Glenn answers those FAQs about exercise
When should I exercise? I have read that you will burn more fat if you exercise before breakfast.
The biggest factor for burning body fat is whether you do the activity in the first place. It may be interesting to speculate whether you burn more fat in certain circumstances, but the best I can give you is a general guide.
- To burn fat you have to be active in the first place.
- The fitter you are the better your body is at burning fat. To get to a reasonable level of fitness, you need to move your body 3–5 times a week.
- It doesn’t matter if you walk or jog. You will burn more fat jogging for 30 minutes than walking for 30 minutes. On the other hand, you will burn more fat by walking for 60 minutes than jogging for 30 minutes.
- The amount of incidental activity during the day will potentially burn more fat than a jog. Getting up from your chair, having a stretch, taking a quick walk around the office, using the stairs etc will probably burn more body fat during the day. So don’t do 30 minutes of exercise then tick the exercise box and plonk your bum on a chair for the rest of the day.
- Weight bearing exercise like walking, aerobics and jogging are better at burning up fat stores than weight supported exercise like swimming or cycling. However it’s better to do something you enjoy than analyse its fat burning potential. Refer back to point 1.
Exercise goals for June
Fitness expert Dr Joanna McMillan Price says aim to walk at a steady comfortable pace for 20 minutes on four days. Plus complete three resistance exercises – squats (see April GI News); single leg extensions (see May) and assisted push-ups on three days.
Assisted push-ups strengthen and tone chest, shoulders and arms
The push-up is undeniably one of the best upper body exercises you can do. The push-up involves the muscles of the chest, shoulders and arms and is therefore an efficient means of toning the upper body all at once. Why do most people hate push-ups? The answer is easy—because they are hard! In fact, they are even harder if you are carrying too much body weight since you are effectively lifting your own body weight against gravity. Here is a modified version of the traditional push-up, which enables you to gain the benefits of the exercise but makes it easier for you to perform it correctly. You will need a low coffee table – alternatively, use the second or third bottom step of your stairs.
How to do it:
- Start in a kneeling position with your hands wider than your shoulders on the edge of the table or stair. Move your knees back until your body is a straight diagonal line from head to knee.
- Slowly lower your chest towards the edge of the table/stair while keeping your back flat and without letting your bottom stick up.
- At the bottom of the move, your elbows should be directly above your hands – adjust your hand position as appropriate before returning slowly to the starting position.