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8 Cold, Hard Truths About Exercise

It's Time for an Exercise in Tough Love


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  • I believe that all forms of movement helps.
  • Someone who commented which is in her 60's was concerned about vigorous exercise. I recently read that vigorous exercise for post menopausal women is not recommended because it raises cortisol levels (stress hormone) which can increase diseases of many sorts (esp. heart) because we no longer have estrogen produced in our bodies to help keep that cortisol level in check. What IS recommended is leisurely walking for an hour or more each day and yoga for its calming effects. I do both and have been able to maintain my 95 lb weight loss.
  • After reading some of the comments, I had to read the article again since I didn't think the author was being negative at all.
    She says that all movement is worthwhile, but she is putting some cold hard facts in front of us.
    I thought she was encouraging us to strive to improve and I appreciate that.
  • Great article. Thank you. That's why I try to do different exercise.
  • Well, thanks for crapping all over my day. Coach Nicole, your tone makes me feel utterly hopeless. Sometimes "telling it like it is" can sound superior instead of helpful, and regardless of how true what you have written may be, the tone made this article just plain mean. I wish I had not read it. I already know what you have said. Every obese person probably knows it. But all of us need a bit more encouragement than the patronizing way you have expressed these truths.
  • I like to reward myself for exercising with some other activity I enjoy. So, time in the spa, steam room or sauna after a workout is a great reward for me.
  • While in theory, I agree that not all activities should be considered exercise, however, just because some activity doesn't burn a lot of calories doesn't mean it's not exercise or that you're not engaging in a workout.

    For example, I engage in some core exercises and whe they don't burn a lot of calories or losing lbs, I am definitely building strength and muscles. Furthermore, I believe that a big part of how I've maintained my 62lb weight loss is that for several months I have been gaining muscle weight.

    While I haven't lost any weight in months even though I'm still doing everything I did before, I am still losing inches/sizes. As far as I am concerned, that's more important to me than losing lbs because even though I weigh the same I an definitely leaner. JMHO
  • Thanks, that was a real eye opener. I enjoyed the truth in that article, exercise is forever, get used to it, mix it up, find somthing you like doing etc. etc. It reminds me it isn't a short term thing until you reach a certain weight goal. Thanks for the reality check.
  • Excellent article - the hard truth we pretend does not exist and end up only fooling ourselves. Thanks for the honesty. This is the kind of thing I really like to see.
  • OK everyone, calm down and re-read the article with an open mind please. Ü

    It didn't say that little bits and pieces of routine exercise are totally useless and won't help at all, but it's saying that you will lose weight faster and keep the weight off easier if you challenge your body by doing different things and always upping the ante when it comes to exercise.

    For you, that might mean little baby step differences and that's o.k. Like the thin farmer who doesn't even know what a gym shoe is, but every day, depending on the chore or the time of year he/she's out there exercising their body doing all kinds of different things, throwing hay bales, pulling weeds, riding horses, clearning land, mending fences, chopping wood, etc., exactly what the article recommends.

    I for one like an article that challenges my notions and makes me think about what I might be able to do to tweak a few more pounds of weight loss out of my routine. I am definitely guilty of going to the gym in the morning and then being a couch potato the rest of the day. I'll watch that in the future. Thanks, I'm saving this for future reference. Ü
  • So if you can't do at least 10 min. of vigorous exercise, you're doomed! What about people with health problems who physically can't do even 10 min? Are you saying that they'll never lose weight, never become healthy? If that's the case, then why am I even bothering to try? According to your equation, I'm a hopeless case. Thanks a lot. I thought this was supposed to be a support group, not one that tears you down just because you can't do a 10 - 30 min vigorous workout!
    So, I live in the country and a group of women arrive at my door at 5:30 Mon-Saturday for a 1.5 hour speed walks (in the dark over gravel roads -- beautiful). Seems like she is saying that our fast walks aren't a good idea as they are "routine"? Several of these women have done this for 20-plus years! I add free weights a few times each week.

    Makes me think of the farmers around me who live into their 90s and are in great shape. They are active daily. One 80-year-old farmer I know eats 6 times a day! And he's still thin and strong. Neighbor is a retired farmer who is 91. He was out on ladder trimming trees a few days ago. He's thin and goes out to his farm (now run by sons) every single morning, where he still works!

    I sitll maintain that being active, even if routine, is good. Oh well!

    Awesome. Thanks for the Monday morning slap in the face. I don't agree that raking the lawn, climbing multiple flights of stairs doing laundry, gardening, etc are useless activites. My grandparents all lived into their 90s, and never did anything other than the above acitivites and more--they never put on a pair of running shoes and ran the section.
  • Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying but I think that yes, you need to do vigorous exercise for 20 to 40 minutes most days. But all the other things we do Absolutely count as exercise such as gardening, cleaning, taking the stairs...vigorous maybe not but, exercise yes. Those "moving minutes" add up. I agree that they should not be an excuse to eat more. "You can't out exercise a bad diet" is so true.

    I am 63 and have yo yo-ed most of my life. I have been steadily losing and maintaining for the last 2 years. I have lost over 6" from my waist. Along with eating the most healthy plant based, unprocessed food diet that I can, I do everything from yoga, water aerobics ST, foam rolling, gardening, walking, dancing and I recently took up a few minutes of hooping.

    Too much vigorous exercise is not only hard on my body but not maintainable for me in the long term.. All the extra movement I do is paying off. Any \way, I just had to put my 2 cents in! :D Maria

  • This is an excellent article. I printed it out and I'm saving this in my journal. How do I save it to my Sparkpeople favorites?

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