100 lb. Club - Beginner Exercises

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Christine in CA
04-06-2007, 03:28 AM
Hmmm… guess I’m officially no longer a “lurker”… :p

Just wondering how you all got started with exercise when you were at your heaviest? I am really struggling at the moment because EVERYTHING HURTS! I take the dog for a 1-mile walk and my lower back is killing me. I do it again the next night and the next night (all the while holding in my abs) which brings only more and more pain to where I’m practically hunched over. I do Just My Size Yoga and it kills my knees (and wrists), even with lots of padding. I do Richard Simmons’ DVDs and end up with more lower back pain and some knee pain, no matter how much I focus on maintaining good form. I try the Biggest Loser DVD and, not to mention being winded by the “warm up”, have knee pain from all the lunging. I've also done a year of Curves but was only able to use about half the machines due to lower back problems (caused by excess weight). I did purchase a chair dancing DVD that frankly just bored me to death.

What were your first steps to build up to where you are now with the exercise? I feel like I'm stuck in the ol' Catch 22. :( I actually do enjoy exercise, when it doesn't hurt so much!

Thanks for being such a supportive bunch! :wave:


04-06-2007, 06:52 AM
I also suffer with painful joints while exercising, I asked a physio and she recomended only exercising every other day and strapping the joints while exercising to help relieve the pressure. She also said that if cycling for 30 minutes hurts only do 15 minutes and then walk for 15 minutes, by using the joints in different ways you can minimise the strain put on them. Also, I have found stretching is essential, we aren't talking feats of contortion here, just a gentle stretch out of the legs and arms before and after exercise - I've found it really helps with the level of post exercise discomfort. Finally, make sure you don't exercise hard and then just stop, gradually slow down the pace at which you are working and allow your muscles to cool down, then put on a sweatshirt to help your body temperature return to normal more gradually - this should help prevent your muscles getting too sore.

Good luck - remember - it is going to get easier and easier over time!

04-06-2007, 06:57 AM
I have problems with my knees also (combination of weight and falling down 2 flights of stairs years ago) so I had to add exercise in gently. I started out with the Walk Away the Pounds DVD's which was easier for me than walking outdoors where I had to deal with the hills and slopes that put more pressure on my knees. Then I added in 3o minutes - 1 hour a day on the stationary bike. After that I just started throwing in other DVD's (I finally got smart and started checking them out of the library to test them out instead of just buying them). I still have to do modified versions of lunges and I avoid DVD's like The Biggest Loser video's which contain many exercises that put stress on my knees.

If you haven't already tried it, I would advise you to check out some water aerobic classes. With both back and knee pain, I think you would find the water exercises benefical.

Good luck!

04-06-2007, 08:05 AM
Ahhh, the knees. Me too Christine. I started off real slowly. I probably just walked about 15 minutes at a slow pace. I slowly increased. I also started out doing sit ups (I figured it was something you can do laying down), stretching and some arm and leg work. I then discovered dancing. It has been wonderful for me. Again, you can go at whatever pace you need to. Just move your body, everyday more then the one before. Walk in place for 3 or 4 minute spurts through out the day. I made it a rule if I was watching TV to get up and every single commercial. Whether it was to wash dishes in the sink, walk to the back of the house, straightened up magazines or whatever. If somebody needed something in the house, I volunteered to do it. I just kept moving. It will get better as the pounds come off. I think my knees will always be a problem, but now that I am lugging around 114 lbs less it is much better. Good luck. And remember - just move. It burns calories.

04-06-2007, 08:27 AM
From what you've said I'm thinking water exercises would be the best for you now -at least until you build more muscle to support yourself. I think you also would have good luck with the exercise ball because it supports you on crunches etc. and exercises for it are low-impact. Check out "Core Secrets" with Gunnar Peterson.


04-06-2007, 10:26 AM
Welcome to the forum!

I started with Walk Away The Pounds, 1 mile. My knees hurt a bit, but nothing like you are describing. Stretching after every workout helped me tremendously.

I think the ladies gave you some great advice. It does get easier though.

04-06-2007, 10:58 AM
Everyone has already given you some great advice. Walk Away the Pounds would be good, particularly because you'd be doing it on a softer surface (maybe carpet?) than the roads or whatever you may already walk on. Easier on the knees.

I just wanted to tell you that it really DOES get easier. I had to start out a bit slow too because I had some knee pain when I weighed 275, and the ankle I broke two years ago still swells up and hurts. But now I'm running several miles at a time, so you can do it too! The knee pain I had when I first started running has pretty much gone away and only resurfaces a bit when I go over 5 miles on a hard surface. You'll get there -- definitely go with soft surfaces as much as possible, and the water idea is a good one.

