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Old 01-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Exercise... how much?

I've seen a lot of people talk about the amount of time they spend exercising, and I'm curious why they arrived at that set time.

I've read that 30min, 3x a week is sufficient to maintain health and fitness.

I do 30min 3x a week as a minimum, and am aiming to do 30min 5x a week... possibly 6 depending on the weekend. I do the curves circuit so it is a "complete workout" from what they advertise. Everytime I go, I put my all into and leave feeling like I did my best. I don't skimp, no matter how much I initially want to.

After reading everyone else's habits, I'm wondering if that's not enough?? I do recognize that at some point my body will demand I exercise more and switch things up in order to continue loosing weight. But I can't help but wonder if I'm just not exercising enough right now?

Last edited by SNMomof1; 01-13-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:17 PM   #2
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Overall, for health, I think it is beneficial to get in a variety of exercise whether that be walking/taking stairs when you can or something structured like a running program or a weight lifting program. Exercise keeps our hearts pumping, helps reduce chances of certain diseases and can also help reduce overall stress (and stress does have a factor in weight loss/gain).

For weight loss, overall food has a bigger roll so what you put in your mouth matters more than exercise. I personally think exercise recommendations are pretty conservative to not scare people off of exercising. If someone said to you that you needed to exercise an hour every day versus 30 minutes 3 times per week, which one seems more encouraging?

Anyway, here is something interesting in that there are guidelines in terms of physical activity by the US government:

And here is information for health professionals/policy makers:

the information for regular people says 30 minutes 3 times per week as a minimum for health. The information for health professionals/policy makers seems to indicate closer to 300 minutes per week as a minimum for health.

Of course this is for health versus weight loss.

Having said all of that, I am currently doing a structured exercise program (p90x) along with karate class(es) which is approximately 500 minutes per week. I just started the p90x though.

And as to your question, should you be doing more? That would depend on your goals and your ability to do more. Perhaps you can find moments in the day to incorporate some more, nonstructured type exercise activities? Perhaps you could add yoga, weight lifting, or some other type of exercise. It could be beneficial to your overall health. There is no requirement though and guidelines are just that and if you are happy doing what you are doing, I'd say keep on doing it.

As always, we all start somewhere and 30 minutes, 3 times per week is good, especially if you weren't doing any prior.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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I think you should start where you feel able... As I am just now starting to try to get into an active workout schedule I know I need to build it up slowly. I am going to aim for 30 mins about 5 days a week to start.

Last edited by Kae; 01-13-2010 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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I'm sticking with 20 mins four to five times a week. Not a whole lot and I've just restarted last week, but it's something I know I can maintain. I use a recumbent bike now and also have the 30 Day Shred which is a tough 20 minutes, but I haven't used it this go-round yet.

As long as it's working, I stay stick with it. You'll know when it's time to switch it up or go for longer.

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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I exercise between 45 mins and 90 mins a day, 6 days a week....I think of the time I spend as well spent therapy I came to these times because it takes me 45 mins to do my run and whatever else I do makes it around 90 mins...no exact science!

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:35 PM   #6
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If you are just beginning you are doing enough. Many people try to do too much to start out with and that is part of why they end up giving up. There is nothing wrong with working up to doing more. As for how much you should be aiming to work up to, that depends on what you want. The more you do, the more calories you will burn. If you do more then you can eat more and still keep a good calorie deficit or you can eat the same amount and have a higher deficit. You can also not do more and eat less (just don't eat too little) to get a good deficit.

When I started exercising I was lucky if I got in my 90 minutes each week. I do a lot more now. It just kind of happened to me. The more I do, the more I want to do. Now, unless I am sick or having a rest day, I generally do more each day than I did in a week at the beginning. I've done 265 minutes in the last 3 days.

Just go at a pace you feel comfortable with. You do not need to compare yourself with other people. Especially not people who have been at it longer than you. If what you are doing is working for you and you feel good with it then that is

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #7
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I work out at the gym 4 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes and recently started taking a yoga class on Sundays as well. Eventually, I'll up it, but for now, I'm happy and still feel like I'm making improvements to my fitness level each week.

I think the most important thing is to have a routine you can stick with and that you enjoy.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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I do 45 mins of walking/jogging at least 5 - 6 days a week. Then I do some kind of strength training/cardio - about the same - 30 - 45 minutes each time.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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I was trying to say then that is a good amount for you, but it glitched and won't let me edit.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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When I started I did about 45 minutes of cardio 5-6 times a week, plus some Pilates a day or two a week (just 10 minutes or so.)

Nowadays I'm working out about 90 minutes a day 6 times a week, part of which is cardio and part of which is weight training. For my body type and whatever is wrong with me, working out really hard seems to be the key. For others that is not the case. So just starting out, you may have great success with Curves.

The fact that you're moving and getting your body used to regular exercise is a big step. Once it gets kind of easy and you're bored/ready for a different challenge, you can revisit your routine and move forward. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself too soon; that's a great way to burn yourself out!

Having said all that, I will point out that doing strength training as well as cardio (not just weight lifting, body weight conditioning like yoga and pilates counts too) will build muscle to a) help your metabolism work better, and b) make you look smaller than someone at the same height/weight who only does cardio. So there are definitely great benefits to working out.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:07 PM   #11
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for a while, i was doing 2 hrs 4x/week but i totally lost the momentum over the holidays. Now I'm doing 30 mins 3x/week and 15 mins 4x/week (just so i move a little on my "off" days). i see exercise as an opportunity to add some cushion to my diet. i focus mainly on what i eat but am not perfect and sometime splurge on chips or something. exercise helps me curb hunger, feel happier (thereby reducing emotional eating) and also offsets my splurges.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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I think it all depends on what gets you results and what you like doing. I don't mind working out, in fact once I get into a routine, I enjoy it. I do between 40 and 60 minutes 5-6 days a week and try to get in at least 20 minutes of light exercise on the other day.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:22 AM   #13
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I had a good habit of working out 30 minutes a week 5 days a week simply for health (I have a very sedentary job). When I decided to lose weight I gradually increased until I'm now at 6 hours per week. For ME, this is how much structured activity I need for weight loss.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:27 AM   #14
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I feel like a big roast that's been sitting out on the counter just waiting for the oven to preheat. I wish I could get started with this again...even 20 minutes a day... Reading these comments is stimulating though, and who knows, maybe I will get moving today.

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:39 AM   #15
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For me, it varies all the time and I try to vary the exercise I do. I run 3 or 4 days a week, I walk places as much as I can, and I started adding in resistence training.

While I can't stress the value of exercise for your mental health, physical health, and all around mood, for weight loss I think people have slightly misjudged its impact. It is very hard to lose weight just by exercise alone. The vast majority of weight loss comes from dietary changes rather than from burning extra calories from activity.
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