Exercise! - how much is enough?

View Full Version : how much is enough?

09-13-2011, 02:13 PM
Hi everyone,

So I'm just starting out with my weight loss plan. I'm trying to figure out how much exercise is enough to help me along the way.

For about 15 years I rowed competitively on a team, so I have sort of a distorted view of how much exercise one needs. Working out 3 hours a day just ain't going to cut it anymore to stay fit. I don't have the time to do that anymore.

I've cut back my calories to 1200-1400 per day. Realistically, should I be doing maybe a one hour workout 6 days a week? Do I need more? Should I be measuring the caloric output to see if that works better.

Even though I'm 30 lbs overweight, I am very strong and pretty fit for my height/weight ratio. I'm just trying to understand if I need to workout more than the average person to stay on top of weight loss so that I can get back into a range I feel comfortable with.

Thanks for the help!

09-13-2011, 03:46 PM
I do 4+ hours at the gym per week. I like 6 or 7 hours of exercise but I will take what I can get on the weeks I have to run a lot of errands and be a lot of places.

09-13-2011, 06:16 PM
I used to "commit" to doing 5 days of cardio (one hour) and three days of weight lifting (about 45 to 1 hours). However, I never lasted. My longest period of doing this was a little over a year.

Fast forward years later, and I decided this go round that I would not force myself to commit to anything other than "one hour of activity" per day. Sometimes, I walk, if I feel like going to a fitness class at the gym I will, and if I do none of that and just house clean energetically for an hour I will. I refuse to feel any guilt if my "activity" isn't the usual gym-type formal exercise. I've learned that 80% of the weight loss equation is what I eat (the other part is 10% genetics and 10% general activity). I try to stay active otherwise. I like to multi-task so when I'm waiting around for something at home (e.g., the coffee to brew), I'll start folding the clothes in the dryer or washing the dishes in the sink. I stay busy.

To me, the right amount of exercise for you is the amount that you can commit to consistently without feeling so much dread that you'll quit. I feel as if I've found my "sweet-spot" concerning exercise, and it may take some experimenting with time and types of activities to find yours.

09-13-2011, 06:49 PM
I think it's really individual. I remember reading one of Jillian Michael's books and I think she said she only works out 3 hours a week. That would not cut it for me. One thing I do is I do resistance training circuit style so that I keep my heart rate up and that way I can get the benefits of resistance and cardio from a single workout. I hate slogging away for hours on cardio equipment. I recently started the P90X program and that is 6 days a week for 1 hour and that seems to be a good schedule for me. I always do something on the rest day, also.

09-14-2011, 10:30 AM
Thanks folks.

I think the hardest thing is trying to not beat yourself up when life gets in the way and you don't get a workout in.

Right now I'm going 3 days of 45 minute cardio + 30 minutes of lifting per week. One day of yoga and then 2 days of just cardio. I'm doing my best not to get upset when I miss a day because sometimes it just happens.

09-14-2011, 11:05 AM
I don't really focus too much on how many minutes I spend in the gym, but I try to do SOME activity every day. This could be lifting at the gym, running outside, or just going for a 30 minute walk. It could even be as simple as standing at my computer for 3 hours of the day instead of sitting.

I do try to lift 2x a week and do 1 decent cardio session.

But ultimately, for me it's about moving around and being active more than straight up specific exercise.

09-14-2011, 11:24 AM
I don't think being strong and fit means you have to spend more time exercising, it just means you have to make sure the intensity of the exercise you do is high enough to challenge your body.

I'm going to give a fairly facile answer to your question: the right amount of exercise is the amount you will do regularly. I would love to do a one-hour workout 6 days a week, but given various constraints and all the other stuff I want to get done in a day, I never get there. I have a baseline that is a little lower, that alternates between short workout days (half an hour of cardio, no lifting) and long workout days (20 minutes of cardio, 40 minutes of lifting). As my level of fitness has improved, I've pushed myself harder during those workouts, not made the workouts longer.

I am sure that there are people who would be of the opinion that my routine is not "enough" but it's better than setting a routine that I am not prepared to accommodate and then skipping it half the time.