Designing an Aerobic Workout with Blanda Okamoto

By Blanda Okamoto
WebMD Live Events Transcript

Sports and Fitness Message Board Expert Blanda Okamoto, MSPT, joined us for a discussion about Aerobic Fitness.

An expert on the Sports and Fitness: Aerobic Fitness message board, Blanda Okamoto, MSPT, plays an invaluable role in helping people to design their own healthy aerobic workout program. Here are answers to many of the frequently asked questions that people have asked about aerobics.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

moderator Hello everyone and welcome!

Your guest this evening is Blanda Okamoto, MSPT

And tonight, we're talking about aerobics.

Blanda Okamoto Thank you for having me!

moderator It's certainly a pleasure to have you by, Ms. Okamoto

Blanda Okamoto I'm glad to be here!

moderator So, why don't you begin by telling us a bit about what you do.

Blanda Okamoto I am a physical therapist in Denver and I specialize in orthopedics.

moderator So, where should one begin, when building an aerobics program for themselves?

Blanda Okamoto First you need to find an activity that you enjoy and define your goals. Weight loss? Increased energy?

moderator How would one go about finding an activity?

Blanda Okamoto After defining your goals, Try a variety of activities that increase your heart rate. Do you enjoy walking, biking, dancing, running?

If you are not sure, then try a variety of different activities, maybe even at a gym with their different equipment, and see which ones you enjoy. Anything that gets your heart rate up in the target zone and uses large muscle groups for prolonged periods is considered aerobic.

moderator Is it necessary to join a club or gym?

Blanda Okamoto No, it is not. You can walk outside, bike outside, go dancing, rent exercise videos, purchase home equipment.

moderator What do you make of those exercise videos? Are they really useful?

Blanda Okamoto It depends. Some are not worth your time because the moves are too complicated to follow or last for only a short period of time. I recommend that you rent videos at the stores before purchasing them.

moderator Let's say I decide that I want to lose weight... I'm assuming that's why most people get into aerobics, for the most part.

Blanda Okamoto Is that your only goal?

moderator For the sake of argument, let's say it is. What is a good activity to pursue?

Blanda Okamoto Any activity that increases you heart rate into the target zone and that you can do for a prolonged period of time, meaning 30-60 minutes. Examples are like what I described above such as walking, Stairmaster and the like. It need to be something you enjoy especially if your goal is to loose weight. The reason for this is that consistency is one of the biggest keys to loosing weight. If you choose an activity that you don't like, chances are you won't stick with it.

moderator Is it possible to actually gain weight by working out, when you trade fat for muscle?

Blanda Okamoto The answer is yes. Muscle does weigh more than fat. However, you will usually notice a difference in the way your clothes fit and will loose inches. That is a good sign of progress in the right direction.

moderator What other factors affect the success of an aerobic workout?

Blanda Okamoto Basically, you want to look at three factors - intensity, duration, frequency. The intensity needs to be high enough to get your heart rate up, but not too high that you cannot sustain the activity for 30 or more minutes. Also, the frequency needs to be regular at a minimum of three times per week. Other things can affect your success such as previous injuries or illness, altitude.

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