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Exercise and Fitness

Can`t increase cardio intensity

05/02/2007

Question:

I have been exercising for a long time (cardio and weights) but I can`t seem to increase the intensity of my cardio routine. I have never been able to run, I get out of breath within 2 minutes and my legs feel heavy and awkward. So, I usually spend about 45 minutes on low intensity cardio and then 20 minutes lifting weights 3-5x/week. I will admit to a poor diet. I eat healthy food on occasion but have a real addiction to sweets that I can`t shake. Plus I have an uncontrolable appetite especially after exercising. For the first half of my life I was underweight but now I am 20 or so pounds over. I am a 40 y/o female 5`5" and 148lbs. I gained 70 pounds with my first pregnancy and have had an issue with weight ever since. I know I have to get my sweet tooth under control but do you have any suggestions for increasing my cardio tolerance. It`s frustrating not seeing any results.

Answer:

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that exercise performed at a moderate intensity should be undertaken most days of the week. The duration of an exercise session interacts with the intensity to result in the expenditure of a sufficient number of calories to achieve health, fitness, and weight management goals. The duration of exercise recommended by ACSM includes 20 to 60 minutes of continuous or intermittent (minimum of 10 minute bouts)aerobic activity accumulated throughout the day. For many participants, this may be accomplished best with moderate -intensity, long-duration exercise, such as walking. A desirable weight loss program is one that implements healthy eating and physical activity habits that can be continued for life in order to maintain the achieved lower body weight.

It may also be helpful to consult a registered dietitian to review your diet to determine if you are eating in a manner that will best help you reach your goals.  Weight loss will only be successful if you commit to lifelong healthy eating and a regular exercise program. Give yourself time to adjust to a new routine and make it a part of your daily life. Good luck to you.

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Response by:

Rachael   Dotson, BS Rachael Dotson, BS
Program Manager
Certified Johnny G Spinning Instructor
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati