How much exercise do we really need ?

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    Honestly, probably just a few minutes a week, if that much. There are a raft of studies that show that minutes of high-intensity exercise confers more fitness benefits than hours of low-intensity exercise. For example, there are the McMasters studies, the Tabata study as well as more recent studies.

    So, the question is, since, in reality, we require VERY little exercise for marked fitness benefits ... why do we exercise so much ?

    Discuss ...
  2. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    I propose that we change the rules from "eat less, move more" to "eat less, exercise less."

    The latter is arguably more consistent since it points to a simplification and not a complexification of both aspects. And I have little fear that judicious, productive exercise will do anything to stem general activity.

    Indeed, judicious exercise ought to have the effect of fostering incidental movement as the body would spend more time in supranormal than subnormal state. In other words, built up as opposed to beaten down.
  3. ATL_Gator
    Offline

    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,412
    I think it depends on what your goals are.

    Being generally fit while you endure the normal activities of every day life? I would expect you are right.

    Advancing skill at a sport which in part requires an athletic endurance? No way. How would you expect to build "4th quarter endurance" if you don't "put in the time"? Don't see it and I haven't experienced it.
  4. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    Basically, health is what I had in mind. A competitive athlete could be supremely fit (whatever that means) and, at the same time, unhealthy due to the rigors of his sport. Beaten down stage for much of his week. Remember that exercise is a stressor. In a sense, it almost invokes a diseased state, albeit temporarily.

    Remember the popular author James Fix ? He possessed high levels of cardiovascular endurance ... before he dropped dead of a massive heart attack.

    Further, I would hasten to distinguish between exercise and skill. As I've put it before, exercise to stimulate muscle. Then practice the demands of your sport. I seem to recall opining that the best way for you to acclimate to pickup basketball was to engage in it on a fairly frequent basis.

    But even if you were a competitive basketball player, I don't know that I'd recommend more than a tweaking to your strength routine, perhaps to accentuate metabolic conditioning ... then play basketball.
  5. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    As for, say, distance running ... why would anyone want to do it ?

    If the answer is because that is their chosen sport, then naturally they need to acclimate themselves to the demands of their sport. But this is not unlike you playing more pickup basketball. You play it, and over time, you develop the requisite endurance. Also: you hone your basketball skills in the process.

    But long-distance running is piss-poor as an exercise strategy.
  6. malscott
    Offline

    malscott Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    7,167
    Likes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    West Hills, Ca
    Ratings Received:
    +221
    After doing martial arts for twenty-five years or so, I've slowed, don't want to get hit in the head (although, I love sparring) and have moved on to swimming three times a week. Probably the best thing one can do, if they really have no interest in exercising, per se. is to WALK! Check out all of these folks that have lived to 104, they surly didn't do cardio, but they were, in most cases, active. Many of the old timers walked to their village and things like this. Additionally, good genes are a key. But there is an abundance of new data on 'over-exercising' being just as bad and being completely lethargic. In moderation, I suppose. When ya think about it, working yourself to death in the gym is pretty tough, makes sense. Every old person I know that gave up walking and became sedentary died within a few years of making that choice. Now, once someone breaks a hip, loses their balance and what have you, it becomes more difficult to remain active. Moderate to light exercise, good diet and genetics...
  7. ATL_Gator
    Offline

    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,412
    sort of what I was talking about, but different.

    Through the last 6 years or so, I have consistently 'played' in pick up games of basketball and flag football. Over that time, I have had periods where my "exercise" plan independent of playing was jogging 3 miles 2-3 times a week. Other times I was focused on lifting weights and compound movements. Other times I was just pure lazy and didn't do any extra exercise program at all.

    After playing for 45 minutes to an hour ... the times I felt the best was when I was running 3 miles multiple times a week. It was ok when I was lifting, and aweful when I wasn't really doing anything for an extended period of time.

    Naturally, to increase skill, you practice said skill, even practice while fatigued... but what I am getting at is in most sports/activites you are moving, and it is the ease of movement after an extended period of time that I have noticed a difference when I am doing different types of training.

    That is what I have found, that if you do little to no cardio-ish training, there is a direct effect to the long term endurance I have when playing active games. In my experiences, I would not expect to see significant improvements in my ability to move when playing flag football for an hour by ONLY doing 4 minutes of Tabata sprints as my cardio training (granted, doing anything Tabata style will pretty much make me about collapse). I will admit, I have not tried anything of the sort for an extended period of time though.

    -----------------

    Also, I have no idea if this is James Fix or not.. but I remember from my health and fitness class in 7th grade or so. We were talking about lowering resting heart rate with improved fitness. One thing that stuck out to me from that class/discussion was that sometimes you can't prevent genetic things/hereditary traits. My teacher said that sometimes things like heart attacks were hereditary, and that this one particluar person had a family history of men dying of massive heart attacks before the age of 50. So he was set on being as fit as possible and making his heart as fit as possible (thus, had a very low resting heart rate).. he still died of a massive heart attack. NO idea if that is true or not, just something I remember.
  8. enviroGator
    Offline

    enviroGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +331
    Ok dream... I was coming in here looking for advice on how to get in shape, and you tell me to exercise less? LOL! Problem is I'm not sure I can!
  9. ATL_Gator
    Offline

    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,412

    You only reacted to half the solution.. you forgot eat less.

