Basic fitness minimums?

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Replies

  • changeconsumeme
    changeconsumeme Posts: 229 Member
    Fitness Blender on YouTube. Totally free videos 24/7 from home. The only investment I suggest is a good set of adjustable dumbbells or at least a challenging range of dumbbells.

    Fitness Blender also sells multiple workout plans to follow on their website. They’re all 8 weeks long with lots of structure, and only like $15 a pop. It helps to support what they do and keeps their workout videos free.

    I took the plunge and started one 10 days ago. 30-40 mins of work 6 days a week with one of those being an active stretch day...I am 100% in love. It takes the stress from organizing a workout plan and they’re very challenging for as short of an amount of time as possible. I’m sore in a new place every day and I really feel like I’m getting in an effective workout without having to spend hours in the gym doing it!
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    I’m going to have to try out this Fitness Blender site - it sounds like fun! I think that @heybales got what I was going for with my post much better than I put it, which is why I was frustrated yesterday (also yesterday sucked for other reasons) - it’s not that I want to do the absolute bare minimum and nothing else, but I’m looking for the best bang for my buck. Over the last few months, I’ve found that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning gives me a boost of energy to start the day, maybe 100 or so extra calories for a snack or extra weight loss, and I can feel that I’m less out of breath climbing stairs or sprinting brief distances. It’s great! I imagine that to maintain those benefits, I’ll want to keep pushing a bit - that’s exactly what happened when I switched from walking to running, and maybe I’ll need to add speed or distance if my current plan gets too easy. But that’s okay!

    I love hearing from @middlehaitch and @AnnPT77 - my two mother figures were the kind of opposite extremes I mentioned earlier - one (my mother) has been obese much of my life and largely seems to have given up on living long enough to see grandkids grow up. I still hope that will change, but I don’t know how to do it. My stepmom, on the other hand, is the type to do yoga every morning, weights every afternoon, and a two hour jog after dinner. I got a concerned lecture the last time she saw me eating cheezits. In a way, her example seemed so unreachable that I didn’t try to get healthier for a long time (I’m in my mid 30s now). Unlike her and my dad, I don’t see fitness as central to my life - I see it as a tool to make the rest of my life longer and more pleasant. But that means I want to save time for watching movies and hours curled up with a good book and so forth!
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,653 Member
    edited November 2017
    Hmmm... this is a really interesting topic.

    First off, let me start by saying that I have no idea what would give you the most bang for your effort's buck, i.e. the most benefit for the least amount of time/effort. My guess is that most cardio-based activities will translate pretty equally to overall fitness. If I wanted something fairly well rounded that I could follow without much thought and do at home... I'd probably do something like P90X.

    The idea of a basic level of fitness is more what caught my, um, eye.

    Personally --
    • I think I'd want to be able to jog/trot/walk a 5k. There are so many charity events, and 5ks are good family events, that this would be fairly important to me.
    • I'd also want to be able to enjoy my dogs, and that would mean a fair bit of walking/hiking. Ultimately though, I don't think that would end up being stressful enough to warrant its own training.
    • I want good control over my body... so I'd probably lean towards bodyweight work and plyometrics. I love my gymnastics rings and would probably build a strength routine around using them. I'd add in some jumping and maybe some throwing work to round out the routine.
    • Like you, I'd also probably want to do some balance/flexibility stuff... but probably wouldn't do it regularly enough to matter. I've been saying I should do more of it for years now, but I'm yet to do more than just talk about it.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:
  • PAFC84
    PAFC84 Posts: 1,869 Member
    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.

    My god. Stop apologising and tell her to get back in the kitchen....you know, where all women belong ;)
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 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!

    Lance Armstrong was one of the fittest individuals on the planet but got testicular cancer, i.e, not healthy as an example

    One can be extremely fit, but have a health issue. As mentioned above being fit can help one be healthier but some things can get you no matter what.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    Oh that's interesting, thank you! I love the idea of targeting my fitness for life's challenges - I think I've got a decent start on cardio and strength, but I'll have to look into speed and agility. Maybe some fartlek when I'm a little further along in my cardio? I'm not 100% opposed to gym classes, but I know it's got to be fun or I won't do it.

