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8 Cold, Hard Truths About Exercise

It's Time for an Exercise in Tough Love


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  • 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?
  • I am confused. I read an article that raking the lawn doing house work were all included in fitness minutes. I do all of the manual labor at our home and time it. Now I am told they really are of little value and only real aerobic fitness minutes count. My OMRON stepper has steps taken daily and then it says Moderate steps. It apparently measures them separately so why do we add them all together as fitness minutes in the tracker. Gardening, yardwork rarely shows uo in hundreds of steps but putting in the hours and minutes it appears to completely confuse fact from fiction. The other article is just not correct, I wish I had never read it in fact it now appears to be fiction.
    This was a awesome article, thank you :)
    These are all so very true but the bottom line is that change doesn't come with just one lifestyle shift. It has to be the entire package, diet, exercise AND mindset. All sides of this triangle are necessary for any long lasting benefit, simple but difficult. It is a life long struggle especially if you are trying to erase the bad habits of your first 50 years like I am. While I am at goal weight I still struggle mightly with my eating. The exercise, however, has become just another integral part of my life and I'm glad of that. The eating I fear will be a war forever, but one I'm determined to win.

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