Is movement good enough???

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Old 07-21-2010, 04:55 AM
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Default Is movement good enough???

I have been on my share of health and fitness related message boards. One in particular has guys that are die hard about their health and fitness. I think that is fine, and I am trying to be the best I can at doing the same. BUT, they swear that this workout has to be done or that type of cardio has to be done.

To be honest and some of you might be or might have been like me. Total sedentary lifestyle, bad diet choices, etc. So, if that was/is the case, isn't plain old movement good enough to reach goals? What I mean is, if I want to run the 40 yard dash 20 times to see if I can best my previous time, isn't that good enough for cardio. Tonight, I worked (pretty heavy) out my chest and back and rode the bike for 20 minutes. I didn't follow any plan, because isn't what I am doing now a whole lot better than what I was doing?

Just checking to see what you guys think. Also, what do you do to make cardio more fun?
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by collegefbfan8898 View Post
I have been on my share of health and fitness related message boards. One in particular has guys that are die hard about their health and fitness. I think that is fine, and I am trying to be the best I can at doing the same. BUT, they swear that this workout has to be done or that type of cardio has to be done.

To be honest and some of you might be or might have been like me. Total sedentary lifestyle, bad diet choices, etc. So, if that was/is the case, isn't plain old movement good enough to reach goals? What I mean is, if I want to run the 40 yard dash 20 times to see if I can best my previous time, isn't that good enough for cardio. Tonight, I worked (pretty heavy) out my chest and back and rode the bike for 20 minutes. I didn't follow any plan, because isn't what I am doing now a whole lot better than what I was doing?

Just checking to see what you guys think. Also, what do you do to make cardio more fun?
Well, it all depends on your goals. If you are just trying to lose weight, then technically no. You could live a totally sedentary life style and lose weight if you maintain a healthy caloric defecit, but they key to that is losing weight not fat.

Now if you want to lose body fat proper protein intake and some activity is going to be suggested so that you are consistently stimulating your muscles so that they don't break down to fuel your energy needs while in a defecit.

But to more directly answer what you are asking, no there really isn't a specific set of exercises or cardio that you HAVE to do. Yes, if you lived a totally sedentary lifestyle, any activity combined with a healthy diet is going to benefit you. But workout programs and different varieties of cardio are praised so highly because they are the most efficient ways to burn the most calories or build the most muscle. People support/praise them because they work. That's not to say what you are doing is wrong, but it just might not be the most quick or efficient way.

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Old 07-21-2010, 05:54 AM
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Hey, any movement from no movement is a great start. There's no such thing as a one size fits all workout, just like there's no one size fits all diet. Most people have a tendency to push what works for them, some more forcefully than others. As long as you do some cardio, some weights, and a little flexibility, you should be great for now.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:32 AM
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A couple things that have prevented boredom with cardio for me:

1.) Get off the elliptical/treadmill and take it outside. I live in a neighborhood chock full of gorgeous spandex-clad college types running and jogging the streets at all hours, so I was self-concious about running out there for a long time. Running outside is empowering, though, and now that I've gotten into a groove, I don't really worry about it. I see all kinds of crazy stuff, especially at night and sometimes I do intervals or fartlek (seriously, look it up!) using buildings, trees or telephone poles as cues to change my pace whenever I feel like it.

2.) Update your playlist. Tweak your workout tunes to match the pace of a planned workout or simply download some new music and hit "shuffle". This helps me get in a good mindset for my workout and forces me to plan my future sessions better. Also, at times this has prevented me from "bargaining" my way out of a killer workout so that I stick to my planned pace or total time. Sometimes I throw a really random or cheesy song in toward the end of my workout when I know the going will be tough -- its harder to feel like you're struggling when you're smiling.

3.) Take a class. If you belong to a health club, you might want to try a new class. For me, the structure can motivating on days you're not feeling as creative, plus you'll meet new people and learn some new moves. Even if you don't belong to a schnazzy club (I don't!) you might know someone dying to give away the dozens of guest passes they've accumulated over time.

4.) Mix it up. One way to vary your workout is to simply let a buch of different activities "add up". For example, do three sessions of 10 or 15 minutes each of bike, elliptical and then treadmill -- it doesn't seem so grueling when you're always seeing just a few minutes left, plus you might push a little harder each time since the total isn't as intimidating. Another way to get it done is to mix cardio with conditioning. For instance, sometimes I sprint for three minutes on the treadmill, lunge my way down to the weight rack, do a few squats, jump rope for three minutes, do some push ups, etc...

