You can out exercise a bad diet
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    Registered User Ms Frugal's Avatar
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    Post You can out exercise a bad diet

    Over my years of teaching classes and training clients, I discovered a lot of people think that if they exercise extra hard or long, they can burn off a bad day of overeating. This may be the reason behind the proliferation of extreme exercise classes. Let me reassure you; that plan does not work that well and could potentially injure you.

    Calories in-Calories out
    It comes down to this, If you take in 2,800 calories and your daily caloric expenditure is 1,800 calories, you are going to gain weight. So let's say you want to burn off that 1,000 calorie surplus; you are going to have to exercise hard for at least for 1.5 hours or more. And even then, you are just breaking even. In that case, if you overeat daily, you would end up not gaining your weight but maintaining your current weight. I see this a lot at the gym -- people who have been working out for years but are staying the same. Of course, they are better off than not exercising at all and it has helped keep them in good health. But if the goal is to lose weight, then one needs to rethink his or her plan.

    Extreme Exercise Injuries
    You have heard of the extreme exercise classes, such as Cross Fit or the DVD's like Insanity. Many doctors are seeing injuries especially from those who are new to exercise or won't change their nutrition, but are still looking for results. Here is a story that was reported in the Columbus Dispatch:

    Dr. Jason Dapore of OhioHealth’s Spine, Sport & Joint Center said he has seen several patients with injuries related to these workouts, including damage to rotator cuffs, tendinitis in the knee and neck injuries.

    “It’s not something they talk about in the commercials,” said Dapore, who has done the original P90X and is working his way through the second incarnation. “There are some dynamic, complex moves.”

    The programs, which are on DVDs, run for a set number of days and include difficult aerobic and strength-training workouts.

    Dapore said the newest version includes information about injury risks, but he thinks many people likely jump past the warnings in their eagerness to get going.

    “I think people kind of just dive into their workouts,” he said.

    Dapore said he also has noticed that many people who follow the P90X exercise program don’t adhere to the diet that goes with it. Without the proper diet, working out at that intensity can be dangerous, he said. “You’re basically tearing up your muscles and not getting the nutrition you need.”

    People — especially those who aren’t in their 20s anymore — should take the time to learn about what the programs entail and talk to their doctor or a physical therapist about whether they are a safe option, Dapore said.


    When I teach my bootcamp class, there is always a warm-up of a least 5 minutes; special attention is paid to the shoulder area. When someone is out of breath and can no longer perform, I just don't yell at them to keep going. During workout sessions, a good fitness leader should be able to assess the needs of their students and push or pull back accordingly. I also know they are not going to lose weight unless they change their eating habits. And all the extreme moves won't really make a difference in the long run. This is something I preach in my classes.

    Food for Thought
    I started my fitness career in the mid-1980s while pursuing my Master Degree in Exercise Physiologyat Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Back then, many of my mentors were teaching high impact aerobics in church basements and in facilities with cement floor. Some of my colleagues were extreme runners who would participate in over 5 marathons a year. Most of my zealous friends and mentors have had knee and hip replacements. Now that I am older and wiser, I pepper my workouts with modified extreme workouts. The magic trick, however, is in the maximum 1 hour duration of the workout intensity -- including weights and cardio routines. Of course, no physically noticeable results will come of it if I fail to incorporate a healthful eating plan, which I do!

    What have been some of your own experiences over extreme workouts to attempt to fix bad wellness habits in record time?
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    Registered User MissSeetonFan's Avatar
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    Good post.

    This just reinforces what has been coming out for years: Change your diet first along with what exercise your body can take and you will improve your health. Then you build up your body as things improve but don't go to extremes. I think they recently came out with a study that showed those that like to run marathons constantly are cutting short their lives.

    Do you have suggestions for someone like me with bad ankles and bad knees? I love to walk but can't always get outside because of cold/pollution induced asthma.
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    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
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    I eat fairly healthy but when I want to lose weight I increase my exercise rather than cut down on diet - works well for me and I don't feel deprived.
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    Abs are made in the kitchen.

    I've always been prone to "tweaking" things, so in general high impact workout and my body don't mix well. Always weird stuff too..dislocated kneecap (twice) during my senior year of wrestling. I do medium intensity...push myself reasonably well over a medium amount of time.
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    Very well written post, with good info.

    My inexperience in fitness lead to two hernias 15 years ago. The no pain no gain line of thought. I am older and wiser now. This summer at the ripe old age of 51, I did my first 1/2 and had never run farther then 3 miles when I started training. I actually studied all the info on the net to get me to the finish line. I did the 12 week training program. I am a lifelong Vegetarian and bike ride 3600 miles a year, yet my diet did not allow me to run in the beginning. I had to up my protein for starters. I am well aware of how my body feels if I stuff my self with junk. SO I wonder how can these people eat the fast food and junk and still feel good. Perhaps they do not know how wonderful they could feel? I think lack of knowledge is a great part of why so many try and quit with fitness and correct diet.
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    Registered User Toffeekit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
    Very well written post, with good info.

