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    Old 11-07-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
    John55
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    Wife addicted to treadmill

    My wife walks seven miles in about two hours on treadmill, seven days a week. To protect her knee, she never runs, using a treadmill with cushions. Her heart beat is 190 during exercise. I feel this is too much for her age (47) but she has been doing it for 11 months and she has no physical problem from it, so far. She was walking about 4 miles a day for 5 years prior to this. She seems to be deeply addicted to exercise and she wouldn't listen to me. Any advice to this kind of addiction?

     
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    Old 11-07-2006, 03:05 PM   #2
    Naxis
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    That is pretty excessive. In general, 1 hour of any kind of cardio a day is about the max. Unless someone is training for something like a marathon, there's no reason to train that long or that often.
    The problem is that if you're dealing with exercise addiction, it is usually closely linked to some kind of body dysmorphia and maybe an eating disorder. Treat this very seriously and with as much tact as you can muster. If she really refuses to consider that she's doing something that may ultimately become unhealthy, then you may need to find out what other issues she's dealing with. Usually obsessive (maybe irrational) fear of weight gain can lie at the core of it, but it can go much deeper.
    Has she indicated any reason for exercising so much?
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    Old 11-08-2006, 02:03 AM   #3
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Also, a heart rate of 190 is extremely high for only walking, and at 47 should be almost impossible to reach - the general 'rule of thumb' is that your max heart rate is 220 minus your age, so hers should be closer to 173. This isn't an exact science though, but it does indicate that she is really stressing her cardio system out by doing this.

    If she's been doing it a while, her heart rate should gradually improve I would think, from improved fitness levels. How much does she weight and how tall is she? I'm guessing to get that sort of heart rate by walking, she must be quite heavy, or seriously unfit.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 10:15 AM   #4
    John55
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Many thanks to both of you, Naxis and Willapp.
    She is not training for marathon or any thing. She is just obsessed with her figure. She has been underweight (90 lb. she is about 5') for about six years and has practically no periods for all these years because of this. Somehow she feels more energized than, say ten years ago. She looks at least ten years younger than her age, buying jeans from teenage section, wearing short skirts in the summer, etc. She did a lot researches on diet, always careful about the food she eats. She really enjoys food, a big serving of ice cream EVERY night.

    The 190 heart rate could be off a bit. It's based on the treadmill that reads from your palms, not chest. Her running speed is only 4.5 mile/hour, but she is soaked in sweat completely every time. Her resting heart rate was in 80's many years ago. Now it's in 60's.

    I am new here, maybe posted in a wrong board. I looked at Addiction section. That doesn't fit either.

    She seems to be OK so far, but I want to make sure it's ok for her to continue this way.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 04:59 PM   #5
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Well, it's not exactly healthy and if she is anovular from being underweight, it's definitely unhealthy - any doctor will tell her this. It's definitely overkill to do so much cardio and will almost certainly end up being a detriment to her overall health in the future. At her age, she should place some focus on resistance training for hormone regulation and bone density as she gets older. It will help her keep her figure without damaging her health. She really should address the situation. Based on all the info you provided, I'd be very concerned about her long term health.
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    Old 11-08-2006, 06:49 PM   #6
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    She does some stretching and weight lifting everyday, along with running on treadmill. Her doctor explained the reason being anovular. She understood that but refused to gain weight. She is happy that it seems to be ok for six years. I try very hard to find research to show her that she is over exercising. There are a lot books helping people to get on the exercise wagon but non to help people “turn it down a notch”. She is stubborn. Unless I find a credible source, she won’t listen. I don’t know what I can do.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 07:10 PM   #7
    Naxis
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Has she gotten a physical or bloodwork done recently? Bone density tests? Hormone checks? If something shows up abnormal, it may help sway her. Unfortunately, exercise addicition is a fairly new phenomenon and there isnt a lot of "credible" sources. You might urge her to talk to one (or many) trainers. Not one worth their salt will agree with a regimen that excessive. If "experts" in every related field aren't enough to make her reconsider her exercising, I'm not sure what else to tell you.
    Good luck to you.
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    Old 11-08-2006, 08:46 PM   #8
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Her physical and bloodwork are ok. No hormone check recently. Was low years ago when her period stopped. She thought she was pregnant but doctor told her she was underweight that body could not produce enough certain hormones. She is aware of this. But her obsession with her body image (I admit that her body looks very sexy) and the fact that she feels good all these years make her convinced that this is ok. I'll keep trying.

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 05:27 AM   #9
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    I know you said there aren't a lot of books for exercisers to turn it down a notch but there are a ton of "muscle" books that do tell you tom turn cardio down a big notch, especially compared to the cardio she's doing. Maybe you could point her out to some of these books. Also, there's a lot of information about "rest days" out there on the internet that you should also bring up because she obviously isn't incorporating that into her workout either.
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    Old 11-09-2006, 07:18 AM   #10
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    >>>She is not training for marathon or any thing. She is just obsessed with her figure. She has been underweight (90 lb. she is about 5') for about six years and has practically no periods for all these years because of this.

