Lots of weight loss questions answered. This page answers questions on exercise and training. If you want to see dieting questions answered, try here! Feel free to submit any weight loss question to us.
How often should I exercise and how can I tell if I’m doing too much?
How often we need to exercise depends on the individual and what they’re trying to achieve – whether its losing weight, toning up, building muscle or fitness. For weight loss it would be enough exercise if you are experiencing steady, sensible progress, if this slows or stops you could look more on the diet side. Training 3 times per week should be enough and well within a healthy person’s capability although if no exercise has been undertaken for a while it would be important to start lightly and consult physician or your GP beforehand. After a few months, if you have the times and feel up to it you may add another session at the gym each week to push for more weight loss progress! If you do add another session make sure to get a full 8 hours sleep each night to help you recover.
Some indications of doing too much exercise are a sudden appearance of some or all of the following signs:
A consistent loss of appetite – exercise should help regulate appetite not destroy it
Insomnia or disruptive sleep patterns – proper exercise should help us sleep more soundly
racing heart rate after sleep – we should feel relaxed after sleep not anxious
A regular and strong feeling of lethargy – a good indication only if combined with some of the above
If you experience any of the above symptoms remember it may not be a definite sign of overtraining there could be many other causes, these are only a guide so consult your physician as soon as possible if you are unsure.
A question borrowed from Tom Venuto’s website. He is a leading expert on exercise – thanks Tom!
I’m pretty lean overall, but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get rid of this last little bit of fat on my lower abs. What are the best ab exercises to burn the fat off?
If I hear this question one more time, I’m gonna scream! Ok, let me clear this up once and for all: You can’t “spot reduce” fat from one specific part of your body! You lose fat systemically. That means you can’t control where it comes from. When fat is oxidized for energy, you will draw it from all areas of the body, and the first place you tend to put it on will be the last place it comes off.
Everyone has certain “stubborn” areas where the fat seems “hard to get rid of” but the fat WILL go, it will just be the last place to go.
The best way to burn fat off your abs is not to do more ab work, but to do more cardiovascular work: Bike, Stairmaster, treadmill, elliptical machine or rower – they’re all great fat burners. Work at about 70-85% of your age-predicted maximal heart rate (220-your age) and maintain it for 30-45 minutes 5-6 days a week for optimal results.
Train your abs about twice a week, just as you would any other body part. Doing your abs every day will do almost nothing to remove the layer of fat covering the muscles. In fact, it’s possible to have a great set of abs that you can’t even see because they are covered up with a layer of fat!
And don’t forget, nutrition is half the battle when it comes to fat loss! If you’re drinking beer and eating pizza on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym, you’ll probably never get a great set of abs.