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Old 04-09-2010, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How fast to safely increase exercise

I am 45 y.o. male trying to lose 55 pounds. I want to ease into an exercise regimen and avoid injuring myself in the process. First workout (today) I walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill at the steepest incline setting at a 3.5 mph pace. This burned 268 calories, according to my heart rate doohickey.

How long should I take to ramp up to 1,000 calorie workouts? 2 weeks? 6? I want to increase intensity, but I want to get there safely.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Searching4betterme View Post
I am 45 y.o. male trying to lose 55 pounds. I want to ease into an exercise regimen and avoid injuring myself in the process. First workout (today) I walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill at the steepest incline setting at a 3.5 mph pace. This burned 268 calories, according to my heart rate doohickey.

How long should I take to ramp up to 1,000 calorie workouts? 2 weeks? 6? I want to increase intensity, but I want to get there safely.

The rule with running for a safe increase is 10% (according to distance). If I ran 10 miles total this week, I should not do more than 11 next.

I suspect that the 10% rule is a safe bet with walking too.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Skypilot as to the 10% rule. I am surprised that, for your first workout, you had the incline at it's highest setting. Since I rarely use the treadmill (I use an elliptical or bike), my shins would be hurting tomorrow after having the incline set at maximum after 30 minutes! Since you had a heartrate monitor, I'm guessing you were working within the recommended training zone. If you aren't very sore within the next day or two and your hr monitor reading shows that you aren't above the maximum safe zone (most beginners who are 45 yr. old are advised to keep heart rate around 60% of their maximum or 105 bpm - assuming you have no medical issues), I wouldn't change a thing for the first week. I know you're anxious to progress quickly but, since you mentioned "safely", I figured I'd pass this on.

Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK, thanks. I was planning to track it more by calories burned than by mileage, but the concept is roughly similar, I think. I'll plan to increase calories burned by 10% per week until I reach my goal of 1,000 calories per workout.

The incline didn't bother my shins, and I am going to attempt to hike the Grand Canyon this summer, so I wanted the incline for training purposes.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't forget to incorporate some kind of strength training as well. Adding some muscle will increase your body's ability to burn fat while at rest, and make your weight loss faster. You can do some easy bodyweight exercises to start. Push-ups, squats, and lunges are my favorites. Start with 1 set of 10 and work your way up to 5 sets of 10, then you can start adding in more weight. Unlike with cardio, there's no question of "safe" increases since you are limited by what you can do and once you can't do any more, you stop.

Good luck!

-Nik
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like a great goal (besides good health) to train for! After you've acclimated to the treadmill, if your gym has an arch trainer, they are great for simulating hiking steep inclines.
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Last edited by Built; 04-09-2010 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I want to get back to lifting weights, but I currently have a shoulder impingement and my left arm is virtually useless at the moment. I suppose I could do some leg lifting for a few weeks while it heals. I spent yesterday scampering around the sand dunes of the outer banks in North Carolina. It was definitely a workout, but I don't know how many calories for sure.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For your shoulder issues, I highly recommend Eric Cressey's Shoulder Savers article series here, here, and here
(Parts I, II, and III).
Hope that helps.

-NIk
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you want to get the most out of your cardio I would suggest looking into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The calories burned during the workout are the same but the after burn affect (putting your body into a higher metabolic state) can burn up twice the fat of moderate cardio with the same length workout. In HIIT you go hard for a period (the High Intensity part) then easy for a period (the Interval). Most of what I have read indicate that a 1:2 ratio is the best. This could be 10 second sprint and 20 second walk or 30 second run and 1 minute walk. The key is to slow back down and get your heart rate down and be able to go hard again. In the beginning you may have to increase the ratio. I am currently running 30 seconds and walking 90 seconds so a 1:3 ratio. Workouts should not be more than about 20 minutes. The great thing is you can keep adjusting as you improve and you don't have to dedicate more and more time to your cardio.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searching4betterme View Post
I want to get back to lifting weights, but I currently have a shoulder impingement and my left arm is virtually useless at the moment. I suppose I could do some leg lifting for a few weeks while it heals. I spent yesterday scampering around the sand dunes of the outer banks in North Carolina. It was definitely a workout, but I don't know how many calories for sure.
I have a shoulder impingement. First thing the PT did was start me on resistance training. Id suggest trying some physical therapy so you learn what what you can and cannot do. Biggest things to avoid are shoulder presses and bench presses, oh and push ups are bad too. The good news is I'm in my second week of a full body resistance program and so far so good. My only issue is that my gym doesn't have a close grip chest press (the only chest press you can do with an impingement). Good luck!.
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