Dr Sear’s PACE programme for weight loss!

Durational exercise tells your body to build fat. That’s how your body adapts to this kind of activity. Then, if you stop your cardio routine, you’ll put on even more fat very rapidly. This is common as your body gets into the routine of making the extra fat.  Many just get bored. But many find they have to stop cardio because this unnatural activity has caused degeneration of their joints. And another point: If you persist through middle age and beyond, cardio accelerates some very negative effects of aging. It lowers testosterone and growth hormone, boosts destructive cortisol levels and robs you of muscle, bone and internal organ mass and strength.

But short-duration exercise – like PACE – actually increases levels of growth hormone. Researchers from Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England tested growth hormone levels in sprinters and endurance athletes. On average, the sprinters had 3 times as much growth hormone as the endurance runners.3 The biggest point they missed is this: The most important changes from exercise occur after, not during, the exercise period.

The way you exercise affects your metabolism for several days. The important changes begin after you stop exercising. This is good news. It means all you have to do during your exercise is stimulate the adaptive response you need – like reducing your need for fat or building reserve capacity in your heart. Your body will continue making the important changes afterwards – while you rest. You don’t need to go to the gym to get started.

Let’s take walking as an example. This is the easiest way to get started if you’re de-conditioned or facing a physical challenge. Here are a few points to consider: When you’re walking, you need to start at a comfortable pace and slowly speed up until you feel your heart rate increase. When you feel this extra bit of exertion, maintain it until you start to feel winded. Then stop and catch your breath. Take a few minutes to recover and focus on your breath until you’re breathing normally. This will be your first “set.”

You warm up by walking at a normal, comfortable pace for 1 to 2 minutes. Then you slowly start to walk faster. As you increase your speed, pick a target and then maintain it. This is a little subjective, so you’re going to have to get a feel for it. For example, when you start off walking at a normal pace, imagine your top walking speed and then work back from there. So tell yourself, “I’m going to walk normally and then increase my speed by about 15%.” Then hold that speed and maintain it for a few minutes.

If you don’t feel like that increase is giving you a challenge, go up a notch until you’ve increased your speed by 20 to 25%. Then hold that speed and maintain it for a few minutes. This is how you gauge your exertion level. You know you’re getting close when you feel your heart rate go up. And when you feel this extra exertion, look at your watch and see how long you can sustain it. If you can do it for 2 to 3 minutes, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. Just follow this pattern.

After you’ve challenged yourself for a few minutes, stop and rest. Ideally, you should feel winded. You should be breathing heavier than you usually do and you should feel your heart beating faster. Now begin your recovery period. Allow your heart rate and breath to return to normal. When you’ve completed your first set, try another. At this point, repeat your first set without increasing your intensity. If you want to ramp up the challenge, increase the amount of time you walk at a faster speed. By walking and first gauging your exertion capacity, you can do a productive PACE routine at your own level. It doesn’t matter how quickly you can walk. Even if your top exertion speed is just above your normal walking speed, you can give yourself enough of a challenge to expand your lung volume and build reserve capacity in your heart. This gradual build up in cardio-pulmonary power will get you to higher levels and extend your endurance.

Little by little, you’ll become more and more conditioned and better able to handle more intense challenges. When you feel you’ve improved your exercise capacity – or if you want to start with something more challenging than walking – use this same formula with swimming or biking. Both give you a good heart and lung workout.

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