I have pectus excavatum and my heart is turned in such a way that it is not able to effectively pump when I exercise. As a result I get dizzy and nauseous. I had a baby about 1 1/2 years ago and I am unable to get rid of an extra 20 pounds. How can I do that without overexerting? Don’t I need the cardio in order to lose weight?
Most exercise programs do not cause weight loss but certainly can have benefits such as lower lipid levels, blood sugar level control, stronger heart muscle, lower blood pressure and feeling better too. The ACSM 2002 guidelines for weight loss posits that a 10% caloric reduction in fat intake can have significant impact on body weight. I would also encourage some kind of exercise, perhaps strength training with tubing or elastic bands is better tolertated for you or a mommy and me class? As a tool to help you keep on track monitor your intake everyday. There are many online food logs that are free that can help you cut out 10%. Be specific, make your goal measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Consider no more than one to two pounds a week and have patience. Try fitday.com or sparkpeople.com all free ways to keep mindful of food intake.
Perhaps you cannot do the cardio, but some strength training may benefit you. Muscles are what burn off excess fat and calories. They are your furnace. If you can make your furnace bigger with strength training, your metabolism will increase and that may be the boost you need. Another booster would be to add in smaller bouts of exercise throughout the day. Not enough to go aerobic, but enough to get you a bit warm so that you get a metabolic boost. Morning is good, and perhaps again in the afternoon, strength training can do this if you don’t rest in between sets, as well as moderate walking.
Have you ever thought of aquatic exercise? In the water, your heart does not have to work so hard. One theory is that the buoyancy of the water assists in venous return to the heart with less effort, another that the cooler environment requires less effort for thermo-regulation. The result is that the heart rate in the water tends to be lower even for the same rating of perceived exertion.
If this is an option for you, I would try this in a supervised setting so that somebody can be there immediately if you are not well.
I wish you good luck.