Doing cardio to lose weight

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Did you know that according to a study done in 2004, 46 percent of the Air Force is overweight and eight percent is obese? 

According to Mandy Baerman, Health and Wellness Center exercise physiologist, the number of obese Airmen has fallen since then, but the overweight numbers have stayed about the same. She said it's important for that number to start dropping. 

"People who are overweight are at a higher chance to have problems later in life," she said. "The larger someone's abdominal circumference is, the higher their chance is for diabetes, some cancers, obesity and heart diseases." 

She said for people to lose weight, the best way to do it is work out five days a week for between 45 to 60 minutes a day. 

The secret is the only time that is countable is when your heart rate is between 60 and 90 percent of your max heart rate. 

Once you reach a point where you're comfortable with your waist size, spend at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week working out. 

"People should stay away from using the fat burning programs on machines," Ms. Baerman said. "You have to be on the machine for four or five hours just to burn off one fast food value meal." 

Another way to help burn fat is to do strength training because it helps raise metabolism. 

"The fitness center has certified personal trainers on hand who can help set up a strength training program for anyone on base. They will fit a work-out plan to your goals, and then walk you through the first day to make sure you are doing everything correctly," she said. 

One of the most important things people need to realize when trying to lose weight is it's unhealthy to lose more than two pounds a week. Anything over that is most likely water weight. 

To find out what programs the HAWC offers, call 784-4292. To find out what programs the fitness center has, call 784-5568.