Do you Exercise to be Thin?

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joebartels
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Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by joebartels » Aug 13 2009 8:27 pm

In the August 17th issue of Time magazine there's an interesting column on Exercise and Weight Loss.
Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin.pdf
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chumley
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by chumley » Aug 13 2009 8:51 pm

I read that a day or two ago. I've always thought that exercise is a key to a healthy life ... its certainly good for heart health. But for losing weight I've always found that it is a thousand times easier to consume fewer calories than it is to burn those calories through exercise. 200 calories in a bag of chips with lunch takes 2 minutes to eat, but it takes half an hour of hiking to burn those same 200 calories. For me, a healthy diet is always easier for maintaining a healthy weight than burning calories through exercise. (Though, I feel it is important to balance both for health reasons beyond just weight.)
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by Jeffshadows » Aug 13 2009 10:03 pm

Cardiovascular fitness is critical to longevity.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by dysfunction » Aug 13 2009 10:21 pm

yep, the guys right... but that don't mean it ain't important. :wlift:
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by joebartels » Aug 14 2009 4:09 am

The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%. And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government's definition
Interesting in a country where most wouldn't consider a job picking produce are willing to pay to sweat in a gym... I think I've figured it out. I'll open an o-natural gym. People will pay to come pick produce and fudge why am I giving away this info... :o
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 14 2009 5:25 am

I've thought about this quite a bit. I wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds, let's say, 10 or so, but it doesn't disappear as easily as when I was younger. But in answer to Joe's title question, no, not really. I got interested in being fit when I got interested in backpacking. This was when I was about 19 years old. (almost 40 years ago--aargh!) I really wanted to try backpacking after reading The Complete Walker, by Colin Fletcher. My family had always done some hiking so I was familiar with that. My mom had bought me the bp gear, but she didn't want me to go by myself. So finally I met a guy who said he'd go with me, and off we went to Anza-Borrego. Well, that was a wake-up call! I was miserably unfit.

I had never been athletic in high school, but had some idea that I could aquire fitness. (It's surprising how few people understand the concept of becoming fit over time. They seem to think you are just naturally fit!)

So, anyway, instead of giving up on backpacking because it was too hard, I decided to get more fit. (In India, they have a proverb about this: If you have a goat that can't carry its load, don't lighten its load, you need to strengthen the goat!) So I strengthened the goat: I took lifeguarding class, swam laps, learned to bodysurf and board surf, ran on the beach, rode my bike everywhere, joined the Sierra Club and hiked and hiked and hiked. Of course, all of that took care of my fitness problem! I also lost a little weight in the process. I hadn't been exactly fat, but I wasn't super slim, either. Exercise did slim me down quite a bit back then.

I have always found that other women think I ride my bike everywhere, etc., so I can stay thin, but really, staying thin and having nice clothes has never been a good enough motivation for me. I just feel a lot better if I exercise every day. And staying fit, I'm always ready to go backpacking! But, alas, I never seem to have time for it any more! In fact, this month I will have to be careful to arrange exercise time. Days are getting shorter, and I am working 7 days a week for the next month! I ride my bike to work but that is only a mile away.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by joebartels » Aug 14 2009 5:29 am

azbackpackr wrote:So I strengthened the goat
Oh it's gonna be a great day :)
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 14 2009 5:44 am

Ba-aa! ;)
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chumley
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by chumley » Aug 14 2009 7:07 am

joe bartels wrote:
The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%. And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government's definition
Interesting in a country where most wouldn't consider a job picking produce are willing to pay to sweat in a gym... I think I've figured it out. I'll open an o-natural gym. People will pay to come pick produce and fudge why am I giving away this info... :o
I think this is key. Our lifestyles have changed so much over the past 30 years. Many more jobs are sedentary ... sit at a desk behind a computer for 8 hours a day. Follow that up with 6 hours of watching TV or playing video games. Even jobs which used to require serious manual labor such as farming or construction have been aided by technology and now workers don't have to physically do nearly as much as they had to. Add that to the crazy crap in our food these days (yes, even 'organic' foods), and that's why our society is physically unfit.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by Jeffshadows » Aug 14 2009 8:22 am

