I’ve posted before about how I hate paying too much attention to all the buttons, knobs and digital readings on exercise machines and the like. Just because I think it’s more important for me to try and get in touch with my own perceived exertion, rather than allowing my competitive tendencies to take over. If I’m left to my own devices, I will push exercise to the point where I’ve squeezed every bloody drop of enjoyment out of it. Until one morning I wake up and decide I just don’t want to do whatever it is any more. Big surprise.
All that being said, I still have to pay attention to my inner voice. At times that may mean pushing myself to get the kind of workout that’s necessary for me to get a desired outcome. In my case, a little weight loss. Even with a healthy, balanced, portion controlled eating plan, I will have to do more than just move my body.
So how do you determine if you’re working out enough without getting all crazy about the numbers? I was given some really good advice once from my doctor (yes, a doctor!). She asked me, ‘are you breaking a sweat?” Are you kidding? I’m all about sweat. “Well, that’s all you need to worry about.” You know what? She was on to something. The common denominator in all this figuring out what’s right, is sweat!
And how long should you exercise? Again, it depends on the individual. Where are you starting from? If you’ve been sitting on the couch, a brisk walk around the neighborhood will provide you benefit. If you aren’t exerting yourself enough, you’ll know. Simply pick up the pace, move your arms. How does it feel? If you can do that for 15 minutes then maybe next week it’s 20 and in a couple weeks it’s 30 and in a month or two you’re exercising for 45 minutes and you still feel great. Before you know it you’ll find you want to take your walk. You’ll need to take your walk. You’ll be sad if your life gets in the way of your walk. That’s how I want to feel about fitness.
I just think it’s important to get what you want out of the experience. You’ll get to where you want to go.