Basic fitness minimums?

MegaMooseEsq
MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
edited November 2017 in Fitness and Exercise
When it comes to weight loss, I'm all about the philosophy of "whoever eats the most and loses weight, wins!" I feel pretty good about how that's going (37 lbs down, 36 lbs to go!), so the last couple of months have started focusing on fitness. I'm trying to find a basic routine that meets that same "least amount of effort" philosophy - I like the idea of knowing I hit the bare minimum and anything on top of that is gravy. I know that I'm not going to become the fastest runner or heaviest lifter this way, and I probably won't ever look "toned," but that's okay because my goal is really just a basic, well-rounded level of physical health.

I try to meet the DHS recommendation of 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week or 150 minutes of moderate activity, with 30 minutes of activity a day (judged by my Apple watch) and two days of full-body strength training. Those seem like reasonable minimums, but I'd love to hear any thoughts on that from more experienced people. I get that there are generally no answers universal to everyone, and something is always better than nothing, but I'm curious to hear what people think, and if anyone else is going for the more laid-back approach.

Cardio: I aim for 15-25 minutes of "vigorous" cardio 4-6 days a week - I started off walking, but it got too easy and I wanted more of a challenge. When it's not icy outside I run, but not more than two days in a row. Otherwise I use a stationary bike. I also try for at least 10k steps a day, or 650 "move" calories (Apple thing).

Resistance: Gyms stress me out and seem like a big time commitment, so bodyweight it is (I'm thinking to invest in adjustable dumbbells and a bench, but we'll see). After some goofing around the two programs I like are the Nerdfitness beginner bodyweight circuit or the scientific seven minute workout. The former seems just the right amount of effort and time - right now I can do a warm-up and two circuits in about 25 minutes - but I am skeptical that I'm not pushing hard enough for the latter to be of much use. I aim for at least twice a week, but never two days in a row.

Balance: I'm trying to keep Saturday or Sunday as a rest day and do some sort of low-impact stretching/balance-type of exercise, but to be honest I'm struggling with this part. I was doing a Qi Gong video but have skipped out the last few weeks in a row. There are about a million yoga places by my house, but the idea of spending money and being around other people is discouraging. I feel like something like this would be a good addition to my week, but it's hard to make it feel like a priority. I know there are lots of free options online, I just haven't found anything that sticks yet.
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Replies

  • MossiO
    MossiO Posts: 164 Member
    I'm around the same place you are--30 pounds down, 25 to go, and time to get into fitness. I also do not want to go a gym. I was walking in the summer but the cold weather keeps me inside now.

    The thing I've started doing is the 21 Day Fix workout on Beachbody on Demand. Yes, I paid $100 for a year subscription, no I don't drink the shakes. The workouts are hard--but not impossible. I don't like being uncomfortable. They are all 30 minutes, and I do them first thing in the morning, to get it out of the way. And I'm already noticing things, like butt muscles I didn't used to have. I can feel where my abs are, even though I can also still feel the fat hanging off them.

    The program has cardio days, strength days, one Pilates and one yoga, so it seems pretty rounded to me. I figure I'll do another round of this, maybe try the Extreme version, and then move onto Focus T25 or PiYo or something.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    my goal is really just a basic, well-rounded level of physical health.

    That's a bit different than than "fitness", but yes, your routine is decent to avoid the common health issues. Keep the strength sets challenging. :+1:
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    my goal is really just a basic, well-rounded level of physical health.

    That's a bit different than than "fitness", but yes, your routine is decent to avoid the common health issues. Keep the strength sets challenging. :+1:

    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    The strength workout was something I've been trying to sort out for a while, but given how achy I felt after last week, I think I might have figured it out. Those circuits are actually kind of fun, so that's a bonus!
  • ssbbg
    ssbbg Posts: 153 Member
    I think NerdFitness is a good place to start. I also think they have ways to increase the difficulty of the bodyweight circuits if they become too easy. I also think that there is more of an alignment with your philosophy- do just enough to achieve your goals (whatever they are) and then live life. I think the forums there are open to everyone and I think you might get good input there if you can post there. I signed up for their academy. It didn't resonate with me as much as the free blog articles, but it does provide a path to continually progress on the fitness front to whatever level you want to get to.

