100 lb. Club - Cardio - I'm so out of shape!

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02-20-2012, 09:17 PM
I started going to the gym to in early January and have quickly been able to increase my weights and have really enjoyed it. But I don't like any of the cardio machines so I put off doing it. So a few days ago I started walking outside and geez, I can only walk 1.5 miles in 30 minutes and I feel like practically panting at some points on the hills (they are not very big). Please tell me that this is going to get easier. It doesn't feel like it's my heart as much as my lungs that are having a hard time! lol

Madame Souza
02-20-2012, 09:22 PM
Cardio gets better and easier the more you do it. Stick with it and build your endurance little by little. Soon you will be looking back on this post and posting about how far you can walk. Good luck

02-20-2012, 09:23 PM
It will get better! Just keep going and you'll build endurance. I started out exactly the same and now I LOVE cardio. =)

02-20-2012, 09:30 PM
It definitely gets easier! About a year ago I started walking around the lake by my house and at first I could barely get around it and it took like an hour, now I can do the whole thing in about 25 minutes. I break a sweat, but I don't feel like I'm gonna die anymore. Keep at it!

02-20-2012, 09:30 PM
Well I'm glad there's hope for me! :D I'll have to keep that in mind tomorrow when I'm out panting in the cold. This morning when I walked it was 34 degrees which wasn't helping the lung situation but knowing me I'll be complaining when it's 90 and too hot!

02-20-2012, 10:29 PM
It'll get better. I started walking 30 mins on the treadmill 5-6 days per week, it's getting better already in 2 weeks. I walked 1.745 miles this morning. Definitely slow compared to some but that's where i'm at for now. I keep track of it so I can make sure my distance is increasing though.

02-20-2012, 10:39 PM
Yep definitely! I could only last 15 minutes on the elliptical now I can last an 1hr 30minutes. Start with baby steps

02-20-2012, 10:48 PM
Oh those early days of cardio were TORTURE! And not only does it get easier the more you do it, but with every pound, so it's a double whammy! Stay with it. I remember at 235 not being able to go up the stairs without being winded and now I run up them just for fun (cuz I'm a dork like that lol!).

02-20-2012, 11:10 PM
I wanted to suggest that you may want to switch up your routine as well. Try doing different things so you don't get bored... Zumba, and other dance type classes are a great way to get your cardio in without even realizing how hard you are working, plus it is fun! Spinning classes are great too. And it WILL get easier... but remember to recognize yourself for the small accomplishments you reach too!

I agree with you about the weather too! I don't generally like the cold weather... but it is so refreshing after a workout!! :flow1:

02-20-2012, 11:21 PM
Cardio is exercise for you heart muscle. Go slower if you need to. Go less distance. Build speed and distance up over time.

It's just like weight training. You start off where you are and then add more. You don't grab the biggest off the rack and start THERE!


02-21-2012, 03:22 AM
What cardio machines have you tried? I found I hated elliptical at first but now I love it, I couldn't stand spin but today I jumped on a spin bike and really enjoyed it.

Did you have a trainer set you a routine or are you just going with what you want? I was trying to do too much at first, I'd get on the treadmill for 30min and plod away hating it. My trainer suggested 10min on two different machines and it made a big difference.

Also, if you are already outside walking you might want to try the C25K program. Gets you going from not being able to run to being able to run 30min. I started about six months ago, its meant to take 9 weeks but I had to repeat a few weeks and then there were plenty of weeks I didn't run at all. But now I can run for 22min, whereas before I could barely make it through a 30sec run and couldn't even make it through the first week day one session. If you've got android (and I assume apple too) you can get an app for your phone (I use c25K lite) that tells you when to run and when to walk and you can have your music playing at the same time, just hear a little "ding" when its time to change. What I really enjoyed was it stopped me getting bored with walking, it gave me a goal, and its a measurable change in cardio fitness.

