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You want me to exercise HOW much?

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Old 04-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #1
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Default You want me to exercise HOW much?

Hi all,
Today I was searching the net for information on how much exercise I needed per week, and I was stunned by what I found. I was really expecting to confirm what I'd always been taught--30 minutes, 3 times a week. Nope. I'm too new here to post a link, but what I have seen says 50 minutes of exercise 5 times a week! Just wanted to post about this and have people sound off on it. Does that sound like a lot to you? Granted, I just went back to the gym for the first time today, but I had to bust my rear to manage 30 minutes. I just don't see how I'm going to manage that much, and the source says you need more time if you're trying to maintain a weight loss. I find this very depressing, hoping my fellow chicks can offer some encouragement.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Nope. I think that makes a lot of sense. We sit WAY too much and our bodies were designed to move and move and move. Most of us sit all day.

Now, if you have a job where you exercise, that's different, but an hour a day, 5 days a week is actually very little when you think about it!
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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I've read that breaking up your exercise into smaller chunks is just as effective as one long session, so if it's more doable for you to take a 20 minute walk at lunchtime and spend 30 minutes at the gym in the evening, it adds up just fine! If you're just starting out on getting more active, go at it slowly, though, build up over the next few months. Anything is better than nothing!
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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in my experience, the intensity of the exercise is more effective than the length of time that i do it....for example, i walked my TAIL off one year, spending about an hour per day walking around my neighborhood at a moderate pace and didn't lose a darn INCH...pound...nothing

however when i spend 30 minutes on the treadmill at the gym pushing myself HARD in terms of running speed and incline walking, i see a noticeable difference in my body and also get a decreased appetite from my morning workout

i also don't have time to spend a huge chunk of time exercising...diet plays a HUGE part in weight loss for me as well....so i prefer to spend what time i have at the gym and really PUSH myself hard instead of attempting to budget more time at a lesser pace....if that makes sense
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
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Totally agree about the intensity. Twenty min hard on the treadmill is much better than an hour long meander around the neighborhood however do what you can do, move what you can move and as often as you can
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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It's not all that shocking to me. Part of your struggle might just be that you aren't inclined to it yet. Give yourself a few weeks and you'll probably be saying "5 hours a week? Psh'awww..."
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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My struggle is that 30 min 3 times a day seems a real effort, yes. And 30 minutes is the most I can crank out if I really push myself. I know that would mean I just needed to do 20 minutes later in the day to get to my total, but doing it once is hard enough.

I know it sounds like I'm whining here. I do hope that it'll seem like nothing one day.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:00 PM   #8
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Intensity is a given isn't it? A stroll isn't really exercise.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:16 PM   #9
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Yeah, 5hrs/week is the lowest 'magic number' I've heard for exercise needed for body recomposition. But, as others have already mentioned, the quality (intensity) matters, and no-one should tell you to start there right away.

If 30min/3xweek is 'lots' for you, start with that. Try to integrate what you can, when you can. Once you've got a handle on that, keep adding 30min/day until you're doing something 6 days/week. Then, you can hop back to 1hr/3xweek, slowly working up to 45min-1hr/5-6xweek. Bear in mind, when I say 'exercise' I usually mean 90% anaerobic activity (weight lifting or resistance training, sprints, jumping rope, isometrics, etc.) + 10% aerobic activity (swimming, speed walking, possibly Zumba?, etc.).

In my mind, if you can still carry on a conversation during the activity (eg. walking, casual bike ride, etc.) then you're practicing 'active recovery', not 'exercise'. But that's just my opinion, doesn't mean that I'm actually right.

Take your time, and be smart about what activities you try to pursue. Start where you ARE and do what you CAN in a HEALTHY WAY - and then go from there. My mantra these days has been 'anything is better than nothing'. Go at YOUR pace; if it takes you a year to get up to 5hrs/week, then so be it!

Definitely browse through the exercise/weight lifting forums, there are loads of conversations and suggestions for activities/strategies you can integrate into your fitness routine.

Have fun!

Last edited by Defining : 04-08-2014 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:54 PM   #10
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I tend to enjoy gentle exercise. Brisk walking after meals is infinitely more enjoyable to me than a spinning class. I look at the elders I see in my community that are still up and about at 90 and 100 years old- they do things like gardening, cleaning, walking, and tai chi. These are not high intensity but rather life-affirming and meditative practices. Certainly it's not going to trim off an appreciable amount of calories but it will keep you engaged and feeling well.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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You say you have a hard time cranking out 30minutes of exercise. The word exercise is rather vague, what are you doing for those 30minutes? Running uphill?

We all have to start somewhere and if all you can do is a few minutes a day then do that. Slowly but surely you will start to see that you can push yourself a little further bit by bit. Fitness, like weightloss, is not linear and so you may be able to run for 15min one day and then 25min the next day but then only 10min the day after that. Just keep at it. Choose something you like to do like a class, or a video and go from there. It kind of sounds like you don't like the gym, nor should you have to. Find something you enjoy doing and you'll stick to it.

A great place to start is walking. Since I have some injuries I need to tend to the only formal exercise I do is to walk my son to the park and back every day which amounts to about an 45min walking total, plus about 15min of chi gong everyday. Oh and while I watch tv in the evenings I do body weight exercises like squats and push ups and workout with dumbells. I also do a lot of stretching while I watch tv and tend to do so on my yoga mat.

