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Am I doing too much exercise

sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
I have read that people who succeed at maintenance do a lot of exercise. However, the amount of time exercise is taking is getting me down a bit, especially given that meal prep is taking me a while too.

Currently I'm doing:

20 - 30 mins brisk walk in morning (but with warm up and warm down it can end up as 50).

10 min brisk walk after dinner (but with warm up ends up more like 20)

20 mins hit 5 days a week (plus 10 mins for warm up and warm down)

20 mins yoga every day.

10 -12 mins bodyweight exercises spread throughout the day. (I take a rest from this at weekends. The aim is to counteract my very sedentary job.)

There are also irregular exercises, like longer bike rides and country walks on weekends, which are always in addition to rather than instead of the routine exercise.

I'm especially worried this will become unsustainable once COVID is over and I'm back in the office. Currently I get most of this done in the morning, but i have no commute at the moment.

I can work the walking into my commute, and the bodyweight exercises will probably have to be replaced by doing weights at the gym a few times a week, but that still leaves the HIIT and yoga.

What do you think? Am I being excessive? Should I cut my calories and cut the exercise a bit? My weight is still trending down, although I have managed to level it off a bit since entering maintenance.

I don't want to just fall right off the wagon, so I need a fallback plan for if this all gets too much.
edited August 26
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Replies

  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,419 Member Member Posts: 30,419 Member
    That does sound like a lot of scheduling but only if you're worried that it's a lot. I mean, your body will let you know if you are having trouble recovering and there are only so many hours in a day, but other than that...many people exercise less or more. Up to you.

    The actual activity itself doesn't really sound excessive.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    I do feel ache and tired by bedtime, but that's a good thing in some ways - at least I'm sleeping well. I also get head rushes quite a lot, but that also happened when I was a similar weight in my early 20s, and I wasn't doing any exercise then, so I think that's just what happens to me at this weight. (I'm pretty sure I'm getting plenty of calories). So I don't think my body is unequivocally telling me to stop.

    Strict scheduling helps me a lot, especially when it comes to the less intrinsically enjoyable exercises like HIIT. But that doesn't mean I can't alter the schedule in a planned way.
    edited August 26
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,419 Member Member Posts: 30,419 Member
    Head rushes? Like dizziness? That could be electrolytes or hydration...might be worth talking to a doctor.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    Yeah, dizziness. I passed out once for a second - but again, this also happened 10 years ago when I was a similar weight (only the once then as well). Happens when I stand up quickly.

    It isn't consistent. Some days or weeks I don't get them at all.
    edited August 26
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 401 Member Member Posts: 401 Member
    "pretty sure" does not sound ideal in terms of your calories being adequate.

    Head rushes should be investigated. I'd check in with your doctor about that unless there is an obvious cause such as dehydration. I don't see why your weight should have anything to do with it.

    The actual exercise sounds fine but because you are breaking it up into so many sessions your warm up and cool down time is disproportionate. If you are pushed for time you may have to look at fewer numbers of sessions. Or could you perhaps alternate the HIIT and yoga?

    Exercise is wonderful but it's not the be all and end all of maintenance. That's calories. Exercise just gives you more wriggle room.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    "pretty sure" does not sound ideal in terms of your calories being adequate.

    Head rushes should be investigated. I'd check in with your doctor about that unless there is an obvious cause such as dehydration. I don't see why your weight should have anything to do with it.

    The actual exercise sounds fine but because you are breaking it up into so many sessions your warm up and cool down time is disproportionate. If you are pushed for time you may have to look at fewer numbers of sessions. Or could you perhaps alternate the HIIT and yoga?

    Exercise is wonderful but it's not the be all and end all of maintenance. That's calories. Exercise just gives you more wriggle room.

    I'm consuming 2700 calories, which seems like quite a lot, although I'm a fairly tall man. My weight is still currently trending down a bit though.

