This is one of those posts that I hesitated to write, because I don’t want to step on any toes.
But step by step, I’m going forward. And the reason I wanted to write this post, was to get your opinions and thoughts on exercise. Not if you think it’s a good thing, because probably most of us are in agreement on that fact. My question is: Can people sustain the level of exercise they are doing to lose weight?
Here’s an example: I read at least 10 blogs recently, where the men and women were super motivated to lose weight. Good for them!!!! But, in reading through their blogs, I was astonished at how much exercise they were doing. I’m not talking about just taking a long walk every day, or spending an hour in the gym a few days a week. I’m talking hard-core, training for the Olympics type of exercise. Doing two workouts a day, two hours at the gym, and then walking for an hour later. Riding bikes for hours at a time, then working at the gym. And these aren’t people who are training for a triathlon or anything. They are just working their behinds off to lose weight.
I admire that in a lot of ways. But it scares me for them. Unless you are training for a specific event, then can you really sustain that type of intense exercise forever? Or do you need to? Here’s my thoughts, and I’d love to hear yours. Exercising that much burns a lot of calories, and most of the people I saw, were losing weight, but not rapidly. Which makes me think they are eating to compensate for the calories burned. Understandable, and good in some ways. But are they eating so much, that when they reach their goal weight, and cut back on that crazy amount of exercise, will their eating habits be able to maintain their weight, or will they start to regain?
Do you see what I’m saying? Exercise is great, but the point of weight loss for me wasn’t just about losing weight, but changing my lifestyle from an unhealthy, sedentary life, to an active life that was both realistic and sustainable. So for me, that included exercise six days a week, but generally for 45 minutes at the most. I strength train a couple times a week (most weeks), and am working to increase that a little bit.
How much exercise is too much? Or is there such a thing? For athletes this answer will be different. But for your average person, how much can you keep up? Sure, you may be able to spend hours and hours a week at the gym while you are super focused on your weight, but can you do that much exercise to maintain your weight loss? Or do you want to?
This may vary by person. But I wonder, if that person wasn’t an athlete to begin with, do they really want to spend that much time just to maintain a loss?
I’m not sure about this one. I just know, that when I read these people’s stories, and see the amount of time they are spending exercising, I worry for them. I worry about sustainability.
What do you think? What are your goals once you get to where you want to be? Or if you are already there – what does your exercise routine look like? Diane