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8 Cold, Hard Truths About Exercise

It's Time for an Exercise in Tough Love


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  • 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.
  • The more we read the more educated we become. Spark People articles are a great source of good information
  • "It wont allow you to eat whatever you want"

    OMG, THIS THIS THIS THISSSSSSS! My step-kids do cheerleading and football. Since they are in elementary school, it is frankly not very hardcore. However, after every game, the kids are all given a "snack" from the concession stand for free. I got a lot of smack from people when I opted out in favor of bringing our own healthy snacks. Sorry, but they only burned a couple hundred calories, max, and one of them is in the 99th percentile for weight. No, he did NOT "work out" hard enough to counteract a bag of chips and a large Coke! The Coke alone has more calories in it than what he just burned off.
    A lot of people have the idea that they burn far, far more calories than they really do. I used to be one of them until Spark showed me the truth. It's an uphill battle dealing with people who haven't figured it out yet.
  • *Straight talk and facts are what we need.

    Can I post this article on my facebook page, if so how?

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