Myths of aerobic exercise

When it comes to weight loss, the first thing that usually comes to mind is doing any form of aerobic exercise. But N2 Fitness gurus, Heinrich Smith and Emile Solomons warn that there are positives and negatives about each form of aerobic exercise. You should therefore consider your weight-loss goals in relation to your fitness levels.

The pros and cons of aerobic exercise

“If, for example, you are 15kgs overweight, running shouldn’t initially be part of your exercise routine as it puts immense stress on your weight bearing joints such as ankles, knees, hips and lower back,” says Smith.

He adds that many times, we are so keen and motivated to get to our goal that we tend to overdo it and not allow the body to go through the necessary phases to successfully get to where we want to be without any repercussions.

“There’s nothing more frustrating than  feeling motivated to lose weight, but being held back by a painful knee or lower back. We are not discouraging you from running or taking part in aerobics classes. But you should only consider it once you’ve shed a few kilograms to ease the load on your joints,” said Smith.

What should you start off with?

Solomons says that in the initial phase of weight loss, cycling, elliptical exercise, swimming or using a rowing machine would be better options as they putt less stress on your weight bearing joints yet as effective as running.  “Whenever it comes to health and fitness, you should always think long-term-especially when it comes to exercise. We exercise to improve and maintain our health status,  not jeopardise it,” says Solomons.

He adds that any form of exercise is good, but you need to consider your current weight/fitness level and line it up with your goal by doing the appropriate exercises and fitting it into your lifestyle.

Low/no impact aerobic exercises

–         elliptical or x-trainer

–         cycling

–         aqua aerobics

–         walking

–         stepper

High impact aerobic exercises to avoid if you are overweight:

–         running

–         (step) aerobics

–         dancing

–         racquet sports (tennis and squash)