I never used to be a big fan of cardio.

Whenever I've done it I've been doing it out of necessity really. Usually because I was training for a race or event.

Don't me wrong, I was never totally against it.

There seems to be a push in some parts of the fitness industry to bash cardio and give the impression that it's useless.

Usually it's guys who have never been out of shape or who are still quite young saying this.

Most experienced fitness professionals recognise that not so long ago cardio was a mainstay of a fat loss programme and so they treat it as another weapon in the armoury.

To be used if needed.

But it seems to me that as we get older, cardio has an increasingly important role to play in weight loss and weight management.

So much so that I am now deliberately introducing what I call strategic cardio into my routine.

That's not to say I do cardio willy nilly. I won't just go and sit on an exercise bike for the sake of it.

I'll make sure my nutrition is set up to support the cardio session and that the session is structured to maximise it's effectiveness.

Ie it will burn fat during the session and boost my metabolism for longer afterwards so that I continue to burn body fat throughout the rest of the day.

And to be truthful it has made a noticeable difference to my weight loss.

And to my Clients.

One of my Clients has (had!) plateaued for a little while now. But she introduced some cardio into her exercise routine and bang, the weight started dropping again.

I'm just more and more convinced that cardio has an increasingly important role to play as we get older.

Alex 'cardio' West

Ps. I'll be starting a little running group when I get back from a holiday in April, specifically aimed at getting people ready for the race for life. It will be designed to take you (and me...!) from couch potato to being able to run 5k. More details soon.