    In terms of warm up and warm down, I guess HIIT and walking require different sorts of warm up? I usually walk and then come straight in to do my HIIT. For walking warm up/down I just walk slowly, and for HIIT there are specific warm up/down videos I do. Although I guess I don't need to warm down from walking if I'm going straight in to do my HIIT...
    edited August 26
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member Member, Premium Posts: 578 Member
    If you are feeling down about your current agenda, then it is too much.

    If you're still trending downward (weight) when you are in maintenance, decrease your exercise but don't necessarily change your eating. I would not cut out the body weight exercises personally.

    Figure out what you like, what you can live without - and spread out the live-withouts to be fewer per week.
    edited August 26
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,624 Member Member Posts: 5,624 Member
    That sounds like what I would consider a bare minimum of exercise for myself. But what’s important is whether it’s too much for you. Can you roll some of your sessions into one longer session, and end up feeling less like you are going all the time with no breaks?
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    If you are really doing HIIT (and not circuit training or calisthenics as so many confuse the terms) then five days a week is a simply dreadful idea.

    If that is maximal or very close to maximal effort cardio intervals then stop doing it so freqently. Once a week would be a lot.

    Its a Joe Wicks workout, so probably not really HIIT.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    That sounds like what I would consider a bare minimum of exercise for myself. But what’s important is whether it’s too much for you. Can you roll some of your sessions into one longer session, and end up feeling less like you are going all the time with no breaks?

    It feels like a lot to me at the moment. Not so much in terms of effort, but in terms of time. Nowadays I'm serious about always getting eight hours sleep as well, so it just feels like I have less time in general. (Incidentally, if you haven't read "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker, do yourself a favour and read it).

    But my priority has to be doing whats necessary to stay healthy and not end up obese again.

    I'll try to think about streamlining / combining some warmup time and rolling more into one session. I do most of it in the morning, so there's scope for that.

    The reason I do a separate walk in the evening is that I read something suggesting some specific benefits to exercising after your main meal. But it may be nonsense, who knows.
    edited August 26
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member Member, Premium Posts: 120 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    My weight is still trending down, although I have managed to level it off a bit since entering maintenance.

    Just FYI - you have not entered maintenance yet if your weight is still trending down a little.

    You are still in a diet, even if just a little.

    If you eat enough and allow enough time for recovery from hard efforts, and you can fit these things into schedule - then doesn't sound like TOO much.

    Since you understand the aspect of eating less when you do less, if schedule changes you know what to do.

    Since you seem to think it's already a tad overwhelming and could become even more so - I'd ask yourself why is each of these workouts being done?

    Like, perhaps the HIIT was started because you heard it was great at burning fat, or calories, or whatever part of the fad use of the term caught your attention.
    But perhaps that isn't needed now - perhaps at almost maintenance you don't need the extra calories to be able to enjoy eating enough.
    Or perhaps it was done for the resistance training aspect and you still enjoy it.

    It calls to mind people that get so hung up on step challenges I've seen some state they don't want to do what they know would be a better workout for them than walking - because they want to be at the top of the leaderboard.

    So just saying - examine the workouts - is their purpose part of a goal you have now for the body - or would you rather use the time doing another workout, or less time in general?

    I think when you start trying to lose weight you throw a lot of things at the wall. You count calories, you think about restricting carbs a bit, you read some theory about omega 3:6 ratios so you throw away your sunflower oil and only use olive oil. You try HIIT (or what you think is HIIT) because you hear its super efficient.

    Then when you have lost weight, you don't know which parts are essential and which you can let go of. There's a tendency to want to cling onto everything that got you to your initial success.
    edited August 26
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,419 Member Member Posts: 30,419 Member
    @sofrances, have you seen the Joe Rogan/ Matthew Walker interview? Fascinating. :)

  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,320 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,320 Member
    My criteria for too much:

    1) Excessive body aches/injuries despite proper prep/warm-up/stretches, technique, and equipment
    2) Excessive fatigue despite eating, resting, and sleeping enough
    3) Unfavorable life balance
    4) Quantity is trumping quality

    I am in a bit of a 4 right now myself. I see it though so I am beginning to address it.
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