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Fitness and being Healthy

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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:29 am

I'm old fashioned when it comes to cardio training, I guess. I always tell my friends when they ask for advice on where to start a new training program that they should focus on cardio for the first month or so, because while it has a small (but noticeable!) effect in and of itself, it's good at increasing the benefit you get from the strength training once you start focusing on that. The main reason is endurance - regular cardiovascular exercise lowers your resting heart rate. Essentially, it makes your body more efficient, so your muscles won't get oxygen starved quite as easily and you'll be able to lift heavier, longer.

Oh, and it also has a greater effect on weight loss than weight training alone. Cardiovascular exercise increases your basal metabolic rate, which is just fancy talk for the amount of calories you burn at rest. So while weight training might burn more calories per workout cardiovascular training helps you burn more calories even while you're sleeping, sitting on the couch watching tv, or working at a desk job.

So if you're exercising for overall fitness, and are dedicated to maintaining a workout program, a good mix of cardio and weight training is what I'd recommend. But if you want the biggest gains for the least effort, join a running club or find a lap pool. And I would definitely advise against completely ignoring cardio and just picking up some free weights.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:32 am

Finally increasing my mileage to where I want to get to. Currently doing 7 and 8k runs three times a week with the intention of being able to do 10k three times a week in about a month or two. However, it's gotten to the point where I *want* to run every day as if it's a craving. But man... it sure is a time investment once you start doing 45 minute+ runs on top of weights/strength training.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:29 am

I've hit such a wall and I am beyond frustrated. I started really trying to lose weight in August 2011. In the first 6 months or so I lost 30 pounds. In the last year I have lost 7 if you go by my current weight.

Twice I have gotten near a short term goal and then ballooned up nearly 10 pounds. It isn't a short term gain either, it sticks around. And when I seem to have gotten it off it comes right back. I've been dealing with this for months.

I use MFP, I wear a heart rate monitor. I stay with in my calorie goal most of the time. I don't have the best diet as far as quality of calories go, but even when I do decide to cut out all alcohol and focus more on the quality - I don't see progress.

My goal right now is to try and meet with a trainer at my gym next week. I can't afford to see one regularly but maybe they can help me out. It seems like I need to change things up but I am not sure what to do. I can't run and I suck at working out at home. My gym has some weights but I don't feel like i know what I am doing with them.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Barathorn » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:20 am

Kat have you tried swimming? I lost a lot of weight through swimming and it stayed off.

I swam lots when I was under 11 and after 15 years of smoking when I got back in the pool at 32 I could only manage 8 lengths. Within 6 weeks I was swimming 64 lengths in an hour again.

It really does burn calories and for an 2-3 hours a week you get amazing results. Much easier on the limbs and joints than running as well.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:23 am

The trainer can at least give you an idea of what to do with weights. I don't feel like I know much about weights either, so when I use free weights at the gym, I just do most of the moves in the 30 Day Shred, but with higher weights.

You said you can't run, is that due to anything in particular? (knees, etc.) Or just "haven't done it, aren't interested". There's always the Couch 2 5k program that seems to have worked for a lot of people. Running's been the biggest thing that's helped me lose weight so I feel like I want to like... wish you to want to run, if that makes sense.

Man, I was coming in this thread to say I finally hit 40 pounds lost after struggling at 39 pounds for a month. But now I just feel like a dick bringing it up. :s
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:34 am

Bara, I wish I could swim. The pool at my gym is only open during the summer and it's a ridiculously high charge on top of the membership fee to use it.

Nika, not running is multifaceted. I was having some issues with my ankle and arch that even high impact (faster) walking was exacerbating. I have improved the support in my shoes and altered my treadmill time to a higher incline and slower pace, and that has helped. My biggest concern with running on the treadmill is that I am klutzy as shit. I feel like i'm going to fall off at a 4mph walk. :roll: The weather will soon be too ungodly hot to run outside. i was going to ride my bike to work today but it's going to be 90 when I get off.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:37 am

Good lord... and it's supposed to snow here for the next three days. >.<

I can do treadmill running, but I don't like it. I hate the sound of my feet hitting the damn thing... makes me feel like I'm 300 pounds and everyone can hear my feet (and all of my body weight) slapping on the running carpet. My gym has a track though, so I use that. But I don't think a lot of gyms have that. :(
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:09 am

You know...we may actually have a track. I'll look into it. I'll need new shoes if I run. Mine are getting a bit worn and aren't really made for it.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:39 am

The track also has wayyyy less people on it. What I see a lot of women doing is running a few laps, then walking a few, rinse and repeat. Seems to work pretty well for them if they're not yet up to full on running. Although please, for all that is sacred, don't be one of those people that talks on their frigging cell phones while walking around the track. OH MY GOD I WANT TO KILL THEM.

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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:54 pm

See a podiatrist for a running shoe recommendation. Certain manufacturers have better shoes for different foot types. I'm a New Balance guy, personally. But I know plenty of Adidas people and some Nikes.

Second the swimming suggestion. You can try to find a gym with a lap pool or make friends with someone who's got a pool at their house? Swimming is a zero-impact full body workout that runs through the range of motion.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Arnock » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:39 pm

If you can't find a pool without paying an arm and a leg, do you have a bike? Cycling isn't quite the full-body workout that swimming is, but it's a LOT easier on the joints than running.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:19 am

Totally pulled on a pair of pants today that I haven't worn since I was 18 or 19. (~10 years ago) That's insane.

Now I'm aiming for the last remaining pair of pants I have leftover from my high school years... a pair I think I had when I was 16. They currently fit around the legs, but not the stomach yet!
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:11 pm

Arnock wrote:If you can't find a pool without paying an arm and a leg, do you have a bike? Cycling isn't quite the full-body workout that swimming is, but it's a LOT easier on the joints than running.


It's funny you say that. My husband is crazy for the bicycles. He has 4 and plus a tandem we share and I have a Dutch bike. Now that the weather is better we'll ride more.

I use the exercise bike at the gym and the treadmill. I vary the treadmill from 2.5-4mph and 12-15% incline. 15% is the max it goes up to. I also walk a ton at work, I average about 10k steps a day but often hit 13k. This is part of the reason I wonder if I need to focus on toning since added cardio isn't helping anymore.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:39 am

4mph is a 15 minute mile. You have a lot of room for improvement there; that's barely above a walk.

Shoot for running 1km nonstop (jogging, obviously - not outright RUNNING). That should take a week or two. Don't worry about how long it takes or how slow you seem to be moving (when I first started running, my jogging pace was actually slower than my brisk walking pace, so don't worry about it too terribly much if you think you're too slow). Then increase your distance until you're able to jog 3km without walking - roughly another week or two. After that, start working on time - a good 3km time target to hit is the 14 minute mark (7.5 minute mile, roughly).
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:59 am

Fivelives wrote:After that, start working on time - a good 3km time target to hit is the 14 minute mark (7.5 minute mile, roughly).

Are you kidding me? For a female who barely runs?

I have run relatively regularly for the past three years and most of my distances are around 5k which usually end around the 30 to 33 minute mark. You could argue that I'm not pushing myself to my potential, but I think setting the mark at 14 minutes for 3k is a bit too high of a bar for someone who is only starting to run.
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