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how do I know how much is enough?

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Old 05-20-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default how do I know how much is enough?

I joined a gym a few months ago, got super busy with my internship (but it paid off, as it led to a great job!) and stopped going for 4-5 weeks. I started going again last week, but this is the first time I've ever exercised regularly in my life (and my weight shows it!) and I have a lot of questions. I met with a trainer to come up with a plan when I joined, but I always wonder if I am doing enough.

I always start by doing 5 minutes on the elliptical...I know it's not much at all, but my quads start killing me quickly and 5 is all I can do for now before my legs are shaking. Another trainer showed me a different elliptical yesterday that has a longer stride. It seemed better on my muscles, so I'm switching to that one and can hopefully improve the time. After the elliptical, I switch to the treadmill and walk at 3mph for 30 minutes, which is about a mile and a half. At this point, I am usually feeling too fatigued to do more cardio. Every other day, I do a circuit of resistance machines as well.

I know I am just a beginner and shouldn't compare myself to others, but 1.5 miles does not seem like much at all. However, it is 30 minutes of cardio, and I definitely get sweaty and fatigued. I was thinking maybe I should do more cardio after the resistance machines, but I'm not sure. Ideally, I would love to do more elliptical, but I will have to work up to that.

I am not working this summer, so I have a great opportunity to devote a lot of time and energy to changing my lifestyle and improving my health and I really want to make the best of it. How much should I be doing each day? Should I try going twice on some days to get in an extra workout? If you had over 100 to lose, where did you start? Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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Okay, well, I did have over 100 to lose, so I'll chime in.

First, YAY on the exercise! It is STILL the thing that's the hardest for me! I know if I can get my danged gym shoes on that 99% of the battle is over.

I started off walking on my treadmill at home (because I was too chicken to join a gym). At the time I had lost about 15 pounds and weighed about 280. I just started off doing only 15 minutes, and I don't think I even went at 2 mph! So you're blowing my start out of the water.

As for the elliptical, when I first tried one -- after losing about another 20 pounds -- I couldn't even do 2 minutes! Now I'm on for 45 minutes, no problem.

So, CONGRATS! I think you're starting great! As you get fitter and lose weight you will be able to do even more! Bravo!
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful View Post
I know I am just a beginner and shouldn't compare myself to others, but 1.5 miles does not seem like much at all. However, it is 30 minutes of cardio, and I definitely get sweaty and fatigued.
I can't really speak much to your long term weight loss plans, but I will say that evaluating your exercise accomplishments by distance is probably less helpful than evaluating by time spent doing cardio. The number of miles you go is really dependent on your level of fitness, but everyone will benefit from 30 mins of cardio, regardless of whether they go one mile or five. You will be able to work up to longer, faster cardio--but you need to cut yourself some slack. You're just starting!

As far as how much you should be doing goes, I think, ideally, you should be doing as much as you can without burning yourself out or hurting yourself. For someone of your weight and height, 30 mins a day to start sounds *great*. In a few weeks, you might be able to do 45 minutes, then later, 60. But give yourself time to build up to it. It's not a race, and you don't want to burn out or injure yourself.

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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Hey! Don't worry about the distance. Just work on minutes. Watch your heart rate as well--that's always a good indicator. Your trainer should have talked to you about target heart rate for different purposes.

You are doing fine!

Jay
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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peaceful

Congrats on your weightloss so far and starting to exercise ...

Eventually you'll get fitter and better and you'll want to do more and more exercise... It takes time but it's important to take your time, lose the weight gradually, in a healthy manner and without injury...
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