Exercise! - Questions about exercise, please help!

01-08-2007, 12:31 PM
OK, I will readily admit that I am very uneducated in the subject of exercise. If anyone can answer these questions for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Here's the background!

I do exercise daily. While the weather was warm I worked up to walking 3 miles per day, at a pretty good pace. I also changed my route every time I increased the distance, ending up with a route that started out on fairly level ground, then doing about 1 1/2 - 2 miles of up and down hills, then finishing off with another 3/4 mile on the level terrain.

Now with the icky weather and the time change (lately walking in the dark creeps me out) I've switched over to using my elliptical machine every day. I've worked that up to 30-35 minutes, and just recently started playing with the resistance, moving it up and down throughout the cycle.

This week I've added my 3 and 5 pound free weights to the regime, trying to help my strength and that ugly under arm flab. I've been doing about 25 minutes with the free weights during each session.

Now for the questions!

1. What type of routine should I follow? Should I do both the elliptical and the free weights every day, should I alternate, should I use the elliptcal daily and the free weights every other day? UGH! I'm so confused!

2. Are there other things I should be doing? Like aerobics videos or something?

3. DH also has a stability ball that is at my disposal, but I have no idea what to do with it, other than move it when I vacuum!

Thanks for any input! Have a good day!!

01-08-2007, 01:15 PM
1. Depends on your style - some people prefer alternating days of cardio & weights, others like to do both on same day... and some, like me, even incorporate them into the same workout (alternating cardio with weight lifts). Do whichever feels right for you. My personal "usual routine" is 20-30 minutes cardio + 20-30 minutes weights 5 days a week, though I pretty frequently squeeze in extra workouts when I feel up to it.

2. Again, whatever that keeps your body challenged. I personally like videos esp. during cold dark winter (well, as cold & dark as So. California can get :D) ~ you may even want to join a gym on a trial basis. Usually the first session you'll be accompanied by a trainer who can evaluate what your fitness level is and give you tips on appropriate exercises.

3. This article has some great detailed instructions + some pictures of stability ball exercises. http://exercise.about.com/cs/abs/l/bl_core.htm

I also use it as a computer chair @ work & home, which helps with posture and continually engaging the core area.

01-08-2007, 01:29 PM
You should do weights 2-3 times per week and cardio on most days of the week for successful wieght loss.

01-08-2007, 04:59 PM
I can only speak for myself--I do cardio six days a week for 35 - 60 min., but never less than 35 min. Cardio consists of elliptical, rowing, running, and water aerobics. I've found mixing it up keeps it interesting for me psychologically as well as physically. If you do the same cardio daily (and the same amount and intensity), your body starts expecting it so changing it up will help your body release weight better.

I also lift weights six days a week. I have three different weight-lifting programs that target specific areas so I work each area twice a week, with rest in between. When you lift weights, you should leave a day or two of rest in between because that's when your body is repairing the muscle, which makes it stronger.

Don't forget to work on your core area, too. There are some good ball exercises for your core as well as the standard crunches. Stretching is also helpful, especially as you age. Stretching keeps you flexible and less prone to injury.

01-08-2007, 06:00 PM
Wow! Thanks for the info, everyone! I've done the weights the last three evenings in a row, and this morning when I got out of bed I could sure feel it in my shoulders and the front of my underarms (not sure if that made sense, LOL!). Maybe I should alternate which part of my body I terrorize with the weights, and not do the same parts every day.

AquaWarlock, thanks for the site for the stability ball! I see that it IS useful for more than just being in my way, hehehe.....

01-08-2007, 08:29 PM
Definitely do not work out the same muscle group two days in a row and preferably give a 3 day break at least. Do one group of upper body one day, another group the next, legs the next, etc. You will actually be hampering your efforts if you are doing the same body part every day.

01-09-2007, 03:18 PM
Thanks, Nelie, I took yesterday off from the weights and feel much better today as a result.....my armpits, of all things, were KILLING me!!