02-21-2012, 08:20 AM
Thanks so much for the encouragement! :)

I had a trainer design my program and go through it with me the first time. I actually think I know what I'm doing with weights since I spend years going to the gym when I was young (I'm 47 now). I can tell that I'm comparatively stronger muscle-wise than I am with the cardio. The trainer wanted me to start with 20 min of cardio. I tried the elliptical but could only last 7 minutes on the lowest level and I was DYING. I tried it the next time and could also only last 7 or 8 min so I switched to the LifeCycle and could do 15 min on Level 2. This was so much more comfortable for me and I could actually listen to my IPOD and get into it without just staring at the timer and counting down in my head. However, after a few workouts I decided that I'd rather do my cardio outside if the weather cooperates. I have a treadmill at home, and I'm not a big fan of treadmill workouts but it or the LifeCyle will be my backups if the weather is bad. Oh, and I also tried the Stairmaster and could do 5 minutes after completing the 15 min on the bike. It was a weird revolving staircase type though not the kind I used to love back in the 80s which had pedals. I had the constant feeling that I was going to not place my foot right and fall off.

C25K? It might be something to consider once I lose a bunch of this weight. I have to be extra careful because I have naturally loose joint in my body along with tight muscles so I'm quite injury-prone. At the moment, I know my feet couldn't take the pounding though I'd love to be able to run in the future.

I've heard good things about Zumba. My gym does have some classes but for the most part, they don't work with my current schedule though they do have some water aerobics classes in the evenings that might work. Do they actually help build cardio endurance? I've seen some of the ladies just chatting and floating on their noodles. I've done them before though I don't remember how much it helped my fitness level.

Thanks again!

02-21-2012, 08:38 AM
I'd like to share!

6 months ago I couldn't walk for 10 consecutive minutes (at a "brisk" pace)...now I'm jogging 45 minutes without stopping - in addition to 30 minutes of other cardio workouts, plus weights, during the same trip to the gym.

As a former runner, there were a lot of tears and self-loathing for having gotten so out of shape. I even gave up for weeks at a time.

Eventually, I slowed down and worked within my limits, and eventually I saw some progress - at some point I turned a mental corner, and I was able to challenge myself with every workout.

When I got up to jogging 20 minutes, my strength and endurance seemed to snowball and I got to 45 minutes inside of a month!

C25K is a nice template, just remember to repeat a week when it was a challenge, and only move on to the next week when you feel strong enough.

Emotional/mental barriers were always an issue for me. I was also afraid of injuries, but I think that's just something we tell ourselves when something is physically challenging to do. It was hard, and I was embarassed that all my flab was bouncing around when I worked out... I *HATED* it! But let's face it, we aren't in good enough shape to "train hard", the risk of injury, outside of a muscle cramp, is pretty low.

One thing that motivated me, was watching these 300+lb people on the biggest loser jogging, without injury, day after day. And the one's who do injure themselves are the one's who are whining and complaining that they can't do it...and they fall down all pitiful and helpless. I think attitude can both work against you, as well as for you!

Your attitude, just like your body, needs training. Work on positive thinking, block out the negative thoughts, and you'll get on the training path of your dreams! The mind leads, the body follows.

Good luck!

02-21-2012, 08:57 AM
Wow Espressowhip! I'm very impressed with your progress. It is very inspirational to hear your story. I hope to be where you are one day. :)

Let me ask this, would there be a reason to attempt running (or another higher intensity cardio) when I'm in my heart rate zone (I'm wearing a HRM) just walking? WOuld it whip me into shape faster or something?

02-21-2012, 10:53 AM
I had another thought! I actually decided to get involved in a sport (cycling) for cardio. It was more interesting to me to train for an event than just idly use machines. My husband is doing it with me, or I train with a good friend. You were talking about C25k, that's what made me think of it. Try as I might, I just couldn't get into running :)

02-21-2012, 02:21 PM
I've heard good things about Zumba. My gym does have some classes but for the most part, they don't work with my current schedule though they do have some water aerobics classes in the evenings that might work. Do they actually help build cardio endurance? I've seen some of the ladies just chatting and floating on their noodles. I've done them before though I don't remember how much it helped my fitness level.