    :)



    you can put the "I am not sure I can" part ... _____here_____

    95% diet, 5% exercise, right dream? Or did I get the percentages wrong (too much exercise)?
  10. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    One thing I think you'll find in long-lived people is that they are not frail. Generally, they are robust almost to the end. In my view, since we get precious little in the way of really demanding activity these days, that's where just a few minutes a week of particularly strenuous activity might serve to fill the gap. Of course I'm biased towards strength training.

    As for general activity like walking, I doubt that many long-lived people use walking ostensibly as a life-extending strategy. Rather, it's probably just something they either need to do or have the energy to do, because they are already healthy and robust.
  11. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    I'd say that 'cardio' is a misnomer. Technically, your cardiovascular system is always working. Arguably, it is never working better than when you're sleeping!

    I can't argue with your experience. At the same time, it's difficult for me to see how jogging would prepare your for the stop-start-sprint-jump rigors of basketball. I know that at a time when I was jogging 15-20 miles a week ... I got gassed the rare occasions I played basketball.

    But back to 'cardio', when you strength train ... that is cardio too. Yes, it's technically anaerobic. But as you mentioned Tabata, that study showed that a few minutes of anaerobic exercise conferred better aerobic benefits than hours of aerobic exercise. That was rather the whole stunning point of the study. :wink:

    So, no, I don't think it follows that you have go condition yourself for basketball by engaging in bouts of exercise roughly equal in duration to your pickup games. Of necessity, you develop endurance by playing basketball.

    And there is some dispute as to a correlation between RHR and longevity. Even so, I'm almost willing to bet that Fix's RHR was lower than average just by dint of all the running he did.
  12. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    Hehe, ATL beat me to the punch. But may I presume that by 'in shape' you mean you want a better-shaped body ? That's certainly what most people I work with mean by the phrase.

    If that's the case, it's arrestingly simple. You strength train to stimulate your muscles and you eat less to lose the fat that presently covers the muscles.

    Now, if you're willing to push it, you can accomplish the former in minutes a week. On average, my clients 'exercise' probably between 15 and 30 minutes a week.

    And after all, as I'm sure you're busy, why wouldn't you prefer the most time-efficient strategy ?
  13. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    And in any case, since you can't out-exercise overeating, why not give your joints a break and simply curb the eating ?

    ALMOST ALWAYS, when I ask a new client how he/she envisions me helping them lose weight, they are expecting me to exercise off their fat.
  14. ATL_Gator
    Offline

    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,412
    killjoy.
  15. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    :wave:
  16. oI2ange
    Online

    oI2ange Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Ratings Received:
    +173
    I personally exercise a ton because I really enjoy it. Be it running outdoors, biking around a trail, rock climbing for hours, swimming, hiking, it's all great for me. Right now I'd say that my rock climbing sessions last a few hours (indoor gym right now).

    But I definitely agree with the OP- how often do you see some fat middle aged woman on the treadmill walking? I'd much rather run hard for 10 minutes than walk for 30. You feel alot more worked. I really think that the circuit training stuff is alot better in general- whenever I want to get a quick workout in, I usually try to do a circuit of burpees, pushups, situps, and body squats/lunges...doing all of that nonstop is tough.
  17. enviroGator
    Offline

    enviroGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +331
    Thanks guys....

    I was just busting your chops for the most part.

    But seriously, I do want to get into better shape, and by shape I do mean lose weight to look better, but also to get more physically fit to feel better.

    I recognize one of my big problems is eating too much.

    Motivation is my biggest problem and any tips you have to help with that would be appreciated.
  18. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    Not sure that I can help you on the motivation end, unless by motivation you mean the likelihood that you'll stick to a strategy long enough to yield results.
  19. enviroGator
    Offline

    enviroGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings Received:
    +331
    I think it is kind of like getting people to quit smoking, they (I) need to decide something needs to change, and others (you) can help them find something that works and they can stick with.

    I've been on and off again with dieting and working out. I've been off for a long time now (and it shows), and am getting to that point where I know something has to change.
  20. Dreamliner
    Online

    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    64,785
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,664
    Sounds like you're getting there. For the record, the only clients I have are people who were ready. Now, some are clearly more determined than others.

    How much motivation do you really need ? Answer: enough to get you started.

    Motivation is what you bring into a program. Enthusiasm is what comes out of adhering to a program because of the results you're getting.

    True, some people bail because they're just not serious. But others bail because they undertake strategies that are neither sensible nor effective.

    Hope that helps.

Share This Page