    On the strength point, I googled "free weight exercises" because I genuinely did not know what you meant by that, and came across this article: https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/free-weight-exercises-vs-body-weight-exercises-vs-machines/. It seems like free weight and body weight exercises have pretty similar benefits, while machine exercises seem the least beneficial except maybe ease of getting started, and would require going to the gym or being independently wealthy. I'm hoping to pick up some adjustable dumbbells when I can free up a little cash (there seem to be good options around $40-50?) and mixing that in with the bodyweight work.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    PAFC84 wrote: »
    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.

    My god. Stop apologising and tell her to get back in the kitchen....you know, where all women belong ;)

    Well I'm not going to do that, but I was clearly really loopy last night when I posted three apologies in a row. Woops.
  • PAFC84
    PAFC84 Posts: 1,869 Member
    PAFC84 wrote: »
    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.

    My god. Stop apologising and tell her to get back in the kitchen....you know, where all women belong ;)

    Well I'm not going to do that, but I was clearly really loopy last night when I posted three apologies in a row. Woops.

    To counteract this beat your chest and grunt three times
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,430 Member
    So there's 2 different trains of thought going here. The minimum level of fitness, which is generally the level at which allows one to lead an active lifestyle, without being held back or negatively impacting quality of life.

    Then there is the minimum amount of effort/exercise required to meet this level of fitness. In which this could be debated in perpetuity, based on individual goals, likes and dislikes. Broadly I feel this should entail some type of strength training, some type of movement training, and some type of cardio training.
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    This is so very well put. A lot of people don't understand that losing weight and building a little muscle isn't all that's required for basic fitness.

    Just a few days ago, there were people on this forum stating that one doesn't need to run in order to be fit. I pointed out that while you don't necessarily need to run in order to lose weight, you MUST be able to run when an emergency situation requires it. Can't run? Then you don't have basic fitness.

    Ditto for things such as being able to climb a short wall, carry a decent amount of weight, etc. Obviously, what constitutes fitness is a gray area with no firm boundaries. However, it most certainly encompasses more than just avoiding diseases of inactivity.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,119 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.

    I agree with walking and stairs but those lifts are way above any minimum fitness level, especially for someone who can walk only 30 minutes or climb only 2 flights of stairs.

    The most important thing is bodyweight squats. If you can do 10 bw squats, you will be able to get out of your chair and up off the toilet. When you can no longer do that you'll go to a nursing home or need a full time caregiver.

    Another commonly cited fitness test is getting up off the floor without using your hands. It actually is a "predictor" (not cause) of life expectancy. Someone here has a video on that. It sounds ridiculous to younger people but is more true than you might think.

    Yeah, I've been thinking a lot today about why I want to be fit and what that means to me, and a big, BIG thing is balance and mobility (and mental acuity!) as I age. I'm only 34, but I don't want to wake up at 65 and find that I can't get in and out of a car without leaning on something (or someone) and becoming short of breath, or be unable to pick something up off of the floor without it being a huge production if there's anything I can do to avoid it (of course some things can't be avoided). I only started doing body weight squats a couple of weeks ago, but it's made me really aware of how much I use those muscles and how awesome it feels to be able to move my body around without a lot of effort.

    Also, I totally want to sit on the floor and check if I can get up without using my hands, but that probably wouldn't go over well at work. I'm pretty sure I can, though.
  • timtam163
    timtam163 Posts: 509 Member
    Consistency and the right level of challenge are key, if you can stick with it and notice improvement then more power to ya! I would add a flexibility category with such things as getting into a squat without your heels coming off the ground, touching your toes, etc.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.

    I'm guessing these are just some examples and not a "package". My 89 yo mother in law can walk 30 minutes at a decent pace and walk the 2-3 flights of stairs. The sprint and lifts mentioned, not so much.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 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"?

    A lot depends on your context. As others are suggesting, to me there is a combination of cardiovascular fitness/ stamina/ endurance, strength and flexibility. At that point the threshold become quite arbitrary.

    Does a 30 minute 5K mean anything, of are there equivalents? To me, strength enough to lift a fully loaded patrol bergan into the back of a wagon is essential, ideally being able to get twelve of them in a row. A fitness test gives you some absolutes; carry two full jerry cans for 100 metres in 30 seconds, for example.

    As far as flexibility is concerned, at 47 I can bend at the waist and put my palms on the floor. That has a beneficial effect on my cycling, but it might be completely meaningless to you.