chumley wrote:
joe bartels wrote:
The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%. And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government's definition
Interesting in a country where most wouldn't consider a job picking produce are willing to pay to sweat in a gym... I think I've figured it out. I'll open an o-natural gym. People will pay to come pick produce and fudge why am I giving away this info... :o
I think this is key. Our lifestyles have changed so much over the past 30 years. Many more jobs are sedentary ... sit at a desk behind a computer for 8 hours a day. Follow that up with 6 hours of watching TV or playing video games. Even jobs which used to require serious manual labor such as farming or construction have been aided by technology and now workers don't have to physically do nearly as much as they had to. Add that to the crazy crap in our food these days (yes, even 'organic' foods), and that's why our society is physically unfit.
It's a more complex picture than that, but I think you hit on many of the salient points.

In response to what Joe was saying: Years and years ago when I was getting destroyed at Ft. Benning, the drill sergeants used to love to point out how: "Rich people in Hollywood are paying huge money for this treatment and you're getting paid to endure it..." :D
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by writelots » Aug 14 2009 9:22 am

I have to say, it amazes me when ever I talk about frustration with my weight with a new doctor or whatever that I ALWAYS get the "well, if you started exercising just 30 minutes a day, 3 or 4 times a week..." Yeah, genius, why didn't I think of that. There is definitely an assumption out there that if you're overweight, it's cause you've earned it through sloth and poor eating habits.

But, seriously, I certainly don't hike or exercise to keep thin - but a part of my motivation is to keep from being even worse off than I am now. I'm just at that point where extra weight begins to have a negative impact on health and joints, and I don't want to have to stop hiking or doing all the fun things I love. So I work out during the week to keep myself strong, healthy and capable. Sure, I'd love a flat stomach and tight rear. But I'll settle for tree-trunk legs and boxy shoulders as long as they'll help me carry the over-sized load down a few more miles of open country...
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by sirena » Aug 14 2009 10:10 am

The basic problem is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued.
I have experienced this firsthand. I thought that when I hiked the AZT that I would lose weight. WRONG! I lost a little weight at first, but after about a month, I became permanently HUNGRY, because I was burning so many calories. I have never felt anything like it before. Then, when summer came and I took a 3 month break, I was still hungry, but no longer burning calories like I was, so I gained weight, which I lost when I resumed hiking. The same thing happened when I took a break for the winter and resumed hiking in the spring. I ended up the same weight as when I started.

My motivation to exercise is not for aesthetic reasons, I exercise to keep my fibromyalgia symptoms at bay. The more active I am, the better I feel. It would be nice, however, if all this exercise managed to give me back the figure I had at 18...
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by Jeffshadows » Aug 14 2009 10:17 am

writelots wrote:I have to say, it amazes me when ever I talk about frustration with my weight with a new doctor or whatever that I ALWAYS get the "well, if you started exercising just 30 minutes a day, 3 or 4 times a week..." Yeah, genius, why didn't I think of that. There is definitely an assumption out there that if you're overweight, it's cause you've earned it through sloth and poor eating habits.
That would be annoying, for sure; but, in defense of the medical community, most of the patients who walk through the door *are* in the state they're in because they failed to take better care of themselves. Just let the doc know, right up front. Before he or she even starts in on a history let him or her know that you are active and careful about your eating habits, etc. It makes it a more comfortable experience for all involved! :) ;)
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by tibber » Aug 14 2009 10:23 am

since it's the girls turn to comment:

I want to live to an old age but only if I can be healthy. Therefore, I gotta workout.
I want to be able to eat what I want within reason. Therefore, I gotta workout.
I want to maintain my strength. Therefore, I gotta workout.
I want to be able to increase my hiking abilty. Therefore, I gotta workout.

