silhouette of woman running over rocky trails with sunrise in background

Cardiovascular exercise does not work well.

Women coming into their perimenopausal stage in life struggle with weight gain and feel that running is the key to get this weight off!

(This does apply to many other woman’s thoughts as well).

In this article I explain about a trail that was conducted with three groups of menopausal women (700 women over a course of a year) who completed:

  • 5 x 30 mins per week
  • 5 x 45 min runs a week
  • 5 x 60 min runs per week

The diet wasn’t changed and the trail was to see if weight changed?

Calories did not change, but the idea of only cardio training.

People believe when you train you add more calorie expenditure per day on top of their RRE (resting rate energy) through basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Say your RRE burns 2000 calories then they add 300 calories through exercise, making your daily expenditure 2300 calories.

People think you can eat the extra 300 calories. They think of the metabolism as a calculator – not so unfortunately…

Let’s understand why…

If you go out and do this exercise/run each time (300 cals per run) the metabolism will work in a constrained way – the body starts to constrain all other aspects of the metabolism – for example;

  • it will fidget less,
  • move less in your sleep,
  • it will try to recoup some of the calories you burn just through being less motivated and moving less – literally!

15% of calorie burn comes from no exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) – that’s from walking around, tapping your feet, biting your nails, hanging washing, mowing lawns, washing dishes, walking from point A to point B, sitting to standing.

When you go out and do exercise it isn’t an additive it’s actually a constraint because it wants to contain energy expenditure in the NEAT area, so you’ll slow down subconsciously and recoup the energy.

Results of the study:

  1. The running program showed that women got hungry with more exercise and they ate more.
    Some of these women who had high constraining effects with the metabolism over compensated with the calorie intake due to hunger and they found an increase in weight and fat!
  2. 26.6% of women in the trails gained weight by being on this cardiovascular program, using nothing but cardiovascular training to force weight loss. They inadvertently gained weight.
  3. The other 75% of this trail – 25% ended up losing weight and the other 50% had no change in weight.

This happens in younger women as well!

So to this question: Is cardio a great way to achieve weight loss?

The answer is no – UNLESS you are in the 25% of individuals that respond to it.
Wrong if you are in the 25% that gain weight obviously.

Cardiovascular exercise does not work well – it’s a diet that has to happen if you want weight loss!.

Weight loss versus Fat loss

When you are doing lots of cardiovascular exercise you’re going to lose fat and you may actually lose muscle as well.

But remember if you are dieting only and not moving at all you are going to lose up to some studies have shown 20% of lean body mass (water, muscle, tissue, organ etc) This could be muscle, which will affect your metabolic rate (BMR) and resting energy expenditure goes down as a result.

You want to be careful with losing muscle.

If you lose 20% with dieting alone, if you add cardiovascular to the mix the movement of the muscle does cause the woman or the man to hang on to more muscle so they’ll lose less of that 20% (muscle weighs more than fat).

However if you add resistance training to the mix not only do you not lose muscle, you may gain lean muscle.

Weight loss and fat loss – maybe cardio alone is not the best way for 75% of the people, you can lose up to 20% on diet alone with no running.

If you want to run, that’s fine, but mix it up with some resistance training, not just running.
Some people may have the type 1 muscle fibres that can run better , and some people have more type 2 muscle fibres that are more explosive and strength based.

You don’t choose the sport, you find out what your body is best at – the sport chooses you!

Don’t think that running is better for all!

(Explanation by Dr Jade Teta)
Study : Dose–response effects of aerobic exercise on energy compensation in postmenopausal women: combined results from two randomized controlled trials

Please contact me if you’d like a program that will suit you individually – I work with many women who have tried everything and have now learnt to understand their body and their lifestyle.

Kerrie Fatone

COVID-19 Notice

Continuing with regular exercise is important during these uncertain times.

In line with the Department Health and Human Services under the current stage restrictions it is stated on their website that :

Indoor gyms and fitness spaces open up for up to 20 people.
Maximum 10 per space per 8 square metres.

I'd like to assure all my clients that train in my facility that I meet the health departments requirements in cleaning protocols and documentation of attendance.

Other protocols such as wearing of face mask have been put in place and will be discussed with each client.

I have outdoor facilities to accommodate those that feel more comfortable also.

Health coaching is still available and is very important at this time to help the health. I welcome all my current clients and welcome new clients who might be suffering anxiety issues, low mood and high stress. This service is certainly in demand and I have places available - please contact me for more information on 0413929702