General Diet Plans and Questions - Is 30 minutes of cardio enough?




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Ahri
04-25-2013, 08:19 PM
I'm going to the gym 5 days a week and due to my super long work schedule, I've been doing only 30 minutes of cardio, otherwise I will lose sleep time! I have been gradually losing weight and noticing a difference on my body, but will I need to up my cardio to make it keep happening?

Sometimes I do 30 minutes on an elliptical and sometimes I use the treadmill at an incline, doing walk/jog/run intervals.


lunarsongbird
04-25-2013, 08:39 PM
I just pulled out my kindle to find some lines I highlighted in a book I read called Intuitive Eating:

"Simply moving thirty minutes over the course of most days of the week could reduce the risk of heart disease by half!" (per a study from the CDC and ACSM).

All you need to do is accumulate thirty minutes. It does not need to be all at once.

"In fact, a recent study demonstrated that as little as TWO minutes of exercise each day significantly alleviated shoulder and neck pain (ACSM 2011)."

stella1609
04-25-2013, 09:17 PM
The 30 min probably isn't having a huge impact on your weight loss, but I bet it's helping your fitness level :) It's hard to exercise enough to make much of an impact on your calorie burn, but it can affect the shape of your body and how you feel, and your health! I would, however, strongly recommend switching out 3 days a week of cardio for 30 min of resistance training. You will likely see more results that way.


Wannabeskinny
04-26-2013, 10:12 AM
It's not about how much you do, it's about how often you do it. If you're consistent about it then heck YES it makes a difference! Also, you can generally be more active throughout your day like walking to work or the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator etc and that counts too.

Sum38
04-26-2013, 10:15 AM
Are you looking for fitness or weight loss?

CaityCait88
04-26-2013, 10:18 AM
I know 30 minutes of lighter cardio exercise isn't the "best" work out but you're lapping everyone on the couch. You need to work your way up from there and if it's more exercise than you were getting before than I say awesome job! Just don't become complacent with the same old routine and switch it up so you keep your body guessing.

celigirl88
04-26-2013, 01:55 PM
I know it's not the best - but it's something. Even when I literally only have 45 minutes, I will still go to the gym and do something. I read somewhere that it takes about 10-15 minutes to "warm" up your body. I've actually read that a couple places, but the point is your doing something until you can accumulate more time.

Wannabeskinny
04-27-2013, 07:17 AM
I really don't believe that you have to spend hours in the gym. As a mother with a full-time job I scramble to find time to shower. Appreciate the 30min that you have and put them to good use. And in no way should anyone make you feel that it's not enough time, it's all perfectly good!

AppundanceTim
04-27-2013, 08:07 AM
Depends on a lot of factors.

Are you going balls out when you do cardio? Or is it more leisurely? The more intense you do cardio, the more calories you burn.

However, I agree with Stella. Weight Training is better in the long term than just cardio. Having more muscles burns more fat and will also give you a better body composition.

Look into beginner weight lifting programs like Starting Strength. You can typically do all the exercises in 40 minutes or so.

Thedollylala
04-27-2013, 08:49 AM
I think it depends on how hard you go at it and do it, give it your all in those 30, but I also think you could do 15 intense cardio, then move to the kettle balls and do some of those exercises mixed with some lunges and squats in the other 15. Loads you can do in 30 min

CoolWhistles
04-27-2013, 07:04 PM
You could try HIIT, it's supposed to burn calories even after you've finished exercising

alaskanlaughter
04-27-2013, 09:54 PM
HIIT has been very effective for me...I notice a big difference in my body since I've been doing HIIT running consistently...

I only have 45 minutes on the treadmill most days of the week...And since I can't extend the time, I up the difficulty when I'm ready...I vary walking speeds, inclines, running speeds, running distance etc in addition to the HIIT part of my workout

And while I know mentally that resistance training is also good, I've had a lot of success with what I'm doing on the treadmill and I find resistance training to be incredibly boring

RaggedyAnne
04-28-2013, 03:06 AM
I'm going to the gym 5 days a week and due to my super long work schedule, I've been doing only 30 minutes of cardio, otherwise I will lose sleep time! I have been gradually losing weight and noticing a difference on my body, but will I need to up my cardio to make it keep happening? Sometimes I do 30 minutes on an elliptical and sometimes I use the treadmill at an incline, doing walk/jog/run intervals.

