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Question

14 Mar 2004

Daring
I am 42 yr old an female and batteling with obesity, my length is 1.65m and i weigh 97kg. I have been dared by my friend to loose at least 20kg from today up untill 23 th June 2004,which give me 3 months. If i am then at my target point my friend will gave me R 1000, and if i am not then i must pay him R2000. He hates my weight as much as i do so, he did put everything on paper and now i have a sort of a daring contract. I love walking, powerwalking but are not disciplined to do it every day, but i want to give this contract a go, i want to ask from you how many km's per day must i do and in what time? I am unfit, but can do now 5 km in 55 minutes. I dont want to go to the gym but rather rely on this walking, which is much cheaper. I know about the diets that i must do, so my concern is the excersizing, and i want to reach my goal. So what do you think, is there hope for me? Will keep you up to date. Thankyou.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

That's quite a challenge. I hope that you have not made an unrealistic bet here. I hate to say it, but 20 kg in three months is going to be very tough. It is possible though, and one thing that you have in your favour, is that you aren't trying to lose weight at the lower end of the scale. In otherwords, it's really hard to lose weight once you get really near your goal or optimum weight. However, you should still be on the steep part of the slope, but it will still be very tough.

I think that you really need to be very disciplined - regular cardiovascular exercise is what you need. Walking is one such activity, and because of it's ease and convenience, it's a good place to start. My first suggestion is that you begin by walking for at least 45 minutes, 4 or 5 times a week, at a pace that is what you would describe as 'steady'. It's important that you don't finish these walks exhausted, but that you always feel like you have something in reserve at the end. I would say that you should be aiming for between 4 and 5 km per day, which would give you between 45 and 50 minutes.

Then, the second thing to do, and I would suggest starting this in 2 weeks, once you have some level of fitness behind you, is to do something called interval training. For this, I would suggest that you take 2 days a week where you alternate periods of fast and slow walking. So, you would be walking 5 times a week, with 3 of these walks being 50 to 60 minutes of steady walks (5 to 6 km), and the other two walks would be interval sessions. For interval training, I would suggest that you walk very fast for about 5 minutes, then very slowly for 5 minutes. If you repeat this 4 or 5 times, then you have a total of 40 to 50 minutes, of which 20 to 25 minutes is very fast walking. Fast is of course relative, but I would say that anything faster than your normal walking speed is good. If you can cover about 600 to 700 m in these 5 minutes, then it's a good pace to be walking. \

Lastly, remember that it is often diet, and not exercise, that is the main weapon against weight, and the most effective way of reducing weight is modifying diet. I would suggest that you speak with a dietician, who can give you realistic guidelines and a structured diet. This may seem like a waste or unnecessary expense, but considering the high goal you have, I think that seeing a dietician would be warranted.

Please keep me up to date with the progress. I think that it's a great goal to have, and regardless of what happens, losing weight and getting fitter is going to help you and in the end is worth more than R1000, but I really hope that you don't become demotivated with the achievement of this goal, because it is tough, and that your committment to exercise continues beyond June 23, and that ultimately, you can get down to the low 70's. But, it will take hard work, and so don't create any false illusions on this one.

GOod luck
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