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Paige Waehner

Vote in This Week's Poll: How much exercise do you do to manage your weight?

By February 18, 2013

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Wouldn't it be nice if someone could tell you exactly how much exercise you need to lose weight and then maintain it? Like, what kind of exercise to do and how long to do it and how hard to work. And then that person could stand next to you the whole time you workout, telling you what to do and making sure you do it right.

Wait, that sounds a lot like what a personal trainer does...except even the smartest personal trainer isn't going to know exactly how much exercise you need. However, I can give you a quick rule of thumb: The amount of exercise you need to lose weight is more than you think and you have to do at least that amount, if not more, to maintain that weight loss. Helpful, isnt it?

Obviously, the exercise isn't an exact science. Even those of us who exercise regularly are constantly adjusting our workouts, schedules, calories and whatnot to keep some kind of balance going. To show just how different we all are, I'd like you to vote in this week's poll about your exercise habits and then leave a comment telling us how much you exercise. How much does it really take for you to lose weight and/or maintain that weight loss?

February 22, 2010 at 10:22 am
(1) Betsy says:

I workout in the gym 5 days a week in the winter – 4 cardio, 3 yoga, 3 weight training. Plus I hike all winter on the weekends. In the summer I do all my cardio outside.

I have a Labrador Retriever so no matter what (rain, snow, blistering heat) he gets a walk/hike every day. After a crappy day at work dealing with unhappy people, he is pleasure to be with. My dog is in better share than most 20 year olds and so am I.

I eat on average 1800 cal a day. I’m 50 and female. This is what it takes for me to keep my weight off. Besides what else am I going to do watch TV. BLAH! I guess I could watch the biggest losser but then I’d be one myself.

February 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm
(2) scout09 says:

I could ask the inverse question: How much television do you watch on a weekly basis that results in gaining weight or maintaining your overweight status? What would happen if you traded one hour of television each day for one hour of exercise?

February 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm
(3) AnnieJ says:

I am coming back after a complicated pregnancy and C-section at age 40. Before the surgery, I walked and did yoga most days and was in good shape, very healthy and content with my weight. Now, I have decided to take up running (working at this 4 days a week), plus walking/hiking other days, yoga a couple times a week, and training to play on a softball team. I eat a whole foods diet, low in refined sugar, and I am careful about only healthy fats and no junk. I know eventually the pregnancy/nursing weight will come off, but it is frustrating to have actually gained 5 pounds in the past month doing all that, while my husband, who also has to follow my diet (I’m the cook) but barely exercises, is slim and loses weight just by walking around the block, it seems.

February 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm
(4) ivik says:

You tell me. I’ve been working out since a guy called ‘Ike’ was president. Months ago, my lovely wife got us an Omron — notice when you rotate the first two letters, what word appears — a device that weighs us, measures our body fat, visceral fat and muscle mass percentages. I use it about once a week,same time of the day. Today, I measured my self, same time as always. Up was my body weight 4%, visceral fat 35%, body fat 35%; muscle mass down 5%. Go figure. What happened? The only thing that I changed was eating a Valentine’s day gift of Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups. Could that have turned me into the glob of garbage I became. Luckily they’re almost gone.

February 23, 2010 at 12:11 am
(5) SuzieSize12 says:

What’s an hour a day if it leaves you feeling good afterward? When I worked out less, it felt like punishment. Now, I get up early to go to the gym–because I want to, not because it’s “medicine.”

I do cardio at least five days a week, and take five yoga classes in addition to tai chi and walking for transpo (no car). I’m in my late 40s and it feels great to be active–I don’t care if my peer group wants to veg on the couch, because I don’t!

February 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(6) James Alms says:

I am very interested in this question. I have struggled to make time between school and Church to maintain 150 minutes of cardio and some strength training, plus Tai Chi. I love to exercise and could verily easily become addicted to it,but addiction to anything is never good. So if I as a single person can’t keep up the recommended exercise rates. What is a person who has a family and is chained to a job to support them to do? So what is the least a person has to do to maintain physical health and not detract from spiritual, emotional, relationship health?

February 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm
(7) Brad says:

First, I’d like to say that I am very glad to hear that “Betsy” is a female.