I wear a pedometer all day and strive for 10,000 steps. I accomplish this by my daily walks, but also by walking to the market, getting chores done around the house, walking on my breaks from work, just every opportunity that arises for me to move I move. I consider this activity, not necessarily exercise but every step counts. All this effort probably adds up to several hours of physical activity per week. It's not so hard.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:31 AM   #12
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The optimal amount of exercise is the amount that you will do. If 50 minutes, five times a week sounds overwhelming, don't aim for it at first. Aim for something that sounds challenging but not ridiculous, and go from there.

When I first started, I wouldn't have thought I could commit to 50 minutes, five times a week. I aimed for three times a week but truth me told hit twice a week more often than not.

Over time - quite a bit of time - as I lost weight (due to my eating plan) and my fitness improved, I found that not only could I exercise more, but I wanted to. I started to prioritize it higher in my life. And now I do hit that range, about an hour of exercise, 5-6 times a week. Not because someone said it was optimal, not because I consciously set out to achieve that goal, but because I started with something I could manage and worked from there.

Just do what you feel you can do. Push yourself a little but not so much that you give up entirely. Especially if you are coming from zero exercise to start - it's very difficult and even dangerous to flip the switch from 0 to 60 in nothing flat.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carter View Post
The optimal amount of exercise is the amount that you will do. If 50 minutes, five times a week sounds overwhelming, don't aim for it at first. Aim for something that sounds challenging but not ridiculous, and go from there.
Where is that "Like" button? I have so many times started out in perfection mode, eating exactly right, exercising the maximum amount I thought I needed. Once the novelty wore off, so did a lot of my motivation. Since I did not have a plan for anything less than perfect, I just stopped dieting & exercising. Sticking with something long term is what works in the long run. Sometimes "best is the enemy of good"!

Last edited by mars735 : 04-09-2014 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
You say you have a hard time cranking out 30minutes of exercise. The word exercise is rather vague, what are you doing for those 30minutes? Running uphill?

We all have to start somewhere and if all you can do is a few minutes a day then do that. Slowly but surely you will start to see that you can push yourself a little further bit by bit. Fitness, like weightloss, is not linear and so you may be able to run for 15min one day and then 25min the next day but then only 10min the day after that. Just keep at it. Choose something you like to do like a class, or a video and go from there. It kind of sounds like you don't like the gym, nor should you have to. Find something you enjoy doing and you'll stick to it.

A great place to start is walking. Since I have some injuries I need to tend to the only formal exercise I do is to walk my son to the park and back every day which amounts to about an 45min walking total, plus about 15min of chi gong everyday. Oh and while I watch tv in the evenings I do body weight exercises like squats and push ups and workout with dumbells. I also do a lot of stretching while I watch tv and tend to do so on my yoga mat.

I wear a pedometer all day and strive for 10,000 steps. I accomplish this by my daily walks, but also by walking to the market, getting chores done around the house, walking on my breaks from work, just every opportunity that arises for me to move I move. I consider this activity, not necessarily exercise but every step counts. All this effort probably adds up to several hours of physical activity per week. It's not so hard.

When I'm at the gym, I have about 4 options that I can do: use the seated elliptical machine, the recumbent bike, the pool, or take a class. Yesterday I did 10 minutes on the bike, 12 on the elliptical, and a 20 minute Leslie Sansone video at home. My gym has many more machines, but I've had joint replacements in both my knees and that really limits what I can do.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:55 AM   #15
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Roses is the issue boredom or fatigue/lack of fitness. I mean i couldn't do 10 minutes on an exercise bike in a gym either. But i can work a solid hour in my garden.

Find a type of exercise that interests you on a number of levels. A really good yoga class would do it for me. I like walking but i want to do other things with my time at the moment.

10 000 steps a day is recommended by a diet book i respect. They say that about 3000 is what we might do in ordinary moving about through our day.

As to the 50 minute thing, what sort of site was it? What angle are they coming from.

What do you trying to achieve from your exercise? Is it fitness? Weightloss? General good health? The answer to how much you should do would vary according to your purpose. But again its a general rule and something to aim for rather than you must do this or else its pointless.

Exercise is good with weightloss programs because a) it helps make the body work more effectively i.e. in its natural processes, all things seem to go mor smoothly like a well oiled machine. b) it helps prevent muscle loss c) it builds muscle which means faster fat burning even when not exercising. And then there are all the usual health reason - helps lower cholesterol, good for blood pressure (because it strengthens blood vessel walls) and so on and so forth.

So exercise is good but to get the most out of it, choose something and a quantity that you can sustain. And remember for weightloss, the standard forumlar seems to be 80% diet, 20% exercise.

When you feel up to it, joining a sporting group would be one of the best ideas because it has a social element and personal growth and built in motivation factors. The downside is that these things generally can cost quite a bit. That's why i haven't joined one. But i saw a story the other day about surf lifesaving and ocean swimming and i thought, perhaps that's what i should do since i live near the sea although swims are usually done in the early morning and i don't like to leave home then.

Last edited by Pattience : 04-09-2014 at 08:55 AM.
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