5.) Talk yourself through it. I know it sounds corny, but when all else fails start talking positively to yourself. The experince in and of itself isn't positive -- you have to bring the fun/motivation/good vibes. I know it'll be different for everyone, but some of my "mantras" are things like "I'm running stronger everyday", "I'm becoming an athlete", "I'm breathing just fine", "I've already done X minutes, so I can definitely do X more", "I'm really in the zone", "I'm made to move this way" and so on. This confidence and self-awareness is something I don't indulge in very often outside the gym, so the feeling can be pretty novel. I feel empowered looking myself in the eye (the cardio equipment is right in front of mirrors in my gym) and telling myself these positive things -- most of us don't do this enough in our everyday lives. Shower yourself with more praise as you cool down! You've earned it! Rinse and repeat.

Of course this list only accounts for purposeful/planned (or as I like to think of them, "official") cardio workouts. Don't forget that walking the dog, playing with the kids or mowing the lawn can have many of the same benefits as grinding away on the treadmill. Whatever you pick, definitely try to have fun with it! As you do it'll become a more positive experience and you might even become addicted to the rush. Good luck and post back with your progress.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:36 AM
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I have a TV parked in front of my elliptical I usually watch the news, and I also use an ipod and turn the tunes up LOUD. By the time I'm in good enough shape to get whistled at, I'll be too deaf to hear it. LOL.

And yes, I completely agree that any movement is better than nothing at all. You may find as you get in better and better shape that you do plan out your workouts more carefully, just because you'll want to improve some things that are lagging behind. But I don't think it's necessary to be scientific about it from the get go. You might try looking for a race or something to train for. I'm toying with the idea of running a 5K, so I focus my elliptical and running workouts along those lines. If that gets old, maybe I'll shoot for a 10K or 1/2 marathon. I also have a friend that is going to attempt an Ironman, and she's looking for a training partner. I don't think an Ironman is in my immediate future, but maybe somewhere in the distant future it could happen...

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Old 07-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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Hey SailorDoom. That #4 you have listed there. I thought I was the only one that did that. The other ideas are great also. A friend of mine made a semi-obstacle course in his backyard. Currently, I am riding a stationary bike and doing step when alternating cardio inside the house. Lift three days a week and do cardio after I lift sometimes, but cardio is mostly done on off days.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:31 PM
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I definitely think something is better than nothing. Some days I can only manage to get out for a walk or to the playground with my kids. It is definitely better than sitting at home watching cartoons with them.

Adding to Sailordoom's #2, you can download cardio podcasts. I found they really help keep the boredom away. I also find intervals are really great, because you have something else to concentrate on.

I commute to work by bicycle on occaision, which gives me a destination rather than just going out for a ride. It seems to keep the boredom away, but the 45 minute bike ride twice a day can be hard to fit in.

I also like to get out for a mountain bike ride with my husband since we are really competitive and I like to kick his butt
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Wylie7 View Post
I also like to get out for a mountain bike ride with my husband since we are really competitive and I like to kick his butt
LOL that's pretty funny. I don't think I could take my DH in a bike race, but on foot might be a different story. His legs are longer, but I think I can go for longer, a lot longer...
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SailorDoom View Post
5.) Talk yourself through it. I know it sounds corny, but when all else fails start talking positively to yourself. The experince in and of itself isn't positive -- you have to bring the fun/motivation/good vibes. I know it'll be different for everyone, but some of my "mantras" are things like "I'm running stronger everyday", "I'm becoming an athlete", "I'm breathing just fine", "I've already done X minutes, so I can definitely do X more", "I'm really in the zone", "I'm made to move this way" and so on. This confidence and self-awareness is something I don't indulge in very often outside the gym, so the feeling can be pretty novel. I feel empowered looking myself in the eye (the cardio equipment is right in front of mirrors in my gym) and telling myself these positive things -- most of us don't do this enough in our everyday lives. Shower yourself with more praise as you cool down! You've earned it! Rinse and repeat.
I took a yoga class once, and the teacher had us doing this throughout, it was a great exercise in self esteem. In the beginning of the class we had to go around and announce something that made us special, and all of us struggled to do it at all. After an hour of stretching and breathing and self affirmation, we did it again, only the second time we all came up with really great things about ourselves, it was so much easier the second time.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:43 PM
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Hey guys. I need two to four more 10 pound plates for my dumbbells and barbell. Any place to get them cheap and shipping won't kill me. I have standard (not Olympic) bar.

By the way for standard bars, do they make plates bigger than 10 poounds?

Thanks.
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