Thursday, August 04, 2005

Minimum Exercise Requirements

In a comment to this post, Liz stated her ambivalence with the amount of time the USA's President Bush devotes to exercise and to sleep.

I'd be more concerned if he spent his time not exercising and not sleeping. Eating burgers and canoodling with interns, for example. :-) Pretend the article was about a different world leader, or about a Democratic senator, then. :-)

I think it's great to see a world leader who walks the walk (ellipts the elliptical?) on this issue. I don't believe that 20 minutes a day is enough, and I'm tired of governments telling people that it is.

Researcher Gary Homann recently conducted a study about the exercise habits of active people. There's a fascinating interview with him here about what it takes to keep exercising in the long haul. He found that "people reporting less than four hours of exercise per week are likely to be somewhat unhappy with their weight and that people doing five or more hours of exercise per week tend to be fairly happy with their weight". In the same interview he has some great comments about why government recommendations are nowhere near that.

John Berardi once wrote: "You see, in today's mechanized society, we're all sedentary. That's right, all of us, myself included. The reality is that the most active of us simply superimpose a dose of exercise over our inactive lifestyles." In that same article he suggested 7.5 hours a week of excercise.

Personally, I think 7-8 hours per week is ideal, and doable. It's certainly the level at which I am happiest. Yes, it requires me to turn off the TV, to make compromises about perfectionist levels of housecleaning, and to be more selfish about my time, but I think these are all good things...


At 10:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted, being president for Bush is a lot like being a movie star: looking pretty is his whole job. I'd be upset if he wasn't spending his time making sure he was trim and healthy, because then I'd have to wonder what in the name of God he was doing with his time. It sure as hell isn't spent running the country...

At 6:16 PM , Blogger chaos said...

I hear ya. I also don't think that 20 mins is enough--and the US Surgeon Gen recently said you needed an hour. But it does bug me that the Pres gets more sleep and more exercise time than I do. I hope he is at least reading reports while on the elliptical.

At 7:25 AM , Blogger M@rla said...

Excellent quote from Berardi. He's absolutely right. Putting in even an hour a day of ass-busting doesn't compensate for 23 hours of sedentariness. Some people manage to escape it, but if you have a white-collar job and live in the suburbs, you probably get NO exercise other than that deliberate workout.


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