How much "sleep time" do you need? If you can spare 40 mins for 5 days a week, I would suggest you try 20 min HIIT on the stairmill and 20 minutes of free weight lifting. Proper nutrition, notice I didn't say "diet", is also very important for weight loss. Keep off the sugar, carbs and alcohol!

Rhiko
04-28-2013, 09:08 AM
It's not about how much you do, it's about how often you do it. If you're consistent about it then heck YES it makes a difference! Also, you can generally be more active throughout your day like walking to work or the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator etc and that counts too.

I agree with this.


I've been doing 30 minutes of planned cardio, now, 5 times a week. Before the past fortnight, I was doing 3 days. I walk whenever and wherever I can, including to university and back. The only difference in my 30 mins now from what it was when I started is that I push myself harder --I run 3-4 laps, rather than walk them all.

I believe that 30 minutes is enough, dependent on how fast you want to lose weight. If slow and steady is more you, then keep doing the 30 minutes because sleep is just as, if not more, important than exercise. You may want to do more 1 or 2 days of the week where you do 45 minutes. I'm about to do 2 days of pushing myself harder. However, the more you burn in calories, the more you have to eat back what you've lost! (Something I've noticed while I've starting doing calorie counting this week.)

Wannabeskinny
04-28-2013, 09:22 AM
How much "sleep time" do you need? If you can spare 40 mins for 5 days a week, I would suggest you try 20 min HIIT on the stairmill and 20 minutes of free weight lifting. Proper nutrition, notice I didn't say "diet", is also very important for weight loss. Keep off the sugar, carbs and alcohol!

I have to step in and speak on behalf of sleep. In a society where we deprive ourselves of so much sleep already I'd suggest not cutting out any sleep at all. A fully grown woman should be getting minimum 7hrs sleep per night. There are numerous studies that link lack of sleep to obesity.

stella1609
04-28-2013, 10:16 AM
I have to step in and speak on behalf of sleep. In a society where we deprive ourselves of so much sleep already I'd suggest not cutting out any sleep at all. A fully grown woman should be getting minimum 7hrs sleep per night. There are numerous studies that link lack of sleep to obesity.

ITA! It sounds like you are already pushing it to get enough sleep.

RaggedyAnne
04-28-2013, 11:26 AM
Agreed. I read "sleep time" as maybe she was sleeping a lot. You need proper nutrition, exercise and sleep to lose weight.

CaityCait88
04-29-2013, 10:34 AM
I love HIIT, it's basically a ratio of high intensity exercise to lower intensity. For example, right now I spent two weeks doing 3 HIIT workouts a week where I sprinted full out for 1 minute and then walked fast for 2 minutes and did this 6 times. I'm still in the beginning phase but the whole idea is that you're doing intervals but at a more intense level than say just increasing the incline for a little while. It's supposed to rev up metabolism and increase cardio endurance while blasting fat. Definitely increases the effectiveness of a small amount of time. I suggest googling it and doing some research!

RaggedyAnne
04-29-2013, 11:23 AM
Ahri, where did you go??

RaggedyAnne
05-01-2013, 11:22 AM
Don't choose any activity just because it helps you burn more calories or is thought to be best of the cardio exercises. Don't run if you don't like it, o for an activity which you enjoy. If swimming or bicycling pleases you more then go for it. You can do these activities twice or thrice a week and once start doing what you enjoy; you won't feel bored or exhausted.

True. In re-thinking this over the past few days, HIIT may not be the right choice for you right now. I think it's much more important to find effective cardio that you can stick with long term. If you can stick with 30 mins of stair mill, treadmill or cross-trainer for 30 min 4-5 days a week and a year from now you're still doing it, that's a huge success. I would still like to see you add 10 mins or so of free weights 4-5 days a week and if you're consistent for a length of time on both, then go from there.

Wannabeskinny
05-01-2013, 09:10 PM
And let's be realistic, not everyone is meant to become an athlete just because they want to lose some weight. It's not about how drastic you are with exercise, it's about how consistent you are.

RaggedyAnne
05-01-2013, 09:42 PM
And let's be realistic, not everyone is meant to become an athlete just because they want to lose some weight. It's not about how drastic you are with exercise, it's about how consistent you are.

And not everyone WANTS to become an athlete to lose some weight! Maybe that's why HIIT is not the best choice for her. Consistency and long term is one of the keys to success. If she continued doing her current program for the next five years, that would be much more beneficial than her quitting in 6 months because she hates the cardio and/or exercises she chose. As you probably know, the tortoise wins the race.