All Posts tagged cardio exercise

For all you cardio junkies

I am so sick of clients doing excessive  cardio – I mean mindless long runs, or bouts on the bike or eliptical. I hear about clients doing 60 minute cardio sessions and they are stiff as a board and in pain. The part that ‘kills me’ is that they won’t stretch or even listen to me when I talk to them about doing some weight lifting. I know cardio is one fat burning strategy, but it is time consuming and the reality is that aerobic activities burn far fewer calories than you think.  After doing 20-30 minutes of cardio you may feel as though you’ve burned 600 calories but the cold reality is far different. For example, researchers measured the number of calories burned when walking versus running. The study showed that the average man burns just 124 calories when running a mile and only 88 when walking the same distance. So by running three miles you can expect to burn about 396 calories and by walking three miles you will burn about 240.

Figures for other aerobic activities are shown below (these are calculated using a man who weighs 190 pounds).

•    Stationary bike (light): 474 calories per hour;
•    Walking uphill (3.5 miles per hour): 518 calories per hour;
•    High impact aerobics: 604 calories per hour;
•    Stationary bike (moderate): 604 calories per hour;
•    Jogging (light pace): 604 calories per hour;
•    Running (5 miles per hour): 690 calories per hour;
•    Stationary bike (vigorous): 906 calories per hour;

To lose one pound of body weight – you have to burn calories through exercise activity, or decrease your intake of food calories by approximately 3,000 calories. One strategy I use is to decrease 250 calories of food daily and increase your activity by 250 calories per day to reach the 3,000 calorie mark each week to lose a pound a week. Make sense? Do 30 minutes of cardio (intervals = sprints) to burn body fat and then do some weight lifting to build muscle which automatically burns more calories during rest. Or you can combine cardio + resistance. That’s what I personally do.

Too much aerobic exercise will burn calories from fat but can burn fuel from muscle cells—resulting in a loss of muscle mass—now you are screwed. The reason this happens is that periods of aerobic exercise cause the body to shift into survival mode. In this state, it strives to preserve access to fat cells by also burning fuel derived from muscle cells. It does this because the body is incapable of understanding our motivation for doing cardio. As far as it is concerned, it just needs to maintain fat reserves for any pending emergency situations where we might not have access to food.

By combining your workouts with resistance + cardio activities, you can burn up to 44% more calories. The bottom line is that resistance + cardio workouts burn considerably more calories and fat than ordinary cardio alone.

Just tell me what you like to do and I can turn any of your activities into a  cardio + resistance workout. For example, if you like to walk or jog you can pick up a set of dumbbells, some ankle weights or even a weight vest. If biking is your thing, just kick up the resistance. Whatever cardio activity it is that you like to do, I’ll show you how to add some resistance and not only will you burn more fat but you’ll also be able to maintain more of your hard-earned muscle mass.

Come in for a few sessions and I’ll teach you how to do a cardio + restance workout. This will help you lean out!



Got low back pain? Exercise on elliptical may not be the best exercise

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION
By: Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press
23/07/2010 3:56 PM
TORONTO – Elliptical trainers have been a longtime presence in gyms and fitness facilities and a go-to piece of equipment
for those looking to get their cardio fix. But for individuals suffering from lower back problems, research suggests they may need to think twice before stamping their ticket to ride on the popular workout machines.

The elliptical trainer, sometimes called a cross-trainer, is a piece of stationary exercise equipment that simulates walking or
running without causing pressure to the joints. 

Researcher Janice Moreside is a physiotherapist who’s been a clinician for more than 30 years. She said she’s found that while the majority of people who come in who use the elliptical like it, there’s a subset who say the opposite, and point to the fact using the
trainer hurts their back. Moreside, a University of Waterloo PhD candidate, works with Waterloo professor Stuart McGill whose specialty is spine research, specifically the lumbar spine or low back. The research was part of a larger study looking at the effect of hip mobility on the low back which Moreside presented Friday at the 2010 Congress of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in St. John’s, N.L.

The study involved 43 males aged 19 to 30 who exercised  on the elliptical trainer at two speeds: a self-selected speed and 30  per cent faster. Moreside said while individuals don’t necessarily move to and fro more while on the elliptical, they do adopt a more flexed posture. “They bend forward and kind of stay there and oscillate around a more flexed posture on the elliptical trainer than compared to walking, no matter what their hand position or stride length or speed was,” she said. They also twist more on the elliptical trainer than in walking, no matter how much the other variables changed, she said. And for most conditions, they actually bent side to side less than in normal walking. “So what the elliptical does is it stops you bending side to side, but you end up twisting more and you end up being flexed forwards more,” she said.

Moreside said all of those findings do affect the lumbar spine or low back. “If you are somebody who has a lumbar disc problem, we recommend that you don’t bend forwards very much. So for them, the elliptical might not be the choice because you bend forwards more than you do in walking,” she said. On top of that, users also twist more. The repeated flexion and twisting are known scientifically to encourage this degeneration, Moreside said. “If you’re already starting to get a bit of disc breakdown or sensitivity, this may not be the medium of choice for you.”

That said, for those who are older and have more joint problems in their low back as opposed to the disc, joints like to be flexed, Moreside said. As a result, some may find they prefer the elliptical. “It also does not require as much hip extension as normal walking,” Moreside said. “If somebody finds that going into hip extension is painful or has had an injury, they may find that this is
quite satisfactory because they are safe, they’re holding onto something.” For those without any low-back problems and who are
pain-free, Moreside said there shouldn’t be any issues when it comes to using the elliptical. “There’s a lot of good things about the elliptical,” Moreside said. “It’s a tremendous workout for your gluteal muscles … and it’s a great cardiovascular workout.”