I’m currently going to the gym 4x/week with sessions that are comprised of vigorous flexibility, functional training, strength training and cardio that last 2 to 2.5 hours. It seems that this is not enough, so now I’m considering adding 2 more days of only cardio because I’m not getting the weight loss results I want. I’m in my early 50′s, work fulltime and have a family. I love to exercise but wish losing weight could just be a bit easier! Dang, can’t an old guy get a break? I hate my metabolism…

February 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm
(8) charles says:

I am a 51 year old male to maintain my weight i need at least 3 workouts per week . workouts of at least 1 1/2 hrs consisting of weight training and cardio. I pretty much eat what i want and am careful not to overeat. to drop weight i must add 1 more w/out per week and focus on amounts and types of food

February 26, 2010 at 3:02 am
(9) CJ says:

I am male, mid 30s, been working out aggressively for about 18 months. I went from 230 lbs to 211 lbs, from 25% to 15% bodyfat in that time. I work out with heavy weights (exclusively) for 90 minutes twice a week, mild flexibility/stretching exercises for 45 mins once per week, and 4 hours of cardio like hiking, bike riding or rollerskating on a fourth day. I don’t count “ceremonial exercise” that is performed a few times a year like snowboarding / surfing / kayaking – tho it certainly has beat me up the day after.

I’m satisfied with my body composition and muscle mass, but I have found that it’s easy to burn 700 calories in an afternoon and promptly shovel 2000 calories back into your mouth with Superbowl party HotWings+Pizza, Bacon Avocado cheeseburgers, birthday cakes and all-u-can-eat Las Vegas buffets.

The battle is fought is in the gym, but the war is won in the kitchen.

February 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm
(10) Sarge says:

CJ, you mean to imply you never have one of them In&Out Burgers, fries n’shake? In my post-retirement years, I visit Vegas periodically for a “kinda/sorta” working vacation. A visit to one of several In&Outs is a must…too bad I can’t do wind sprints anymore!

February 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm
(11) Kevin S. says:

Fortunatley I am one one of those people that has never had a weight problem. Never weighed over 180lbs. I am 52 year old. I have always eaten too much candy and food containing high amounts of sugar. I have always overeaten everything in general. I have friends who do not overeat and still put on weight. I workout to build muscle mass only.

March 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm
(12) Warren Schrick says:

Well, I never exercise specifically to lose weight. I exercise to maintain good muscle tone, to retain flexibility, and to stay active. Any weight loss is a plus, but, not a goal. I do weight training 3x/wk and walk ablut 3 miles a day 7 days a week. My weight training is done on a home gym(Norticflex – gold). It was not my first choice, but, I got it cheap ($50.00). To be concise, I am not a exercise fanatic, but, I am consistant, an rarely miss a exercise session. I have been exercising, since High School (free wts.). I am now 73 years old. — Warren

March 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm
(13) ken says:

I go to the gym abot 4 days a week, lately I’ve been doing 30 min cardio and about 30 – 45 weight lifting, I’m at the point of work towards my goal. To be honest I think my diet is in need of more work than the exercise side of things, I was up to 6 days a week w/ cardio every day and weights every other day.

March 2, 2010 at 12:27 am
(14) Karey says:

I lost 120 pounds 3 years ago. I exercise 5-6 times a week for about 1 1/2 hours each time. I do strength training 3 times a week and pilate 2 times a week. However, I try to switch things around about every 3 months. I know that I need to exercise this often to maintain my weight, because a year ago, I had to have knee surgery and could not exercise for almost 3 months. During that time, I gained about 14 pounds which took me almost 5 months to lose once I started exercising again. I’m happy to be active and hope to continue exercising until I take my last breath!

March 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
(15) CJ says:

Sarge -

love the In-n-out burger but I haven’t seen my abs since I was 19 yrs old. I’m trying to find them!

February 19, 2013 at 10:34 am
(16) LKS says:

I have given up on losing weight through exercise. When I was younger, I could lose weight by exercising alone, but it was A LOT of exercise, far more than I have time for now with a spouse, child, and dog to cook for and tend to. The truth is, it takes a lot of high-intensity exercise to lose and maintain weight loss, and that’s beyond what is realistic for most people. I now exercise for strength, flexibility, and overall health, but not to become thin.

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