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How much exercise is enough??

No matter how much I exercise I never feel like it's enough. I always feel that I could/should be doing more, and it always seems like everybody is doing more then me. When I work out I give it my all and i'm really dedicated but I just can't shake this feeling. I'm working out to lose weight, my goal is to burn at least 500 calories a day through exercise. Does anybody have similar experiences or advise?

Mon. Feb 19, 3:10pm

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benefit of exercise

The most important benefit of exercise is to maintain a healthy and fit body. - Green Water Technologies

Friday, November 17, 2006, 11:21 PM

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I hear you. I took a day off today and I started to freak out - as if I was falling off the wagon. But it's important to rest!

Don't compare yourself to others - everyone has different bodies/needs/fitness levels. Do what works for you. Remind yourself that it's okay to take a break or take it easy for a day. Your muscles need time to rest and repair themselves.

I don't know how much you are exercising but be careful about getting "addicted" to exercising. Exercise addiction is a real problem for certain individuals - I guess Paula Abdul is a recovering exercise addict.


Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:22 PM

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400-500 calories a day is what I aim for also because it helps keep me motivated and in shape when I have a goal. I guess it also depends how much time you want to dedicate. For me, an good hour run or swim, or a 30 min walk plus 45 minutes of weight lifting gets me to that goal. I frankly would not want to be exercising more than that every day or I would have no life. Also, If you spend too much time exercising, you can risk hurting your body and your overall health. There is such a thing as overexercising.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 6:15 PM

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Depends on your goals

If you are only exercising to increase your health I would say about 4 to 5 hours a week is sufficient, however if your are training to be in a sporting event,say Marathon or 100 mile bike ride, you will need to increase the time you workout substantially. If it's weight loss you want try running intervals 4 days a week then add some weight training the intervals will burn fat and the weight training (about 45 minutes 3 days a week) will add more muscle causing your body to burn even more fat.


Monday, February 19, 2007, 7:39 PM

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Depends on your goals. Some say 90 minutes a day due to our sedentary lives.

3500 cals in a pound of fat. If you want to lose weight you just need to figure out how much you burn a day, and make sure that you exercise enough and cut back enough to create the needed deficit to lose.

I think 500 cals a day meets the 10000 steps a day min. I think 400 cals meets that.

In the end, you do what you can. I think you're doing fabuolous gettingg 500 a day, but if you did want to add, then you could do bursty spurts during the day - a minute of squats, wall sits for as long as you can, jumping jacks, squat thursts squat jumps, plie jumps - etc...

Monday, February 19, 2007, 7:44 PM

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how do you know when you have burned 500 calories?

Monday, February 19, 2007, 9:04 PM

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OP here!

Thanks for all of your comments and advise! Keep it coming:) I'm feeling more motivated already. It's good to know that there are other people out there that feel the same as me, and i'm always up for new workout advice.

9:04- Most cardio machines will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you have burned during your workout. Also, there is a website called that has an activity calculator that I like to use. You enter your weight and how many minutes you have done an exercise (there is a huge list of different activities to choose from) and then it estimates how many calories you burnt during the activity. It's not an exact science but it gives you an idea.

Monday, February 19, 2007, 9:14 PM

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for weight loss, 60-90 minutes of cardio per day, 7 days per week

for weight maintenance, 60 minutes of cardio per day, 4-5 days per week

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:36 AM

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9:36 you are insane!

you can easily achieve a healthy weight loss in 45 minutes of cardio five days a week.

90 minutes 7 days a week is just ridiculous, and at that point you will probably start loosing an UNhealthy amount of weight (anything more than 2lbs per week).

take that from someone who has lost and continued to lose weight this way right up to 15lbs from goal now..

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 10:39 AM

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There is a law of diminishing returns with exercise. My weight loss results weren't any different whether I spent one hour in the gym or two, 5-6 days a week. Plus, spending that kind of time in the gym made it that much harder to restrict my eating, which unfortunately seems to be the lion's share of the losing equation for me.

9:04 poster, you get a "calories burned" number from cardio equipment, or you can google an online activity-calorie calculator and plug in your info to get an idea.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:24 AM

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The diminishing return is an important factor. If you do 500 calories every day, your body will start to adjust to this. Then where do you go from there? 800 calories a day? That could be like two hours of exercise every day. It can be done, but you'll strain your body.

Try varying it so you average 500 -- 300 one day, then 500, then 400, then 600 or whatever. Do many types of cardio so your body doesn't adapt and you can keep your heart rate up. When I run regularly, I only burn 400 cal/hour. If I bike for 60 minutes instead, I'll burn 500 or more. Even my weight routines can drop by 100 cal/hour if I do the same routine for a couple weeks.

I feel like the most accurate calorie count you can get is by wearing a heart-rate monitor. They say the accuracy is within 15%, which is better than most machines in the gym.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:55 AM

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Just thought I'd throw this in... I've lost nearly all of my weight, and pretty much never exercise. I just diet. This does not work for some people, but, I'm definitely proof that hours at the gym aren't necessarily the only way to a great body!

Note, however, I'm naturally very muscular, so it doesn't take much to stay toned. Also, although I have a desk job, I walk at least a mile or two a day just between walking to and from the subway, and generally end up walking at least somewhere else, so it is not that I just sit on my butt all day long.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 3:36 PM

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I burn about 435 calori9es in a one hour work out (I wear a heart rate monitor which counts calories expended). That includes 30 min of cardio and 30 min of heavy weights. You can certainly mix that combination up.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 7:04 AM

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