  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    my goal is really just a basic, well-rounded level of physical health.

    Nothing wrong w/this.

    After losing 38# down to 158 from 196 and dropping my BF from +20% down to 10-12% starting 18 months ago, this has been my primary objective too.

    I'm already as strong and fit as I care to be, which BTW is a very high level of health and fitness for someone my age, and, since I am in maintenance, I am only doing what I consider is minimally necessary to keep it that way.

    However, what I do could be considered either far beyond (or not even begin to approach) what others consider minimally necessary to do.

    We're all different and it's all relative. You just have to do what you think is best for you.

  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    That philosophy really doesn't make sense, because the people who eat the most and lose weight are either people who are spending many hours a day exercising or they are people who have health problems that prevent them from metabolizing food properly. It is better to exercise a moderate amount and eat a quantity of food appropriate for how much you exercise.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    I definitely want to keep pushing myself, but just regular fit and healthy sounds like a great goal for me - I think I’ve struggled a little with the concept because it seems like people around me are either very athletic or don’t exercise at all (except maybe in January). I was the latter for most of my life, but I don’t feel like I fit in with the former very well either. Maybe I was hoping for confirmation that it’s okay to just aim for healthy.

    You already got confirmation from me and others that it's "okay to just aim for healthy."

    You don't have to buy into the push yourself mentality. From where you are, just doing what's necessary for you to lose weight to meet your objective and to get healthy and fit will be a great accomplishment.

    You can be satisfied with that. Good luck!
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    edited November 2017
    lorrpb wrote: »
    The least effort will bring the least results.

    Between your comment and the "woo" above, I'm wondering if I read the room wrong and this isn't the right place for this post. A lot of the reason I wanted to post in the first place was to find people to chat with who are around the same place as me - I figured there might be other people who want to improve their fitness but aren't looking to deadlift 300 pounds or run a marathon. I mean, even if I only jog for 15 minutes three times a week, I'm still feeling benefits. Should I feel bad about not doing more, or should I feel good about doing something?

    The original title of the post, which you changed 25 minutes after I posted, said something like "Best exercise for least effort".
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    edited November 2017
    lorrpb wrote: »
    lorrpb wrote: »
    The least effort will bring the least results.

    Between your comment and the "woo" above, I'm wondering if I read the room wrong and this isn't the right place for this post. A lot of the reason I wanted to post in the first place was to find people to chat with who are around the same place as me - I figured there might be other people who want to improve their fitness but aren't looking to deadlift 300 pounds or run a marathon. I mean, even if I only jog for 15 minutes three times a week, I'm still feeling benefits. Should I feel bad about not doing more, or should I feel good about doing something?

    The original title of the post, which you changed 25 minutes after I posted, said something like "Best exercise for least effort".

    I’m sorry. I changed the title of the post because it seemed like you were responding to something I didn’t mean to communicate. I apologize for the confusion. I’d been trying for a tongue in cheek tone and immediately got what seemed to be a negative response, so I tried to clarify. Again, my apologies. I have a bad habit of overediting.

    sgt1372 wrote: »
    I definitely want to keep pushing myself, but just regular fit and healthy sounds like a great goal for me - I think I’ve struggled a little with the concept because it seems like people around me are either very athletic or don’t exercise at all (except maybe in January). I was the latter for most of my life, but I don’t feel like I fit in with the former very well either. Maybe I was hoping for confirmation that it’s okay to just aim for healthy.

    You already got confirmation from me and others that it's "okay to just aim for healthy."

    You don't have to buy into the push yourself mentality. From where you are, just doing what's necessary for you to lose weight to meet your objective and to get healthy and fit will be a great accomplishment.

