Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Way of Life to Set Your Pulse Racing; Dr Porter Continues His Weekly Column in Which He Answers Readers' Queries on Conventional Medical Issues

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Way of Life to Set Your Pulse Racing; Dr Porter Continues His Weekly Column in Which He Answers Readers' Queries on Conventional Medical Issues

Article excerpt

Byline: DR MARK PORTER

I'VE lost nearly 10lb since the New Year by cutting back and eating more healthily, but I've still got a stone to go before I hit my target weight and my doctor has suggested I start taking regular exercise. What type should I go for?

IT is now well recognised that exercise is an important factor in a successful weight-loss programme. Any regime will help you burn extra calories and shift weight, but if you want to get maximum results for minimum effort (and don't we all?), then it pays to apply a little bit of science.

The body starts to open up fat stores to boost fuel supplies to the muscles at around 20 minutes into a low-to moderate-intensity aerobic workout and you should capitalise on this when planning your weekly programme.

Low-to-moderate intensity is defined as exercising at a level sufficient to raise your pulse rate to 60-75 per cent of your target heart rate (THR = 220 minus your age). I'm 40, making my THR 180 and my ideal fat-burning range 108-135 (60-75 per cent of 180).

Once you have calculated your own fat-burning range you need to come up with a reliable way of monitoring your pulse rate while exercising. You can do this by taking your pulse at your wrist or neck over a 15-second period and multiplying it by four, but it's easier to buy a heart-rate monitor - available from any decent sports shop from around pound sterling30.

Last but not least, you need to choose a suitable form of aerobic exercise. I generally recommend a mix of jogging, cycling and stepping. Aim for a minimum of four 30-40-minute workouts a week. (A 10-stone woman burns around 100 calories for every 10 minutes spent jogging.) WHAT has happened to the school TB vaccination programme? I received a letter from my daughter's school last autumn saying that the programme had been suspended until further notice. Normally I wouldn't worry too much but I've heard that TB is becoming a problem - particularly in London. …

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