Thanks again!

I have been having great success with Zumba. I fell off my plan for a few weeks, and gained some of the weight back, but when I started going back to Zumba, I was immediately able to jump right back in, and my endurance was higher than when I had first started. The weight has been coming off pretty steadily (I also count calories and have just started weight training). I know what you mean about not taking it seriously, just chatting away. I would yell at them if I weren't so out of breath! I guess the main point is, with C25K, aerobics, treadmill, or anything, you get out of it what you put into it. :carrot:

02-21-2012, 07:28 PM
When I started jogging, I started with intervals (Using the HR monitor as a guide)

Jog for 15 seconds, walk for X minutes (trust me, this is enough to start)
And repeat that half a dozen times, but do your normal walk as well.

Find an interval to start with that works for you. For me it was walk for 7 minutes and jog for 15 seconds - so you can see how out of shape I was when I started - even though I had been walking at 115bpm/90 minutes a day for months prior to starting to jog.

If you have a smart phone, download the "HIIT" app, you can customize the interval times to signal you when to start a jog interval and when to start a walk interval (it's helpful). Or if you have a workout app, like mapmyrun, or one of the others, most of them have interval trainers - some are more flexible than others with setting the time of the intervals.

When I first started to incorporate jogging, I could walk much faster than I could jog, so it really was ONLY about target heart rate zones, not about distance or speed. (that was an mental ambush...that jogging was at half my walking speed)

It took forever to build up to 5 minutes jogging with 10 minutes walking, and it was really friggin' painful to get there!!! I can hardly believe I finally got to where I am. It was a long road, but in retrospect, not too long.

I swear by my favorite shoes, if I can do it, anyone can! You won't be strong every day, but do what you can. Be nice to yourself, and just keep at it...it comes, it really does!

02-21-2012, 07:38 PM
I hope I answered your question. I think everything you do will help you obtain your fitness goals.

The trick is to combine your fitness goals with your weight-loss goals. There's that whole trick-your-body theory, by changing up your workout you burn more fat. Jogging is my staple, I do that, and then I do other things like cycling or the evil cross-trainer - that thing kicks my caboose! I like to swim too. I also play badminton and take some classes now and then.

I do lots of stuff simply to keep moving, because, as I said, it all helps! As it stands now, most people who work out on the treadmills near me, are shocked that a woman my size (266lbs) can do what I do, so much so they comment (positively). That makes me feel like a MILLION BUCKS! You'll get there too!

And this time next year, I'll be just another normal-sized runner, and nobody will make comments!

02-22-2012, 10:25 AM
You ladies mentioned sports, Zumba and badminton. These are the things that I'd really like to get back into. Before I got heavy, I used to be more active in general and while I'm a klutz at sports, I would still participate. I'd love nothing more than to be able to play tennis (and golf). I'm not sure if I'm too old to learn these things but it would be great to spend my retirement years being fit, healthy and participating in some of these things.

Thanks Expressowhip for the detailed information. I'm going to incorporate some intervals once my heart isn't up there just from the walking! It does seem like a very efficient way to work out. :)

02-22-2012, 10:42 AM
I'm way out of shape. I am a fan of the treadmill from the past and figure on just lasting 15 minutes at a slow, steady pace 3x/week. I am taking it slow at a pace I can handle. Next week 30 minutes 3x/week and after that increase again by maybe 4-5x/week and see if I can last 30 minutes. I don't feel that anyone should beat themselves down for what they want to accomplish right now. You work it at a pace and stay motivated and patient.
I used to run 3 miles per day 5-7 days/week. I also weighed at most 120 lbs. That was a long time ago. I am not expecting that out of myself now. Hopefully later I can accomplish that once again.