Well, I upped my minutes today. For those of you who don't keep track, I try to exercise five, but preferably six days a week. I run three of those days, with one long run a week. For my other five days that I'm not doing my long run, the mileage isn't the primary concern (although I am still trying to up my speed over time), but rather the time spent working out is my main concern.
When I started seriously working out a few years ago (when I started this whole weight loss adventure), I was barely able to walk at a steady pace for 30 minutes, now here it is over 2½ years later and I just moved up from working out 75 minutes a day to 80 minutes a day. On my run days, that is primarily running (with a few walk breaks scattered throughout).
Now, for those of you who are looking at this and thinking "Holy Cow! That's a crazy amount of exercise!" Well, there was a point in time in which I would have agreed with you. However, as many of you are aware, the exercise requirements, especially for people who are looking to lose weight, or maintain weight loss, have changed. Long gone are the days when 30 minutes 3 days a week was considered sufficient.
Let me caveat that by saying, that the American Heart Association still says that for cardio-vascular benefits, the 30/3 number is still valid. However, for those of us who need to lose weight, this doesn't hold true. Nope, for us 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is the minimum... Okay, let me caveat the caveat... DO NOT do the 60 to 90 minute thing if you are not an otherwise healthy individual... as always, doctor's advice is essential!
But I digress... for me... since I AM in the "needs to lose weight" category, I am working (very slowly) toward a 90 minute a day workout, hence my reason for upping my total minutes today. I had been at 75 minutes for several months now (since probably around Thanksgiving), so this is really not a huge shock to my system, but is just another step on my journey to weight loss and better health.
For my other little cheery piece of information I give you this: studies suggest that once you have lost the weight you will still need to do at least 60 minutes of exercise almost every day to maintain that weight loss. I guess this is just our body's way of telling us, that it takes that phrase lifestyle change very seriously. Long gone are the days of dieting (and exercising like a madman) to lose 10 or 20 pounds only to abruptly quit everything the minute the goal is met.
Looking back, it's amazing that we ever believed in that kind of mentality. I think the old saying of "If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got" rings true here. If anyone thinks they can go back to daily Big Macs or only 30 minutes of exercise, then expect to get what you always got in the past... In other words, by not changing expect all those pounds that had once disappeared to come back to haunt you in the not too distant future.
80 minutes (yea!!!)