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What your weight loss regime is missing

8/24 10:31:04

Dr. Didier Chapelot, director of the degree course in Adapted Physical Education at Paris 13 University says that physical activity does not stop at just playing sport. It can be any number of different activities which increase the energy you burn, like household chores, gardening or dance for example. 

For many years now, individuals hoping to lose weight have been advised to take up moderate physical exercise for long sessions (minimum 30 minutes, if possible at least 45 minutes), like fast walking, cycling, cardio training or swimming. For Dr. Chapelot, “It is this type of exercise which allows the body to use up its fat reserves as fuel. What’s more, the effects of this exercise will last and you will continue to burn calories over the next 24 to 48 hours. 

“Research has shown that it is more intense types of exercise which really kickstart the metabolism however. Moreover, these activities are more effective for gaining muscle mass” Dr Chapelot tells us. A few examples of how you can burn more fat are; pedalling faster when cycling, working on a particular group of muscles using weights or floats in the swimming pool, or working out on muscle building equipment in the gym.

He advises combining at least 10 000 steps a day (measured using a pedometer) and exercising intensely for a prolonged period (inevitably less than 30 minutes) at least three times a week, if overweight. If you lead a very sedentary life, this program may have to be introduced gradually. You can start with 3 000 - 5 000 steps, then increase this by 500 or 1 000 steps each week.

The first step is to get advice from your doctor. A medical examination will allow a GP to assess the amount of tension your joints are under, take a blood sample and point you in the right direction in terms of exercise which is best suited to you. Cardiologists can also give specialist recommendations based on different assessments such as the cardiac stress test. A visit to a specialist is recommended if you are over 50, and essential if you are suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes with complications. 

The second step is to get some guidance from a sports professional so that physical activity can be a real pleasure, and so that its effects on your health can be measured through the improvement of your physical fitness and health. 


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