The Exercise Balance

Wow this weekend is flying by!  This is the first time I have actually stopped and paused since 5:30 this morning, but the guys are having an awesome time and I will definitely be posting pictures tomorrow!

But on to a topic I have been thinking about a lot lately…

Have you ever been on a site like mypyramid.gov or another calorie and health estimator that asks for information like your gender, height, weight, age and activity level to asses your daily nutrition needs.  I never know what to put for this.  They give examples of professions; usually, sedentary like a desk job, slightly active like a nurse of someone standing a lot, or very active like a construction worker or a mail man.  What do these even mean?  My husband is a nurse and is constantly moving, lifting, etc.  Would that not make him active?  How do you factor in your daily physical activity outside your profession?  These may seem like really stupid questions but I have a very difficult time gauging my exercise level.  I think the same way my food perceptions are skewed, my idea of exercise is also distorted.

Since I first went to see an eating disorder specialist, nearly two years ago, they have always been relatively adamant about no exercise, mostly because I had a problem with exercise compulsion before and the best way to break a bad habit is to eliminate it until a healthier relationship is formed.  But since I have done sports or worked out since I was basically four years old, and my husband and I like doing things outdoors, I have always been insistent that this idea was stupid.  I think I just needed to relearn a balance, which is what I am questioning today.  How much is too much? 

The American Heart Association suggests thirty minutes of activity a day.  They specify “brisk walking” as an example but I think many people have a different view on what brisk is.  My grandmother would think brisk was 3 mph, while I would feel like a snail if I were doing that on a treadmill.  Someone may feel like an 8 mph run was slow but I would feel pretty challenged at that pace  since I have not run for a while.

Since I do a pretty bad job at assessing what my body needs for fuel, I was thinking about this today on the golf course.  Before his round I did my normal four miles on the treadmill, and then walked the estimated 5.5 miles of eighteen holes (which is stop and go for approximately 5 hours).  Would this be considered an overly active day?  Or just a nice summer afternoon filled with activity?

A lot of times I look to other bloggers for inspiration on topics of health.  The first few I read were Jenna of Eat, Live, Run, Kath of Kath Eats Real Food, Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point (DONT YOU JUST LOVE OPERATION BEAUTIFUL?!) and Tina at Carrots and Cake.  I still view these four women as role models because to me the illustrate a picture of balance, beauty and health.  They are all very active women, but I do not think they take it to the extreme or deprive themselves in any way shape or form.  They are passionate about their lifestyles, and activity levels, and to me that is perfectly fine and actually quite admirable.

So I pose to you, when does an a love of exercise or activity change to addiction? 

Do you need to alter your fuel to accommodate what you do if you have an abnormally active day?  Or does it balance out in the end?

I hope you are all having a great weekend!  Can’t wait to read about it tomorow!

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