    What's important to you would be very different.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.

    I agree with walking and stairs but those lifts are way above any minimum fitness level, especially for someone who can walk only 30 minutes or climb only 2 flights of stairs.

    The most important thing is bodyweight squats. If you can do 10 bw squats, you will be able to get out of your chair and up off the toilet. When you can no longer do that you'll go to a nursing home or need a full time caregiver.

    Another commonly cited fitness test is getting up off the floor without using your hands. It actually is a "predictor" (not cause) of life expectancy. Someone here has a video on that. It sounds ridiculous to younger people but is more true than you might think.

    I'm thinking you mean this test:

    Article with video demo:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/26/sitting-rising-test-life-expectancy-fitness/24076407/

    Younger people, have you looked around lately? I would bet more than half of 18-25 year olds could not get the maximum points on it.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    How would you differentiate fitness vs. physical health here? What does one need to do to be "fit"?

    Exercising for health usually means avoiding the common diseases of inactivity (heart, joints, etc). Fitness includes that plus it is a readiness for life's challenges, including work (lifting boxes, etc), leisure (hikes, sports), and emergencies (running from a mass shooter, heheh). Strength training usually should be added, and if one doesn't have a strenuous job or lifestyle, it's good to include freeweight exercises unsupported by a bench (simulates the demands of real-world situations better). Speed & agility are useful skills to train too each week. :+1:

    When I think of fitness minimums I think:
    Walking up 2-3 flights of stairs
    Walking 30 minutes
    Running(really running) 100 meters
    Lifting BW from the ground
    Lifting Half BW overhead

    Just as some examples.

    I'm guessing these are just some examples and not a "package". My 89 yo mother in law can walk 30 minutes at a decent pace and walk the 2-3 flights of stairs. The sprint and lifts mentioned, not so much.

    It's a good baseline package as a start for discussion, There's a few things missing. And allowing for age is certainly one of them.

    Additionally, even if "really running" for her is slower today, if she can manage the 30 minutes and the stairs she'd probably surprise you if shots popped off.

    Honestly, unless she's morbidly obese, the other two are probably not as far out of reach as you would think.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,201 Member
    I’m going to have to try out this Fitness Blender site - it sounds like fun! I think that @heybales got what I was going for with my post much better than I put it, which is why I was frustrated yesterday (also yesterday sucked for other reasons) - it’s not that I want to do the absolute bare minimum and nothing else, but I’m looking for the best bang for my buck. Over the last few months, I’ve found that 20 minutes of cardio in the morning gives me a boost of energy to start the day, maybe 100 or so extra calories for a snack or extra weight loss, and I can feel that I’m less out of breath climbing stairs or sprinting brief distances. It’s great! I imagine that to maintain those benefits, I’ll want to keep pushing a bit - that’s exactly what happened when I switched from walking to running, and maybe I’ll need to add speed or distance if my current plan gets too easy. But that’s okay!

    I love hearing from @middlehaitch and @AnnPT77 - my two mother figures were the kind of opposite extremes I mentioned earlier - one (my mother) has been obese much of my life and largely seems to have given up on living long enough to see grandkids grow up. I still hope that will change, but I don’t know how to do it. My stepmom, on the other hand, is the type to do yoga every morning, weights every afternoon, and a two hour jog after dinner. I got a concerned lecture the last time she saw me eating cheezits. In a way, her example seemed so unreachable that I didn’t try to get healthier for a long time (I’m in my mid 30s now). Unlike her and my dad, I don’t see fitness as central to my life - I see it as a tool to make the rest of my life longer and more pleasant. But that means I want to save time for watching movies and hours curled up with a good book and so forth!

    That's an important point, IMO: Balance and well-roundedness as a goal or value.

    I want to be fit for life quality, but besides doing fitness activities, I want to do some creative activities, some intellectual activities, and more. I want those capabilities, too. (Obviously, a big chunk of most anyone's time goes to essential economic and maintenance activities: I'm talking about use of remaining discretionary time, for those lucky enough to have some.)

    Perhaps it's one of those "two kinds of people in the world" cartoons: Some people like to go all in and maximize their achievement in one domain; while others prefer to juggle multiple domains and get "OK enough" in several.

    I'm not judging, BTW: Either seems rational (within reason), and it is discretionary time.