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Too Much or Too Little Exercise

Question: I'm a 35 year old male who quit smoking about 45 days ago. I am 6'1", 200lbs and have never really exercised regularly in my life. I recently had my first child and am feeling more invigorated about life. As soon as I quit, I took up swimming. I was treading water or swimming at a heart rate of 150 bpm on average. I did this in order to avoid gaining weight and thought that I might lose some as well. I also adjusted my diet to include 5 or six servings a day including mornig and afternoon snacks of fruit and or no fat yogurt, started eating breakfast, a bowl of raisen bran (*i never ate breakfast as a smoker), and replaced my heaviest meal, dinner, with fish or chicken,steamed or grilled with a side of two or more vegatables. I did not lose a pound nor did I gain one. Last week, I got my bicycle out of the closet and into my routine. For the past week, I have cycled for 30 min to the beach, swam for 30 min, then cycled home for 30 min, keeping an average heart rate of 140-150 bpm. I do not find this particularly easy, yet I do not feel that I am killing myself either. I usually feel very fatigued at the end of the workout, but I am not at all sore or feeling to tired to do it again the next day. Do you think I am doing to much or to little? I have started to eat healthier choices, but I do not count calories and do not like to feel hungry. Please lend me your ear and advice. Thanks, Mike

Answer: Sounds to me like you're doing fine. You should be feeling much better based on the drastic changes you've made, even if the "scale" hasn't budged. If you think you can keep up with all these changes for the long term, continue what you're doing for the sake of feeling better and healthier, not for the sake of dropping pounds. The latter can frustrate you in the long run and will set you up for small failures along the way. If you do it for the sake of feeling better, you can succeed every time you do it. Use your heart rate monitor to make sure you're not overdoing it. It's not only to make sure you're getting your heartrate up high enough -- it also helps to make sure you're not working too hard. 140 - 150 BPM for 90 minutes would be pretty exhausing. If you start feeling symptoms of overtraining, you probably would benefit from cutting time spent in that zone in half.

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