    My inexperience in fitness lead to two hernias 15 years ago. The no pain no gain line of thought. I am older and wiser now. This summer at the ripe old age of 51, I did my first 1/2 and had never run farther then 3 miles when I started training. I actually studied all the info on the net to get me to the finish line. I did the 12 week training program. I am a lifelong Vegetarian and bike ride 3600 miles a year, yet my diet did not allow me to run in the beginning. I had to up my protein for starters. I am well aware of how my body feels if I stuff my self with junk. SO I wonder how can these people eat the fast food and junk and still feel good. Perhaps they do not know how wonderful they could feel? I think lack of knowledge is a great part of why so many try and quit with fitness and correct diet.
    Welcome to the sanity of being old enough to know better! Your "ripe old age" will only get riper with time and training. I'll be 66 in a couple of months time but it's only numbers.

    You wonder how people can eat fast food and junk "and still feel good". They don't feel good. They don't know how they feel.

    I mix, in my work and in my leisure-time, predominantly with people whose sporting/outdoor activity is both their work and their leisure, their way of life, so it's a bit of a rarefied atmosphere. We know we don't understand how the junk-food junkies function.

    I haven't always been as fit and healthy as I am now (please simply disregard, temporarily, the other posts I've got on here where I bemoan my current injury-status!! It IS temporary, no matter how limited I am by it, at the moment.) I was never very overweight, never entirely out of condition, but I've taken the challenge more seriously in the last fifteen-twenty years (and you have to be of a certain age to be able to have that kind of perspective, right?) and it's now a way of life. I run, hike, climb, bike (400 miles in southern India, most recently)(yes, bits WERE fun) and train as necessary. There's exercise as a way of life and exercise as training; they are two different things.

    I work, part-time, as an Assistant Instructor in an Outdoor Education Centre, so I need a general level of fitness as well as specific skills. Loading an eight-canoe trailer, with a dozen or so nine-year-olds to "help" is just one of the challenges.

    I couldn't do this, be the person I am, without the awareness of how my body feels and how it functions. But - this kind of awareness is extremely rare. If we don't think it is, it's because, as I say above, we mix predominantly with like-minded people.

    Ms Frugal wonders about extreme workouts and attempts to fix bad habits in record time. I blame the Miracle Cure-type TV programmes for a lot of ordinary people's failures to lose weight/regain fitness. People see bite-size items, with programme participants being supported/harangued by trainers; they see them weigh in and weep; they think THIS IS REAL and forget that it's a TV programme designed to entertain. They set themselves unrealistic targets and then quit at the first hurdle, the first time they don't achieve whatever unattainable goal they've set themselves. Someone, somewhere, has failed to explain "exercise as a way of life" to them.

    I don't have an answer to any of it: my only answer is MY answer, what works for me. Yes, at the Outdoor Ed. Centre I encourage every kid, no matter how overweight, no matter how low the self-esteem, to do just a little more - just a little more; and to acknowledge, to her/himself if not to me, the achievement. Maybe by catching them young, we are going a little way to breaking the vicious circle; we hope.
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    I do all this that I do as I say, To Run from old age, I used to say I was running from 50....but that number passed. I know we have no control over the things we can not control in life. I am just in fear real fear after watching my folks, that I will not be able to do physical activities. I want to be the 75 + year old person like the ones I see on the trail biking and picking them up and putting them down, not sitting inside complaining about pain
    Biking is my passion. The fresh air, the sites, but most of all the accomplishment of the ride either distance/time or weather. This 2013, I upped my goal to 4,000 miles!
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    Registered User Ms Frugal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissSeetonFan View Post
    Good post.

    This just reinforces what has been coming out for years: Change your diet first along with what exercise your body can take and you will improve your health. Then you build up your body as things improve but don't go to extremes. I think they recently came out with a study that showed those that like to run marathons constantly are cutting short their lives.

    Do you have suggestions for someone like me with bad ankles and bad knees? I love to walk but can't always get outside because of cold/pollution induced asthma.
    Treadmills are always good but less scenic. I also suggest Leslie Sansone's 2 or 3 mile walk DVD.
    @MissSeetonFan
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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    There are some new studies suggesting that "extreme" exercise does have some benefits. While it won't help you lose fat you already have, and it doesn't do a thing for your heart, short term high-intensity bursts have been shown to keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels low.

    How To Get Fit With 3 Minutes Of Exercise A Week: BBC Doc Tries "HIT"

    It's interesting research and I'm not sure I can discard this as a fad.
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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Good discussion. I'm a runner " of a certain age.". I'm also a dietitian. The belief that a workout entitles you to a giant dinner or bag of chips or whatever is prevalent or conversely some magic mix of nutrients is needed. I try to be smart and moderate my runs but I admit sometimes I'm feeling bulletproof and push it. Like ctg I'm trying to avoid a frail housebound old age. I'm 50 with a 5 year old. I'm gonna need years of stamina yet.
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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    MsSeetonFan,

    If you have bad knees, you might want to try the elliptical machine, swimming, or biking. Walking and running both put a lot of stress on your joints. I am a big fan of walking, but I also have a bum knee, and if I walk too much, I definitely feel it in my knee that evening.
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