Marathon Workouts to Makeup for Sedentary Holidays?

rosebette
rosebette Posts: 1,657 Member
edited December 2016 in Fitness and Exercise
So, I have a moderately active job (teaching at a large campus where I do a lot of walking), plus I work out. I wear a Fitbit and try to keep to 10,000 a day, or at least average 70,000 a week (so I might I have a low day where I do only 7000 and a high day where I do 13,000). Then I also do strength training 2-3 times a week and yoga 2-3 times a week.

Anyway, Christmas I spent traveling and did very few steps, then unfortunately, we had a funeral so we had to travel Monday and Tuesday. So, I've spent the past 3 days eating, sitting around, or riding in a car. I've already gained 2 lbs. since Thanksgiving and was up another 1/2 lb. today.

I'm way behind on steps for the week and just to get caught up was supposed to do 22,000 today, but only got to around 12,000 (from 45 minutes on a treadmill and a 30 minute walk outside), plus did a yoga class. So 1 hour 45 minutes in the gym and an additional 30 minute walk, which was manageable. Tomorrow it's going to snow heavily and I'm concerned about not getting to the gym at all. I'll try to get up early and put in some time on the treadmill there before the weather sets in, but if I don't, I'll have to do a marathon session on Friday to make up for this week and for Saturday when we'll be on a plane all day flying to Florida. I may have to do up to 2 hours on a treadmill and at least an hour of strength training; which is a lot when I also have to get ready to travel again. 3 hours in the gym seems to be a lot of time, kind of overtraining, but I feel I have a lot to make up for. I've heard that one can lose fitness and muscle tone in as little as a week, plus I have to fight off the holiday weight. Fortunately, where we're staying at the resort has a gym, but I will probably have to sacrifice some beach and leisure time to compensate for the day on the plane, which won't make my spouse too happy.

Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence? What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym? How long of a workout is too long? I guess an additional piece of information -- I'm 58.

Replies

  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    No.

    You don't lose anything in a week, assuming you're not seriously ill during that week.

    Just move on.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    I ageee, move on. Many of us moved less over the holidays. It's life--we can't meet all our goals every day. Do you spend 3 hours at the gym you'll burn out. It's not what you do some days that counts over a lifetime. It's what you do most days. Don't sweat the small stuff, just keep going.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,402 Member
    Sounds like a good way to get injured. Just do what you would normally do. If you can't get to the gym, do something at home, or go for a walk in the snow.

    Also, when you're in Florida, why not walk outside instead of on the TM in the gym? Much more interesting.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,360 Member
    Nope. Doing marathon workouts far beyond what you're accustomed to is a good way to set yourself up for injuries. It can also have an adverse impact upon your recovery. Consider it a "deload" and enjoy yourself. Any tiny decrement in fitness from a one week break may be significant to an elite athlete, but it means essentially nothing to the rest of us mere mortals.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,233 Member
    No, I don't feel like I need to do a whole lot extra to make up for anything.

    However, that said, I am usually more active in December and January because it is summer here (or at least, that's what they tell us).

    If you're going to a place with a beach ... go on long walks on the beach with your partner!! Jog on the beach ... swim at the beach ... rent kayaks or bicycles and do that together. Find ways to be active outside. :)
  • rosebette
    rosebette Posts: 1,657 Member
    Thanks for all your reassurances. This is the first time I've had a space of this much inactivity since 2007. Usually I'm at the gym more after Xmas because that's my break. I also think my 2 years with a fitbit have made me a bit obsessive, but actually when going to the gym post holidays I do see way more people there than usual for longer periods of time, so my assumption is that they are also making up for missed workouts and overindulgence and that's what you're supposed to do. No chance of a scenic walk in the snow today --- it's that dreaded wintry mix of snow and sleet that's yucky and treacherous. Yes I do love walking on the beach, just concerned that won't be enough to undo the damage, but it's also easier to eat better away from holiday treats. We have a condo so can cook in.
  • esjones12
    esjones12 Posts: 1,363 Member
    Doing a marathon workout to makeup for a few days, a week, or more of poor eating and lack of exercise is just asking for injury.

    Sounds like getting back into your routine the best you can and focusing on a better diet will easily put your right back where you were.

    Good luck!
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    I would just get back to normal exercise level.
    Doing a marathon of exercise to make up for a sedentary week is a good way to overdo it, hurt yourself and have to take more time off for recovering.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence?

    not me. i'm more conscious of the inactivity part as i'm old enough to get stiff with very little encouragement :D but i think for me it's more like staying aware of those unused areas to make sure i bring them back online as gently as possible. it's not so much like punishing them for having had a nice break.

    What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym?

    well, personally, i like the gym. so i'll do long sessions just because it's so nice to be back there. but i don't really attack it like a penance that i have to pay.

    How long of a workout is too long?

    it's not the time so much as the level of demand. for me, i guess i'd say something is 'too long' if it defeats its own purpose. if i go back and promptly work myself into the ground then i'm just creating a situation where i'm going to be 'out' for another handful of days while i recover from it.
  • _piaffe
    _piaffe Posts: 163 Member
    rosebette wrote: »
    Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence? What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym? How long of a workout is too long? I guess an additional piece of information -- I'm 58.

    Me. I have to fight the feeling. I've always been prone to "all or nothing" thinking, and when I emerge from a period of "nothing" (no workouts, no calorie goals or restriction or both), I went to go full-throttle "ALL" to make up for it.