04-06-2007, 11:04 AM
Another one here who started with Walk Away The Pounds 1 mile. I slowly built up my endurance and strength.

04-06-2007, 11:07 AM
You start slow :) I actually started with weights and then added in cardio later. Mostly because I had a knee injury where it hurt to walk.

Also, your body is good at building up in its abilities. I say start slow and build up as you go. Also if you are walking, you will need some good shoes.

04-06-2007, 11:46 AM
I agree with everyone. I understand the joint pain and back pain. I still have aches, but it is getting better. I started REALLY slow, walking just about 15 minutes at a fairly slow pace. I didn't lose much weight in the first couple of weeks, but as I've built up to walk more and a little faster, it is starting to come off. Take it easy!!

Of course, I have the morning aches of a 43 year old! Just a little stiff for a few steps!!

becoming wisdom
04-06-2007, 06:24 PM
I was born with subluxating joints (ball-and-sockets where sockets are a bit tight) so for me it's damaged shoulders, hips. I agree with several others above, about starting with water sports and exercise ball to reduce potential strain on joints, and build supportive muscle around them.

If walking doesn't hurt your knees, it will also get more comfortable and enjoyable, after your BMI gets below about 50, or so says my own bariatric doc (hope I've quoted correctly). For me, that translates to about 240 lbs, but it's give-or-take with each individual. That's just in case you get discouraged, and wonder when... Other people on this forum talk about feeling "dancey" way above that, you just need to find something that works for you. It will get easier with even a small weight loss, no matter where you start, and the more weight you carry the more it's like exercising with heavy free weights. So yes, start VERY easy, and listen to your joints, but find a way to get moving!

Good luck to you, it WILL become easier than continuing on as before, you'll see! We're all rooting for you!:carrot:

Christine in CA
04-06-2007, 09:18 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the great responses!

I do have a swimming pool and love to swim and do pool exercises, but won’t be able to use it for about another month. (Anyone aware of a water aerobics DVD??) As for taking classes, I’m absolutely petrified of getting into a swimsuit anywhere outside of my backyard – how on earth do you overcome this?? Heck, I scream if my husband walks into the bedroom when I’m half-dressed! Oh, and when getting in the pool, I wear a cover up and tell him to turn around so I can take it off and get in. :o (What a trooper!)

I guess I take an “all or none” approach to exercise and maybe I’m overdoing it. I feel that if I exercise one day, then skip the next it’s as though I’m not in “exercise mode”. My doctor stresses 30 minutes every single day, but because of the pain, I’ll start for a few days and end up stopping completely. What you’re all saying about working up to it makes complete sense. I need to just listen to the aches and pains of my body rather than push through it, suffering later, then falling completely off the wagon. Maybe it would be beneficial for me to write out my plan (10 minutes/day X number of days this week, 15 minutes/day next week, etc.) so I can feel like I am in “exercise mode”.

Thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to not only read my post, but also offer more great advice. :)


04-06-2007, 09:36 PM
Christine, you are on the right track. Even if you add one little minute to your time each session, that's progress!

04-09-2007, 12:34 PM

Hi! I started exercising with a one mile Leslie Sansone also-thank goodness for her-I don't think I'd have done any exercise if her workouts were not available. I had tried Richard Simmons, and while I loved the music and positive attitude, he does not CUE and I could not follow what he was doing to save my life!

Anyway, when I tried my first one mile Leslie, I could only make it through seven minutes. My whole body hurt, and I felt like crying because I had not realized how out of shape I had become.

Fast forward to the present_ I regularly use her three mile workouts and also do a lot of kickboxing. Just start very slowly, add on a minute or two every couple of days and before you know it, you'll finish a workout.

I really like Leslie's workouts because she tells you it's okay not to finish, as long as you do something.

BTW, I also want to compliment your beautiful smile!


04-09-2007, 12:48 PM
I agree about the Walk Away the Pounds videos. I started out doing the one mile and on some days would do half....the pause it and later do the other half. I also use an elliptical. It is NO impact so it's very easy on joints...however I was very sore for a few days and could only do about 4 minutes when I first started. Now I'm up to 30 minutes...and I love it!

Goddess Jessica
04-09-2007, 03:18 PM
Christine - Walking in the pool is great exercise. No DVD needed. Jumping jacks, skipping, etc, is also worthwhile. Also, when you walk the dog, concentrate on holding your lower abs in (like you're trying to zip up tight jeans). Those muscles support your lower back. The more you can hold them in, the better your back will feel.

04-09-2007, 05:59 PM
Christine, I haven't really started excersising at all. I did last summer and what i did was walk and I started out SLOW. I lost 35 pounds in 6 weeks. I am planning on starting that up again as soon as the snow quits(we have a snow warning for tonight) I tried the biggest loser tape 1 time and barely made it through the first 5 minutes.