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Thread: How much exercise is enough? How much is too much?

  1. #1
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    How much exercise is enough? How much is too much?

    There's an interesting article in the New York Times about how much daily exercise is enough and what level of exercise doesn't give you any extra benefit.

    Summary:
    "To increase our chances for a long life, we probably should take at least 7,000 steps a day or play sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming, jogging or badminton for more than 2.5 hours per week, according to two, large-scale new studies of the relationship between physical activity and longevity. The two studies, which, together, followed more than 10,000 men and women for decades, show that the right types and amounts of physical activity reduce the risk of premature death by as much as 70 percent. But they also suggest that there can be an upper limit to the longevity benefits of being active, and pushing beyond that ceiling is unlikely to add years to our life spans and, in extreme cases, might be detrimental."

    Two ways to access the article:

    Directly: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/w...commended.html

    Or if you hit a pay wall you can google "How Much Exercise Do We Need to Live Longer?" and click the New York Times link.
    Google seems to have an agreement with a lot of pay-for-view websites that lets people who come there via Google bypass the paywall.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I walk 2 miles a day and end up with between 7-10k steps a day. I used to get double that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I've gotten at least 10,000 steps a day, every day for the past three years except for one day when - oops - I forgot and went to bed 70 steps short of my 10K.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I was able to read the article, but I have a NYT subscription.

    I still have 10k steps set on my watch, but I never achieve that. However, when it comes to walking, I like what I've read in Katy Bowman's "Move Your DNA"

    Some of the points she makes:

    Make a goal of MOVEMENT, not necessarily EXERCISE. Just MOVE! (But move the right way)

    Distributing movement across the day is better than doing it in big chunks. Walking one mile 3x a day is better than walking 3 miles in one shot and then sitting for the rest of the day.

    Walking is key, and the best, most natural way to stay fit. She doesn't talk about number of steps though. It's more about just integrating more movement into every day

    Reduce inputs: eliminate external stressors. When you walk, relax. Turn off.

    One way to do that is to take a forest bath. "..forest-bathing has been shown to promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate and blood pressure, and a reduction of ‘technostress,’ as measured by a reduction in cerebral activity. While anyone who has spent a few hours wandering out in nature can tell you that yes, it’s very relaxing, it is through scientific investigations that the mechanism behind our physiological response to the trees is better understood. We aren’t responding to the trees per se, but rather undergoing an invisible interaction with phytoncides—active chemical substances given off by plants. The tree, secreting these substances to ward off harmful bugs and rot, is also providing us with a compound that does our body good.”


    So, I try to do all of the above, but I am not regular about it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Too much is when you can't keep up with it, give up, and don't exercise at all.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I do about 2 hours a day, but it is mostly aimed at functional fitness and not simply longevity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    I do about 2 hours a day, but it is mostly aimed at functional fitness and not simply longevity.
    I'm mainly concerned about functional fitness too. But I also have to get a reasonable amount of either HIIT or aerobic or endurance exercise several times a week to keep my blood pressure down, reduce my cholesterol, and basically flush all the crap out of my circulatory plumbing.

    Until I retired I never had to think about this stuff because I worked in a warehouse and spent 40-60 hours per week walking, going up and down stairs, lifting 5-15 pound objects and putting them on a shelf anywhere from floor level to 6 feet high (and fetching those objects off their shelf), and pulling a heavily loaded pallet jack. But once I quit working all my automatic exercise went away and I started losing both fitness and upper body strength.

    I'm not fanatical and I don't count my steps, but I do enough exercise and make it varied enough so that my general health and functional fitness will stay high. For example I'm 72 and a few months ago my doctor asked me to do a treadmill stress test. I got my heart rate up to 135 and even at that exertion level I was still able to talk in full sentences without difficulty, so my heart and lungs are fine and I intend to keep them that way. But I've never been real strong in my upper body (60 lb is the most I was ever able to press) so I sort of concentrate on dumbbells, upper body resistance training, and mid-section training (abs, lats, glutes, and the ever popular obliques) and let walking, sprints, and stairs take care of my heart and lungs.

    If anyone is curious about what actually happens while you're exercising, Mark Vella has an interesting series of books called "Anatomy For _______". This is one if them that I own:

    Mark Vella Book.jpg
    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 9-17-21 at 10:07pm. Reason: fix book title

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    Random Thought:
    It just occurred to me that in all my 72 years, I've never said to an attractive woman, "If we can go someplace private, I'll show you my obliques and glutes if you show me yours."

  9. #9
    Senior Member pony mom's Avatar
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    I'm constantly on my feet at work for over seven hours. Now that I'm 55 and just became post-menopausal, I'm starting to worry about my bone health. So now my mission is to do yoga three times a week, alternating with running 5K (just finished week 3 of a C25K program) three times a week, in addition to riding my horse 3-4 times a week. Honestly I don't really enjoy running but loved the changes in my body the last time I ran regularly, and the improvement in my cardio fitness would be a plus. Being a thin woman my entire life, I've never needed to work to stay in shape, but now the pounds don't come off so easily. A bit thicker around the middle than I'd like.

    Eventually I'd like to be someone who loves running, year round, no matter what the weather. And stick with yoga for years; I've seen older women who have been doing it for a long time, with elegant posture and toned bodies. And of course ride as long as I can. Each horse has been smaller than the last as I get older. When I'm ancient I'll take up carriage driving a mini.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pony mom View Post
    I don't really enjoy running but loved the changes in my body the last time I ran regularly, and the improvement in my cardio fitness would be a plus.
    Depending on the roads and traffic where you live, you might borrow someone's bicycle and see if you like it better than running. Bicycling doesn't have the constant joint impact of running, but you have to travel more miles to get the same workout unless you ride really fast or constantly go up and down hills. And some people can't find a bicycle seat that is comfortable for them. If you do try bicycling, the secret is to spin the pedals fast (like 60-100 rpm) not plod along pushing the pedals hard at 10-30 rpm like most newbies do. Spinning fast makes it easy on your legs, pushing hard is hard on your legs (like doing 30 squats per minute for a whole hour.)

    Bicycling might not be your thing, but since you don't actually like running.... (Just saying)

    BTW: When I was younger I ran 10k and 15k races and I also bicycled 100 miles in 8 hours several times. Both were fun, I ended up liking bicycling better.
    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 9-18-21 at 12:46pm. Reason: clarity

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