My figure at 18... ya, I remember that. ;)
Exercising to be thin...too late. :D
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by rdavisiii » Aug 14 2009 12:26 pm

I started to get crippling GOUT attacks in my late 20s. I started exercising again after several years of very little exercise when it was finally diagnosed(countless doctors that need to go back to school or into another profession) ](*,) as GOUT and I could apply a treatment plan that produced results. I used to have mostly bad weeks and very few good weeks. Now -50 pounds later I have more good then bad but am not anywhere near of putting the bad weeks behind me. I exercise to put more good weeks between those bad weeks and if I am fortunate someday, the bad weeks will be so rare, I do not care. So in a way I do exercise to be thinner but for different reasons then when I was in my early to mid 20s.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by Hikergirl81 » Aug 16 2009 12:55 pm

OUTDOOR Exercise + OUTDOOR Adventure = HAPPY Hikergirl
Being cooped up indoors makes me feel a little blue, and my job is quite active (and sometimes adventurous) it’s just indoors and it doesn't quite cut it. :-k
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by Sun_Ray » Aug 16 2009 1:18 pm

A recent personal experience proved to me that yes the calorie intake is 1000 times more important than the hard exercise for weight control. Going into my knee surgery I was worried that the lack of exercise and all the inactivity would case me to gain weight. I was a little nauseas for about 6 weeks from taking the narcotic pain meds and did not really feel like eating. Much to my surprise I lost about 10 pounds over a 6 week period while using a walker, cane and where walking a block was a big deal. I thought I understood the effects of limiting calories vs. calories burned exercising but now I really do.

I still do the cardio for my heart and hike for exercise and overall enjoyment, but watch the calorie intake more than ever.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by imike » Aug 16 2009 2:30 pm

I do hike, run and bike to be thinner... sort of. I use those activities to create a net positive burn over what I eat to reduce weight. The motivation is greater function and enhanced health, and now... potentially more vital longevity. A year ago I read a book: "YOunger Next Year", and the science presented suggested a much different aging curve than I had grown up believing. Not the downhill slide from age 50 on, but the potential for increased function after 50, for ten to fifteen years, then a leveling off and maintaining for another 15 or more.... that sparked my interest and began this last 12 months of re-intensified training to check out if it was indeed correct. It seems to be. I have been breaking prior decades of pr's and have adjusted the goals for the coming year to continue in that same vein. One of the aspects of gaining those benefits is vigorous exercise, coupled with a leaner body... therefore the exercise for weight loss.

I did ultra endurance eventing for years at 190 pounds... and enjoyed it, but now I am targeting cutting to 165 for the coming years, and most of that cutting is being done through daily high mileage, high effort workouts. It is also necessary to monitor and control food intake, but the hiking makes it easy to maintain the half pound per day weight loss that I've scheduled for this month.

In the end, I am hiking to be thinner... so that I can enjoy more hiking wherein weight will no longer be an issue...
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by nonot » Aug 16 2009 6:42 pm

Usually I try to put on a little weight before an extended backpacking trip. Not much, but I eat good at all my meals the few days before the trip. I find that if I'm going backpacking all day I will lose anywhere from half a pound to a pound a day by the time I get back. Mountainhouse, Clif bars, and Ramen doesn't quite have enough calories to make up for burning 4000-8000 calories a day.

In general, if you have a desk job, skipping meals won't hurt you considering sitting burns what, like 30 calories an hour? I miss the days where I had to do physical labor all day. I could eat whatever I wanted and still lose weight.
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Re: Do you Exercise to be Thin?

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 16 2009 7:04 pm

imike wrote:adjusted the goals...monitor and control...scheduled for this month
Ok, I do admire this kind of focus, goal setting, following through with a program, etc. But it just doesn't work well for me. I tend to forget about specific goals I set about a week after I set them! I myself am not very focused. However, I did make an agreement with myself when I was 20 that I would stay in shape my whole life. I have tried to stay in shape, but generally with few goals, programs, etc. And definitely no heart monitoring gadget attached to my shirt! I just try to get more fit than what I am right now. Sometimes I get lazy, other times I cultivate a daily habit for awhile. But it has paid off. I am pretty fit and healthy.
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