    I know it isn't healthy - it has shades of my old binge / deprive cycle.

    But yes, I get you. I have that impulse.

    As others have said, you are way better off going back to your routine - what was working for you.
  • sammyliftsandeats
    sammyliftsandeats Posts: 2,421 Member
    I did my big dinner on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Day, I slept for longer than I was awake that day. I maybe got 1000 steps in that day and overate.

    The next day, I went to the gym for my regular one-hour session.

    I didn't feel the need to 'make up' for being a sloth the day before. Sometimes your body just needs the rest, especially if you're go-go-go all the time.

    As the others said, just move on.
  • CrabNebula
    CrabNebula Posts: 1,119 Member
    Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence?

    I do, but that's just me and I have the time and the physical capacity to do extended SSC to make up for drinking and drunchies. I'll lose calorie count - don't really care because I know I'll burn it off later. Usually the best workouts I have are after overloading on carbs anyway. Sometimes, doesn't even seem like work at all. KMs just fly by, lalalala.

    What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym?

    You don't have to go to the gym, just eat less. But for me anyway, the math is sort of depressing with just eating less alone. I'd rather be more proactive, I guess. Plus again, I have oodles of stupid energy when I eat like a moron.

    How long of a workout is too long?

    More than two hours? At least my limit is two hours. I have other things to do with my day and burning off over 1000 cals is nothing to be disappointed with.

    I see calories like money. You want to make a large purchase? You save up for it and buy it. Ideally, you don't use credit, but if you do, then pay it off as soon as possible. Just me though.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,012 Member
    rosebette wrote: »
    Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence? What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym? How long of a workout is too long? I guess an additional piece of information -- I'm 58.

    No...other than a couple of quick workouts on my cycle trainer and a couple of lifting sessions, I haven't done much the last couple of weeks...we had house guests all last week and this week has just been weird schedule wise with the kids being out of school. I actually feel like it's good to give myself some down time...let some nagging things heal, etc. It's also been nice just spending time with the family playing cards, watching the kids play with their Christmas toys, going to movies, etc. I go pretty hard for most of the year...a couple weeks of down time is pretty irrelevant.

    I will be back to my normal routine January 2...no biggie.
  • peaceout_aly
    peaceout_aly Posts: 2,018 Member
    rosebette wrote: »
    So, I have a moderately active job (teaching at a large campus where I do a lot of walking), plus I work out. I wear a Fitbit and try to keep to 10,000 a day, or at least average 70,000 a week (so I might I have a low day where I do only 7000 and a high day where I do 13,000). Then I also do strength training 2-3 times a week and yoga 2-3 times a week.

    Anyway, Christmas I spent traveling and did very few steps, then unfortunately, we had a funeral so we had to travel Monday and Tuesday. So, I've spent the past 3 days eating, sitting around, or riding in a car. I've already gained 2 lbs. since Thanksgiving and was up another 1/2 lb. today.

    I'm way behind on steps for the week and just to get caught up was supposed to do 22,000 today, but only got to around 12,000 (from 45 minutes on a treadmill and a 30 minute walk outside), plus did a yoga class. So 1 hour 45 minutes in the gym and an additional 30 minute walk, which was manageable. Tomorrow it's going to snow heavily and I'm concerned about not getting to the gym at all. I'll try to get up early and put in some time on the treadmill there before the weather sets in, but if I don't, I'll have to do a marathon session on Friday to make up for this week and for Saturday when we'll be on a plane all day flying to Florida. I may have to do up to 2 hours on a treadmill and at least an hour of strength training; which is a lot when I also have to get ready to travel again. 3 hours in the gym seems to be a lot of time, kind of overtraining, but I feel I have a lot to make up for. I've heard that one can lose fitness and muscle tone in as little as a week, plus I have to fight off the holiday weight. Fortunately, where we're staying at the resort has a gym, but I will probably have to sacrifice some beach and leisure time to compensate for the day on the plane, which won't make my spouse too happy.

    Do other people feel they have to do marathon sessions to make up for holiday inactivity and overindulgence? What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym? How long of a workout is too long? I guess an additional piece of information -- I'm 58.

    Most people suggest a MAX of 2-hour sessions. Not sure if you're running/walking or lifting, but personally, I just plan my rest days for holidays and if I have an unexpected skipped day I just integrate those work outs into the other 3-days of my program (it's a 4-day circuit). I guess you would consider it marathoning but I make every second at the gym count and can fit it into 90-minute sessions with a little extra done at home.
  • rosebette
    rosebette Posts: 1,657 Member


    What is worse -- not making up for the inactivity, or spending extended time in the gym?

    You don't have to go to the gym, just eat less. But for me anyway, the math is sort of depressing with just eating ]less alone. I'd rather be more proactive, I guess.

    I hear you there. One of the depressing things is with the Fitbit Charge telling me what my burn is for the entire day, when I'm sedentary, as a small older person, I'm using less than 1200 calories a day. So to make up for overindulgence by just eating less means eating a very small amount, maybe around 1000 a day. And the converse is true -- "overindulgence" doesn't mean a huge amount of food with that tiny a metabolism. Eating a piece of pie or a serving of potatoes can put me over my limit very easily. A binge for me doesn't have to mean eating 1000 calories over my maintenance.