    Ten pounds underweight is really not that much. For many years my girlfriend was 5-feet 5½ inches and weighed 118 to 120 lb, which is considered underweight for that height ... but let me tell you, she looked GREAT in a bikini. Perfectly proportioned, not bony sticking out, and she never had to watch what she ate nor did she exercise. So, I think the focus needs to be on how your wife looks and feels as opposed to what the scale says. This country has way too much of a food and/or scale obsession.

    Amenorrhea (cessation of menses) can be one sign of too much exercise, or she could be going through menopause (yes, it’s possible at her age). She would need to have an FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) level checked to make that determination, so please ask her to go to see her gynecologist for a good checkup.

    In terms of being obsessed with her figure ... I can definitely relate to that one, having had body dysmorphic syndrome for as far back as I can remember. Still do. At the current time, is your wife pleased with her physical appearance without clothing? And, are you pleased with her physical appearance, in and out of clothing? If not, have you discussed your feelings with her? (please forgive me, but I can be very blunt about things)


    >>>Somehow she feels more energized than, say ten years ago. She looks at least ten years younger than her age, buying jeans from teenage section, wearing short skirts in the summer, etc.

    How much did she weigh ten years ago? If you have children, how old are they now? Is she taking any sort of supplements (i.e. Hydroxycut, vitamins) --- And a 47-year-old woman who can wear short skirts in the summer ... good for her!!! You may have had an hourglass figure when you were younger, but when you get older the sands of time run down to the bottom ... particularly your knees.


    >>>She did a lot researches on diet, always careful about the food she eats. She really enjoys food, a big serving of ice cream EVERY night.

    Do you feel she is on a good diet, and about how many calories is she consuming every day. And how much is a “big serving” of ice cream every night?


    >>>The 190 heart rate could be off a bit. It's based on the treadmill that reads from your palms, not chest. Her running speed is only 4.5 mile/hour, but she is soaked in sweat completely every time. Her resting heart rate was in 80's many years ago. Now it's in 60's.

    Running 4.5 miles per hour is not that fast. I used to run 5.5 miles per hour with periodic bursts up to 7 miles per hour, and I did this for an hour a day, five days a week. And she’s supposed to be soaked and sweat completely ... that’s perfectly normal. Just make sure that she’s drinking water the entire time she’s on the treadmill. I recommend at least one liter.

    In terms of her heart rate, I don’t trust the gizmo on the treadmill. Get her a heart monitor that straps around the chest with a watch she wears on her wrist. At her current age (47), 100% of her THR (target heart rate) is 173 (220 – 47). There are a number of arguments over how fast it should be. Some sources say 65-75% of your THR is fast enough. Others say 75-85%, and still others say 85-90% is best for fat burning. When I was her age I worked out on the elliptical trainer and my heart rate was 100% of the THR (175 beats per minute) for the full hour, and I felt no ill effects. But that’s me.


    >>>She seems to be OK so far, but I want to make sure it's OK for her to continue this way.


    Suggest she go for a full physical examination including blood work, and discuss the issue with her doctor.

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 07:24 AM   #11
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    well as addictions go.....this seems to be one of the healthier ones.....
    although not having the period should be a signal that she has reduced her body fat considerably because that's what happens to young gymnasts...they don't get their period because they have no body fat.
    that may be a red flag, but I wouldn't worry too much.

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 07:25 AM   #12
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Does you wife eat healthy? Protein, carbs, fruit, and veggies? Does she skip meals? Pick at her food? At 90lbs and 5 feet tall, obsessed with working out sounds like anorexia to me. I had it for yrs. 5'5" and weighed 109lbs, worked out like a maniac, controlled everything I ate and drank.

    I hope she takes care of herself.

    Sid

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 08:44 AM   #13
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stick2013
    Does you wife eat healthy? Protein, carbs, fruit, and veggies? Does she skip meals? Pick at her food? At 90lbs and 5 feet tall, obsessed with working out sounds like anorexia to me. I had it for yrs. 5'5" and weighed 109lbs, worked out like a maniac, controlled everything I ate and drank.

    I hope she takes care of herself.

    Sid
    She eats well balanced meals. Doesn't skip. It's her underweight that worries me.

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 08:51 AM   #14
    John55
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rosequartz
    well as addictions go.....this seems to be one of the healthier ones.....
    although not having the period should be a signal that she has reduced her body fat considerably because that's what happens to young gymnasts...they don't get their period because they have no body fat.
    that may be a red flag, but I wouldn't worry too much.
    While I appreciate all the posts, especially those point out the danger, I'd say your comments give me some comforts. Yes, her body has very little fat and her legs look very sexy.

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 09:04 AM   #15
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    Re: Wife addicted to treadmill

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hitmen
    I know you said there aren't a lot of books for exercisers to turn it down a notch but there are a ton of "muscle" books that do tell you tom turn cardio down a big notch, especially compared to the cardio she's doing. Maybe you could point her out to some of these books. Also, there's a lot of information about "rest days" out there on the internet that you should also bring up because she obviously isn't incorporating that into her workout either.
    Just found an article from iVillage about "rest day", said at least rest one day a week. My wife is literally 365 day a year no stop exercise.

     
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