I agree that the best thing to do, is to come up with something that YOU can stick to. I think it's a mistake to compare ourselves to anyone else, and start in on that "I *should* do what she does" type thinking. I've always tried to just compare myself, to myself.
Before Spark, I never exercised (well not intentionally anyway). I started with 10-20 minutes of walking, aiming for every day and maybe managing 5 or 6 days. I believe one of the Fast Break goals is just 10 minutes of exercise a day. Over a long period of time, my exercise has evolved. I could tell you that I now do such and such on whatever days-- but what help is that? I've been at this for a while, but I did not start where I am now. I started with something I felt fairly confident I could do, consistently. As I learned more about the health benefits of exercise, I changed what I did and added some more stuff and lengthened the amount of time I spent on it. But it was because I wanted to do more, I wanted to make that commitment. Not because someone else said they did that much.
Start where you are, and come up with something you feel you can stick to.
For most people, weight loss is 80% nutrition and just 20% exercise. It is possible to lose weight without any exercise at all, although this isn't the healthiest way of doing things.
I agree with the point that intensity and duration are probably a better measure of exercise effectiveness than just days per week. But as a rough guide, most experts recommend 30 minutes 3 times per week as the minimum consistent with good health, and perhaps a little more than this for weight loss. Ideally, you would have 2-3 ST sessions per week, and 3+ cardio sessions.
Also, the best thing you can do is to come up with a workout program that works for YOUR schedule. Rather than trying to come up with the 'perfect' workout program, it is much better to come up with one that fits with your schedule and can stick to in the longer term. 20-30 minutes doing a DVD at home 6-7 days per week may work well for some people. Others who have significant travel time to the gym may find 60 minutes at the gym 3 times per week works better for them.
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
86 7/10/13 3:44 A
Hi Jess - sounds like you have some fairly specific goals, which is great!
The important thing to keep in mind is it will take you a wee while to get there - but every day you exercise, you WILL make a bit more progress...and if you keep going, you will be able to increase the intensity.
And you WILL get there!
Keep your eyes on the prize!
A fit, healthy body is well worth the effort!
Fitness Minutes: (64,560)
7/10/13 3:43 A
I agree with previous posters. 4 days/week is a great place to start. As you build up endurance and learning to make those workouts part of you every day life, I think you will want to do more and will start to incorporate more days. That's what I did anyway.
As far as getting those type of results wth 4 days/week...I'm not so sure about that. I'm sure you will make progress with 4 days/week, but eventually you'll have to build onto that to see more results.
When I first started 3-4 days was enough to lose weight. As I got closer to goal I had to get that up to 6 days a week to see results. I also hated working out in the beginning, fast forward 4 years later and absolutely love it. Now you can't keep me out of the gym. Keep in mind for at least the first 2 years I said I hated it everyday I went. Ha Ha!
You need to do what works for you, but I have to admit had I not forced myself to the gym those 3-4 days a week I would never have gotten to the level I am today. I was not into fitness and diet alone wasn't going to work for me. Sometimes it's ok to force ourselves into something we don't like for a better life. I am glad I pushed myself.
Good luck, the important thing is you are doing something!
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
4,114 7/9/13 2:44 P
I made substantially better progress reducing my days down to 2.
But number of days per week is a pretty poor unit of measure. It really depends on what you're doing over how many days a week you're doing it. To get more out of two days, I had to ratchet up intensity. Basically, if you're going to run, sprint, if you're going to lift, lift heavy.
I work out 4 - 5 times per week and think that is good. Your muscles need to rest just as the rest of you does. When I reached my goal (previously) I was doing the 4 or 5. Nutrition is a huge part of the weight loss progress so be sure to keep that in check. Best of luck to you.
Thanks everyone for your input! Seriously appreciate it. I haven't worked on in a while, so right now what I'm TRYING to do is actually get myself adjusted to a routine...and then go from there.
Thanks again :)
Fitness Minutes: (31,130)
7/9/13 12:53 P
When I first started, I was doing 3 days a week (C25K). Then, for a few months, I added a boot camp class, which was an additional 2 days. Then I dropped back to 3 days for a while, and am now up to 4 days of running per week, and trying to be better about doing 2 days of strength training. I think one of those ST days would likely overlap with a running day, just because I like to have more than one rest day a week.
In any case, my point is that I lost almost all of the 70 lbs. I've lost so far exercising no more than 5, and often 3, days per week. Do what you can *sustain*. If that's 4 days a week, that's great! Weight loss is almost all a result of what you eat, rather than how often you work out anyway.
7/9/13 11:35 A
As long as that's sustainable for you, it is enough. I workout 6 days per week but it means getting up at 4:30 a.m. to fit it into my schedule, someone else might not want to do that.
Fitness Minutes: (156,844)
7/9/13 11:08 A
I do something every day. I am very very busy. I just add it to my schedule.
I have a 13 year old, a husband, and a 2 year old. I work full time. I cook, clean, and workout. I just have to make time.
Every day can be different for people. 5-6 days a week I work hard. 30 minutes of hard cardio. 3 days a week I add on strength training. The rest of the days (1-2) I do something light, but that I enjoy, like going for a few mile walk with my family, pilates routine, yoga.
That being said, you need to do what is right for YOU. My routine won't be right for you, YOURS will be.
What I would do is only add on the other 3 days a week, by adding walks or light workouts that just keep you active.
7/9/13 10:02 A
Welcome to SparkPeople! If you look at some of the ideas for the fast break stage of the SparkDiet, you see a lot of ideas for goals (something to do every day. Starting slowly).
Exercising a little each day is one option, but it is just that (an option).
If you're already in a good groove with exercise you can focus on diet and motivational goals and have a different activity goal.
If you are not already in a groove, exercise-wise, and you can work out more days a week. I recommend, based on the principles of this site, that start light, try to exercise a little each day and build up.
If you feel that you are getting enough exercise and are happy with your progress, keep doing what you're doing until it stops working. Maybe add a light 5th day. I don't know.
Sorry to be a bit nebulous, but the best thing one can do for themselves is understand where they are and continue to improve.
The SparkDiet will give you a bigger and better spiritual picture of this, diet and motivation.
**Whatever you do, don't make the foundation of a decision a comparison of yourself to someone else**
I think 4 days is a great plan, at least to start. Everyone is different. I'm diabetic and need to lose at least 30 lbs. My dr has said I can't afford to take a day off. But it's just too hard to do 7 days. I'm fairly consistent at 5-6 days. If I do a hard workout one day, I may need to go easy the next. It's not a matter of "having nothing to do." I have to "make time" in order to drop the weight and get healthy again.
Sounds like a good plan to me. I'm anywhere from 3-5 days a week at this point. I have to do what is maintainable over time and 6-7 days isn't for me.
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
7/9/13 9:27 A
Personally that is great and I think enough. There are weeks where I do 4 times a week, and other weeks where it gets too hectic and I can only do 1 or 2 times. For those that do 6 to 7, their life styles must not be busy, or just make the time. So I think it just depends on your life.. Any form of exercise, whether it is 10 min. is awesome!!
Newbie here and I have a question that...might be...slightly embarrassing that I even have to ask.
I've been reading a whole lot online and my main goal overall really is to slim down a bit and tone up/get tight. Right now, my workout goal is four days a week...two days I'll do pure cardio - running, biking, whatever. two days I'll do a body pump class. Is this enough? Do I need to be doing more? Am I taking this on all wrong? I see people who work 6-7 days a week and I don't know anymore if 4 days is even good enough. Insight would be awesome.
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