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(I am 16 year old male) A few years back, I had a spinal cord injury and I couldn't move anything from my chest down. Now, I am very strong and can walk using a walker to assist my core balance. I also took up a healthy lifestyle which includes weight training and eating good foods about a year and a half back. I had always had a lot of body fat and my body fat has gone down quite a bit as I've been increasing my muscle mass but there's no steady decrease. I have a goal to decrease my body fat to about 12% body fat, right now I'm about 16 or 17%. Due to my current state, I can't run or do typical cardio machines. What would you recommend for me to drop body fat? When I first started my fitness journey I restricted calories drastically which did terrible things like loss of muscle and always hungry.

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Keeping a balanced diet is essential for you to stay healthy. Regular medium intensity workout( whatever exercises you can do currently) on a daily basis will help. Going for regular walks in park during morning will be very beneficial as you will get natural vitamin D as well as motivation on seeing other people walk. You need to first learn to try walking without the stick. You are very strong and you can do it with daily pactice. Once you master it you will be free to workout as you want. Take good amount of rest and interact with people especially those who can encourage and support you as this will prove motivating to achieve your goals. With some will power you will be able to achieve your desired goal. I am sure this will help. All the best.

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In order to drop body fat, you need to perform some type of cardio. Most people think cardio has to be running or a variation of running. Cardio is actually the increase of your heart rate. Increasing your heart rate is easily done by different running movement because they are compound movements that call for more oxygen and therefore more heart beats to retrieve oxygen. So for your case you want to exercise in a way that is going to increase your heart rate. It seems like you enjoy weight training too. So maybe kill two birds with one stone. Keep your weight training for exercise but increase the 'intensity'. Start by shortening rest time in between sets on your compound movements(30 seconds MAX). You can also add an extra set to make sure you are exhausting your body. Also look into super setting certain movements. For example on arm day do a set of curls then a set of tricep movements back to back. repeat this sequence 4 or 5 times. By doing this it allows your muscles to recover in between sets because your switching muscle groups, but your not resting your heart therefore the heart rate gets higher. Boom! your doing cardio! You can start working out more days a week maybe 5 or 6 days and one rest day. In regards to diet, Everyone's different. One thing that does help me cut weight but not lose strength is carb adjustment. Start eating cleaner carbs like nuts, fruits and vegetables and cut out the white breads and pastas. AND ONLY DRINK WATER. Do all these and I bet you'll start to lean out real quick.

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    "In order to drop body fat, you need to perform some type of cardio." - False. Reducing body fat is far easier to do in the kitchen, than with any cardio exercise. – Alec Mar 10 '17 at 8:01
  • The general principle of your answer is sound, but saying you need to perform cardio to drop body fat isn't correct. Also, and this is more of a pet peeve, I hate that the definition of cardio is an exercise that raises your heart rate. Doing a set of heavy squats or deadlifts sends my heart rate through the roof, but I wouldn't count it as cardio. – Dark Hippo Mar 10 '17 at 9:37

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