    You can be satisfied with that. Good luck!

    And I also apologize if I sounded like I didn’t appreciate your and those other encouraging posts. I absolutely do! I was very intimidated about the prospect of posting this and was chagrined that it seemed not to effectively communicate what I meant to communicate.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    edited November 2017
    That philosophy really doesn't make sense, because the people who eat the most and lose weight are either people who are spending many hours a day exercising or they are people who have health problems that prevent them from metabolizing food properly. It is better to exercise a moderate amount and eat a quantity of food appropriate for how much you exercise.

    I’m sorry I was unclear - I did not mean that “philosophy” literally. If I have a philosophy, I guess it’s “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” or something along those lines. I meant to communicate that I’m not one for extremes - I’m not on a restrictive diet, I’ve been taking things slow so I can continue to enjoy the things I enjoy, and along those lines, I’m trying to find a niche for myself in the fitness world somewhere in the grey area between couch potato and athlete. I don't have anyone to talk to about fitness and exercise in my life who doesn’t either act like I’m a superhero or conversely try to convince me that I should be doing a lot more. I was having an achy Monday and thought it might be nice to chat about what “casual” fitness can look like.
  • megs_1985
    megs_1985 Posts: 199 Member
    I'm the same. I don't want to be super fit just healthy and able to maintain a happy lifestyle. I love Fitness Blender. It's a YouTube channel (and website) and it's all free. On their website you can find body weight workouts, strength, HIIT, short or long workouts, etc. I also walk when it's nice and bike. I think Kelly on Fitness Blender looks very toned and healthy. I can't run due to a nerve injury and the gym was just an expensive monthly bill that didn't get used. I'm going to buy some adjustable dumbbells too because I like lifting. I have no desire to run a marathon or lift 300 lbs. I did some triathlons before kids and they were fun but exhausting and I got injured. You donyou and as as long as your happy and feel healthy and your doctor says your healthy then you're doing fine.
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    For an average-sized average-genetics average-age woman:

    Bench 1xx
    Squat 2xx
    Deadlift 3xx

    Pretty reasonable.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    The least effort will bring the least results.

    Between your comment and the "woo" above, I'm wondering if I read the room wrong and this isn't the right place for this post. A lot of the reason I wanted to post in the first place was to find people to chat with who are around the same place as me - I figured there might be other people who want to improve their fitness but aren't looking to deadlift 300 pounds or run a marathon. I mean, even if I only jog for 15 minutes three times a week, I'm still feeling benefits. Should I feel bad about not doing more, or should I feel good about doing something?

    It's entirely up to you how you feel about it? We can't tell you to feel good or bad.

    Set your goals, smash them, be happy... simple!
  • girlinahat
    girlinahat Posts: 2,956 Member
    I started running because I realised I was waking up and staring at social media, when i could be doing something better for my health. Actually I started walking first, then figured I might as well try running.

    I already enjoyed walking the countryside with a friend, but as time has gone by and I've got fitter through running a bit more, my targets have changed. As I see and can physically FEEL my fitness improving (not to mention my body) my goals are constantly evolving.

    @AnnPT77 put it nicely - Because I'm basically an undisciplined hedonist, I put a priority on finding activities I think are enjoyable in themselves, and keeping friends who encourage me in that direction. I need there to be some form of continuing technical challenge, so that I'll stay interested.

    I won't go to the gym just to thrash out an hour of something. I WILL go to the gym to do an activity that gets me better at something else. So currently I'm targeting strength training to make me a better runner. I also swing dance , which is fun, challenging, and very social. Swing dancing also takes me to festivals all over the world.

    This morning I didn't much want to run. It was cold and dark. But I also really wanted a muffin slathered in butter. So I ran.

    I hate the term 'exercise' To me that denotes something like a chore. 'Activity' is something that is fun to do or gets you to a place you want to be physically. I think your target is a good one, but be flexible, don't be surprised if it changes, it did for me....