Exercise! - I haven't exercised in eight years. ;>(

02-17-2003, 10:57 AM
Hi! I'm not new to this board (been browsing for a few years, just out of curiosity, but never registered), and I'm hoping that someone out there has some advice for me. My husband and I are extremely out of shape. BIG TIME. We've made the committment to do something about it, but now we're at a loss as to what exactly that might be! ;>( We've started walking two to three times a week at a track nearby, but we really want a more organized, more fulfilling exercise regimen that will still enable us to get results along with the changes we're making in our eating. Joining a gym just isn't going to happen- I feel far to self-conscious, and hubster won't consider it, not to mention the costs involved, which we simply can't afford. I feel more comfortable exercising in the home, for now, and we both want to incorporate some weight and strength training into our plan. I'm wondering a few things:

1) Are there videos or instructional web sites, or anything you can think of that is low-cost, to help us learn how to do weight training? Something that is appropriate for people who haven't exercised in a very long time? We'd like to get some hand weights or some of that resistance tubing and begin that part of it as soon as possible, and honestly, a video would be perfect, because we could watch/do it together, or alone when the other is at work.

2) Have any of you particularly big folks tried a recumbent bicycle in the home? My husband has had back surgery, and really needs the lumbar support that the recum. bikes offer, and they seem affordable, but I'm wondering about how much weight they can support? I've tried looking online, but they never state the maximum weight allowable. The last thing we need is to spend our tight money on a bike that breaks when my hefty behind sits down on it. ;>)

3) Do you know of any yoga or flexibility videos that are targeted specifically to obese people? I really want to include that in my plan, but honestly, some of the positions I've looked at online are just impossible for my body type. I have about 200 pounds to lose, and much as I would like do downward dog I just don't think it's gonna work!

4) Finally, how often should we be exercising? Aerobic and strength/weight training? Should we do these on the same day? Split them up? We're total newbies.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you all. ;>)

Phatgrrl (and don't worry, that name is purely in jest!)

02-17-2003, 12:34 PM
Hiyas :)

I'm by no means an expert on any of this, but I remember when I realized I hadn't exercised in years and needed to get moving, too. At that point I was at about 245.

My personal favorite has always been the treadmill. I plug in the headphones and let my thoughts drift to wherever they wish to go for a period of time. Videos have always gotten too repetative and boring for me, but that treadmill is always whatever I want it to be. I started out just walking for 5 minutes at a relatively comfortable pace. Then after 5 days or so, bumped it up to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20... I found out that unless I'm terrifically motivated that day, the first 20 minutes is almost like a warm-up. After a couple months I was doing incline workouts, alternating walking and running, and sometimes I couldn't MAKE myself get off the darn thing once I'd gone past that 20 minutes, I'd just lose myself in the music and let the endorphins run their course. :) After about 9 months, I was starting to run more than walk, after 10 months, I'd lost 90 pounds and started weight lifting and taekwondo.

But, the treadmill isn't for everyone, it's just the one thing that really works for me.

02-18-2003, 04:51 PM
I also LOVE my treadmill. I first started exercising again on January 1 to start off the New Year. I started out dedicating 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

I still do it faithfully every day!! The great thing about it is you can go at your pace and increase spead, length of time, etc. when you are ready. Also, you exercise in the privacy of your own home and you can wear what you want and don't even have to do your hair.

Believe me, I understand what you mean about out of shape. I was sooooooooo out of shape when I started. Now - only about 1 month and a half later, I FEEL STRONG!!! I FEEL GREAT!!!!

Good luck to you and your husband.

02-18-2003, 07:26 PM

Congratulations to you and your husband for walking together. That is really wonderful !

I have a recumbent bike, and it says the weight limit is 250 pounds. I have lower back problems, and the seat has really nice support. I bought mine in Sears, on sale for $300. It also converts to an elliptical trainer, but that doesn't feel very sturdy to me. Maybe when I lose more weight I'll try it again. I started riding it (again) the beginning of this year. When I started I did five minutes, and have built up to 25 minute workouts.

I didn't buy a treadmill for a few reasons-one I wanted the equipment in my bedroom, and they were huge! The kind that fold up didn't seem well made. Also, the good ones seemed to cost at least seven hundred dollars. I didn't want to spend that much money.

There is a tape for yoga for overweight people. I think the title is Yoga for Round Bodies. I had bought it a long time ago. I'll have to dig it out for more info. Yoga doesn't seem to be my thing. Check on the website collage.com to see if they have it. That webiste sells tons of exercise videos, and has reviews from actual users.

I am starting to use the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds videos. They are great for out of shape people. There is on complicated choreography. (believe me, I'm an uncoordinated klutz) The first tape is an eighteen minute workout, which is a one mile walk. I think the second tape is about thirty minutes for a two mile walk. You can look on collage.com for reviews.

Those tapes are available separately for cheap at Walmart and Target-I think they're only seven dollars each. You could start with the one mile walk-at least if you don't like it, you've only spent seven dollars.

I hope this information helps you.

Best of luck,

02-18-2003, 07:29 PM
As far as weight training , I bought a video called "Fat to Firm" from Prevention magazine. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks very detailed and geared towards beginners.

Maybe check your library-ours has a decent selection of workout videos.

Good luck,

02-19-2003, 09:14 AM
Hi Phatgrrl!
I think it's great that you are looking into exercise and are being creative about it too. One thing I would suggest is swimming. Now, I know it's a bit scary because of public meeting bathing suit, but please hear me out. It is very inexpensive, espcially if you go to free public swims or dollar swims. As well, the early morning swims usually have a few keeners, but mostly seniors, who are moving a much slower pace. Swimming (or water exercises such as streching and aerobics) is very gentle on joints, injured areas, and the water provides support for the entire body. As well, it can be really, really relaxing. Even if you only go once a week, it will definately add some variety into your routine.

One of the easiest ways to begin to exercise is probably to dance! (not ballroom!) but just putting on a favourite CD and moving around however you like. I find it helps if I close the curtains and I am home alone!

As for yoga, I don't have many suggestions, but you could check used book stores and also just start out with general streching before you get into anything more complicated.


02-19-2003, 09:29 AM
Oh shoot, I'd forgotten about swimming. You're right Poppyseed, that's a wonderful one! I remember how terrified I was of going out in public in a bathing suit, but I'd just moved to GA and it was HOT and .. well .. darnit, I wanted to swim! So I did. I lost a little interest in it when the pools got too crowded with unsupervised little kids and teenagers trying to make out. *nose wrinkle* But you made me think about it, I need to find a pool close to where I live now with an adult swim. Thanks!

02-19-2003, 12:24 PM
I worked as a lifeguard and swim teacher for 5 years, so it is definately one of my favourites!