Musing on exercise

I read a post asking about too much exercise and watched Michael Mosley on catch up talking about exercise and appetite.

My husband has previously showed me the equation about calories burned during exercise!!

So yes, exercise alone won't help me lose weight and I need to watch what I eat (don't like the word 'diet') but exercising helps me manage food so for me it's worth it because:

1. While I'm on my bike I'm not eating!

2. If I'm at home I graze and sit.

3. Both exercise and food help me de-stress so bike is the better choice!

4. Finally and most importantly, when I exercise I don't feel hungry.

Any opinions? Is exercise worth it for weight loss?

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19 Replies

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  • Vital for fitness, two or three times per week. Even 12 minutes is enough to elicit an adaptive response if you are healthy enough to train quite intensely - a heart rate averaging above 150 beats per minute .

    For weight loss, you can eat in seconds what it takes an hour to use.

  • Thanks. I know Hiit is recommended but I enjoy being out on the bike.

    Sadly I know about calories in v calories out🍰🚴🚴🚴🚴

  • According to Kenneth Cooper, 20 mins @ 140+ beats per minute is enough, and you might be able to do that on the bike, or 45 mins @ 130+ bpm, or 90 mins @ 120+ bpm. That's the optimum of course, and if you exceed them it will start to impair recovery and immunity.

  • Sorry, me being a bit dim...is that the same as “Five days a week.” – This is important because if you do 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio over five days you will have logged 150 minutes of exercise. This is the magic number to reap the benefits of heart health, prevent diabetes, cancer and other diseases, and improve quality and quantity of life."

    This is a quote from the Cooper Institute in Texas.

    cooperaerobics.com/Cooper-I...

  • The Cooper Institute have joined with mainstream advice. Whether this is because people are thought more likely to adopt the practises as a population, or whether it is to secure funding for example I don't know. I'm pretty sure that the duration is to encourage calorie burning as well as fitness, the effectiveness of which is being discussed in this thread.

    Nonetheless, if training intensely enough to adapt, more than 24.2 hours is necessary for full recovery and growth (of aerobic capacity), so training at the same time every day for 5 days is a no go that people could be lulled into from that vague advice.

  • Agree with you pretty much everything you've put there. I always think wine will de-stress me but a run is often way more effective. Just need to get out there. So any cals burned exercising are a bonus as if I'm running/cycling instead of consuming cals then I'm winning already.

    Just off out on my bike now, to an asthma checkup! My bike's been overhauled and serviced, just need to get my lungs in top working order too. Definitely a vote for exercising, it's good for your body as a whole, not just the stones pounds and ounces aspect :)

  • I'm just heading out on bike as well. I'm cycling to walk I do - 1 hr walk byt 2hrs cycling along the canal!

    I was wheezing and found it was a side effect of ibuprofen so I cycle to keep the knees mobile (hurt skiing) instead. Win win!

    Enjoy the cycling and running. I can't do that anymore.

  • Cycling is definitely great for the knees. I recommend an asthma checkup re wheezing too even if you know it's a side effect from the ibuprofen. Just had a very thorough checkup, allergy profiling etc, and been given a new type of inhaler. So feeling quite positive about breathing matters right now!

  • Hi. It is true you cannot out exercise a bad diet but by getting your calories under control and using an app like Myfitnesspal to monitor what you are eating and drinking and then exercising too you will lose fat. The problem with most diets is you lose weight but do not deal with the issues that made you overweight in the first place so when you come off the diet you just put on weight. Forget all that 140 bpm nonsense and just get out and ride. Exercising at a standard tempo over a period of time is not good as pushing the heart into its maximum over a short period of time. Ride your bike, find a nice hill and try and make it up without stopping. That will do the trick, perfect HIIT. Then find a nice flat bit if road, or park, and try and go flat out for 30 seconds, cruise for a minute then flat out again for 30 seconds.

  • Ha ha! There's no such thing as a 'nice hill'. I got caught out on Monday on a new route. A long drag up with a steep finish. I made it but only because I'm pig headed!

  • Ha, Pig headed is good. I never know when I am beaten either. But do try the sprints too, great way of getting the old ticker going up to speed. I do it over the park as we have a nice long straight bit of track where nobody can jump out because the track is clear either side. Me and my daughter have races over there. I have to give her a head start!! But we also do the same track sprinting between two points, makes the poor dog knackered too!

    I bet when you finished the hill you were a little bit out of breath??

  • I agree that monitoring heart rate may be a bit over the top for some PTKeith, but for those wondering why they feel fatigued all the time (from over-training) or not making progress, it is a useful tool. It's a bit like counting calories or painting by numbers, you shouldn't let it spoil your enjoyment but while you are learning the 'art' it's a good place to start.

  • Hey its not biggie. you are right when you are starting out its always good to have some guidance as to what you are trying to do. I find the only problem being when you want to progress people they are still stuck in 1st gear!! lol I think start points are great but building something that gets progressively harder over time really works so well. I see so many people in the gym with creased up bits of paper that someone has given them as a starting workout and 4 weeks later they are still doing the same thing, even though you can barely see the writing as its been in and out of there bag so many times!!

  • I've been told that you need a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of weight. That can come from exercise or not eating as much, or a combination of the two. I know that I burned 100 calories per mile in the days when I went for a walk every day, but I couldn't have walked five miles every day of the week. Jogging or cycling burn more calories per mile, but I can't do those kinds of exercise. I could get an exercise bike, but we don't have anywhere to put one.

    There is a way to avoid the grazing problem - take up a hobby that keeps your hands and mind occupied. I like knitting and I can't eat with knitting needles in my hands. Knitting also burns calories. Not many, it's true (about 30 calories per hour, I think), but it has to be better than hitting the nibbles. I find knitting helps me to relax, so it ticks that box as well.

  • Forgot to ask: do you have a link for the equation about calories burned during exercise? I'd be interested in seeing it.

  • Sorry, I don't know a link! Img husband is a doctor and he kindly worked through the figures for me!

  • It's a combination of both. Exercise and healthy diet. Lose 1lb per week exercising and 1lb per week dieting. Burn 3,500 calories and eat 3,500 calories less per week giving a sustainable 2lb per week weight loss. Just remember to balance the intake. Fats, complex carbohydrates and proteins.

  • For me it is not about how many calories are burned doing exercise of any kind, but the feel good factor in doing it. I try and walk most days along the beach for an hour or two, and it makes me feel very good - it may also burn some calories too. I have lost a few lbs this past week and I feel better about myself and hence want to go out walking more than I did a few weeks ago. I think it is all about what makes you feel good rather than jumping on the scales when you have finished that run. Good luck with the cycling.

  • Most definitely worth it Ceriandblue

    "Use it or lose it" an old saying but true.

    Don't forget your brain needs exercise as well ! So not just passive observation like watching the telly but problem solving like crosswords or learning new things. Sorry not really weight loss info. Xx :)

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