy, balanced meal is simply equal portions of protien, carbs and veggies. The correct portion for each is easy to figure out - each one should be the same size as your closed fist.To further enhance your health, eating organic, no pesticides, no hormones, etc added to your foods will keep you healthier not only in the present, but in your future you'll avoid health issues. ( that's a topic for an upcoming article, stay tuned...)So we've talked about how to eat properly, now we'll go back to Cardio. If you are not sure how to exercise properly - the BEST advice I can give you is to contract a Personal Trainer! You wouldn't try to work on your own teeth and end up doing something wrong to yourself?? You go to a Dentist. When you are sick, you go to a Doctor (for the most part - but it is advisable to be an informed consumer, especially if it is a serious health issue) So, why do people seem to think they can work-out effectively without having had at least some training and guidance from a professional in the Fitness field? It is highly advisable for everyone to have some kind of training, it will only educate you about yourself, the way your own body works, target your problem areas and enhance your best features - safely.Depending on your current health and status, you should tailor that to the length and intensity of your Cardio workouts. If you're on any kinds of medications - talk to your health care professional for guidance. In general, for a healthy, non-medicated individual, Cardio could be done between 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week. Many of the Cardio machines have a Heart Rate moniter on them - be sure to set your target heart rate for maximum benefit! THAT is super important. You don't want to "spin your wheels" and burn muscle instead of fat!!The 3rd important part of the Fitness is weight training. Ladies, it is a MYTH that you’ll bulk up with huge muscles if you lift weights! Unless you have a super high testosterone level, take certain supplements you will not bulk up like men do. What we need to do, both men and women, with the weight training is to tone and strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons, period! (Those guys and gals that want to take it a step further and bulk up have different routines and supplements.) What most don’t realize it that with in weight training, if you’re doing Circuit Training you are also incorporating cardio into the routine. it is important for you to use these 3 aspects as ONE plan. Think of a circle and break it up into 3 sections, with Cardio having just a quarter or less of the whole pie! Eating nutritionally balanced meals 5-6 times a day, weight training and cardio used with the correct formula will get you results. I suggest at least one year with a Personal Trainer to get you started in the right direction, teaching you the formula to figure out your THR (Target Heart Rate) what cardio is best for you, what weight training to do and how to do it correctly and safely will be to your benefit. Aside from the accountability aspect, you’ll HAVE to show up at the gym if you paid for a Trainer – the motivation and friendship you’ll receive from the right Trainer is invaluable in itself.

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