I'm no expert but can speak from my own experience and what I've read. I think if you work up to it slowly and do a moderate form of exercise, such as walking or riding a bike at a moderate speed, you can easily work up to 3-4 hours per day in a somewhat short time. Suddenly jumping into a 'big exercise' program can result in stress fractures or other stress-related injuries [speaking from personal experience!!!] but I know lots of people who hike every day and often more than 3-4 hours at a time. In fact, some of my hiker friends are retired so they're handling this level of exercise with older bodies.
BUT - none of them started out at that level - it's best to increase your activity level slowly - so instead of suddenly starting to walk 10 miles a day, for instance, get your baseline first and increase it by 1/2 mile at a time, approx 10 minutes or 1,000 steps. Don't increase more than once a week, better to increase even slower than that,
I know we ALL want to jump in like they do on the show - it's truly amazing progress!! But as has been pointed out already, each participant was very carefully screened and they are constantly monitored. Although the broadcast show implies they are spending 6-7 hours a day with intense exercise, the truth is that they spend most of their time in much more moderate exercise AND they take plenty of naps, from what I've been told. One participant said they workout 1-2 hours with about 10% of it more intense and the rest moderate [like walking], then they nap for an hour or two before doing any more. They don't have any outside influences - that is, no television, newspapers, talking with family or friends - the ONLY thing they do is focus on their health. And - if you've noticed, there are medical people on hand 100% of the time they are working out, just in case something happens - and when it does, the participants are put on low-level exercise until they recover.
Good luck with your summer - hope you get the results you are hoping for!!
Lynda in Orange County, So Calif
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Working out every day isn't usually healthy unless you are working different muscle groups every day. The muscles will have problems if overworked.
That said, there are those who train for marathons who do 3-4 hour runs some days and shorter runs the other days. I agree that a good workout using different muscle groups each day as well as some lower impact work like walking or even mild hiking will be good for you.
I wear a pedometer and will walk 10 miles or more some days. This isn't a problem as I'm always able to talk during my walks. Can't sing the national anthem, but can walk without a problem. When I get home, my legs are like jelly sometimes so I do a cool down and some stretches and do fine. These walks are usually broken up in morning and evening or a total daily walk of 10 miles.
How about some flexibility and cardio each day which will take a couple of hours and walk to get in your 3-4 hours. You may find you do very well. The hard part is when your life gets busy again that you can't keep that pace and have to really adjust your calories.
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I think it's great that you this time to put into your health this summer. I'd agree with the others that it would be a good idea to consult with a doctor but there could be other things that you do as well. Maybe you can research and become better informed on nutrition and incorporate that with healthy cooking. It could be a good time to take walks and do lower impact activities to stay busy.
I have to agree with Anna on this one, you should definitely talk to your doctor about this one. I know that on the biggest loser they go throught lots and lots of tests to make sure they can handle the workouts, meals, etc. I remember there was one girl on there who actually had to lose weight before she was even allowed to be on the show because she couldn't handle the physical demands of it at that time. The best advice would probably come from your doctor.
What if I do have time to work out 3-4 hours a day? I have the summer off, and my only priority is to lose weight. I have been told 3-4 hours is too much, but what if I am loving it, and I am not in pain. On the biggest loser, they do it, but I've had so many people tell me it is actually hurting my weight loss to do so much. I'm so very confused!!
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