Exercise! - How much exercise?

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07-18-2008, 09:54 AM
I am confused. At first I heard all you needed was 20-30 minutes of cardio a day, now I hear 60 minutes of cardio a day just to stay fit. Which is it? I've been wanting/trying to lose 10-15 for the past year. I am generally not a real poor eater, though I do have my downfalls obviously. I also have been fairly consistently working out cardio with some weights or resistence thrown in on average 5 days a week for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, I can't seem to lose much so I figured I needed to do more. I joined WW to help keep me motivated to eat well, now I think I need to kick up the exercise. How much is enough? I am feeling like my 30-40 minutes of intense cardio is not enough, which after the intense workout, I find hard to believe. However, I hear of people doing an hour to 90 minutes. I just don't think I have time for that. My goal right now is to lose weight and tone up, then maintain. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

07-18-2008, 12:49 PM
I was told 20-30 minutes of cardio per day plus 15-30 minutes of "core" exercise (weight lifting, sit ups, etc.) by my trainer. So far it seems to be working for me! I always thought I could do cardio 4-5 times a week and use 2 days for rest, but she made the point "if you eat everyday, you need cardio every day." I guess that makes sense. Usually people who do 90 minutes of cardio a day can afford to take one day of rest...

07-18-2008, 12:59 PM
The more you move, the more calories you will burn. I think 30 to 40 minutes is a good amount. I, personally, do 40 to 50 minutes of cardio, plus weights. Sometimes I don't have time to do things, but exercise is my priority (aside from taking care of my kids, of course). I don't have time to put on make up and my shower is only about 3 minutes long on most days. When did you start WW? Sticking to that program alone should help you a lot. You might have heard how important it is not to do the same workout all the time. Your body needs to be confused or else it will adapt and not lose as much weight. Try to alternate your workouts every once in a while. Also, just because I do my workouts, doesn't mean I don't move a lot the rest of the day. I still take my dog for walks and I still run up and down the stairs in my home all day long because I always need to go up there, which is exhausting, but it keeps me burning even more. Finally, I'd like to get back to the benefits of weight training: the more lean muscle mass you aquire, the more calories you will burn at rest...even while you sleep! One last thing (I promise!): try Hight Intensity Interval Training. It's great for people who don't have a lot of time. I do it about 5 times a week. You warm up for 5 minutes. Then, you workout at a fairly easy pace for 2.5 minutes. Then, for 30-45 seconds, you go as fast as you possibly can (no joke). Then, you go back to the easy pace for 2.5 minutes. Try to keep an eye on your heart rate because if it doesn't go back down, you won't get that HIIT benefit. Studies have shown that people who do HIIT lose 3 times as much weight as those who do moderate or high intensity workouts for the entire time. Apparently, there's something about giving your heart time to slowdown that releases a certain hormone in your body that says you need to lose weight! I read this a few months ago in Oprah's magazine and in Women's Health magazine. I just wanted to share that with you and I hope you see some results soon. :)

07-18-2008, 01:03 PM
I forgot to mention that with the HIIT, you do this cycle for about 30 minutes or so (or at least that's what I do). Then, for the other 10 or 20 more minutes, I do moderate stuff. So far, I have lost about 9 lbs. per month doing all this (I also count calories & do a bootcamp class twice a week) so it totally works for me. Maybe I will hit a plateau, but in the meantime, I just keep doing it. Sometimes, it takes a few weeks to see a drop in weight, but then, all of the sudden, it happens! :carrot:

07-18-2008, 01:27 PM
I do HIIT for about 30 - 35 mins and then maybe 20 mins of less intense cardio about 3 days a week. Other days, I'll do 50 mins of steadily intense/challenging cardio (but not as intense as HIIT) one or two days and then 1 or 2 days of low intensity cardio for 40 - 50 mins. And intermixed I do weight training.

I think the choice is between 30 - 40 mins. of high intensity cardio or 60 - 90 mins of lower intensity cardio. But I heard doing really intense cardio for 60 - 90 mins. actually works against you, as your body experiences stress from this and releases hormones that actually make you hang onto fat (cortisol, I think it's called). But of course, that might not be actually true, it's just what I've heard.

I find that mixing up the intensity and length of the workouts is really helpful, as is changing up what I do each week. For instance, some weeks I will run on the treadmill and do HIIT three times, then other weeks, I will actually try to do that jogging outside (much more challenging, even though I'm moving more slowly).

07-18-2008, 01:33 PM
Thanks, I just joined WW this past Monday. I think it will really help keep me motivated. Unfortunately, we are going on vacation for 2 weeks at the end of this month. That is part of the reason I joined when I did, so I don't go hog wild during vacation. Thanks for your advice. I do try to mix things up, but I think this past year I was getting lazy and just doing the same thing over and over with an occasional change. When I use my elliptical, I work at a moderate pace for 2 minutes and then high pace for 3 minutes (by the end of 3 minutes, I am really in need of slowly down). I do this for 30-50 minutes (including 5 minute warm up and cool down). I think that is like what you were talking about luckymommy.