Exercise! - sedentary beginners




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VioletDolphin83
10-20-2013, 03:16 AM
I read somewhere that a person who is a beginner and have had a sedentary lifestyle has to start with only 5 minutes a day of exercise or can they start with 10 minutes if they want to? It feels like whenever I start a new exercise program that I'm doing hardly any exercise for ages. I also read that a person with a sedentary lifestyle can only increase the exercise by a minute per week at max. That would mean it would take 6 months just to get to half an hour of walking.:(


Frances123
10-20-2013, 07:59 AM
I get bored really easily, so I have to do exercise classes. When I was 265 pounds, I did exercise classes at my gym, but I modified the tough moves and only did what my body could do. I still got a GREAT workout, and as I lost weight/my fitness improved, I could do more and more. If you have major physical limitations (knee/back issues), there are lots of water classes, plus low-impact things like the elliptical and stationary bike.

It's important to find something that you like, though. Do you like walking? Swimming? Biking? If there's something you even faintly like, do it! And don't quit! A lot of people start diet and exercise programs and stop after a week or so. Make a schedule with increasing intensity and keep to it, NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how you feel (motivated/not motivated). Make it a part of your routine. And try different things. Did I think that I'd love kickboxing before I tried it? No. Spin class? No. But I tried both and I am HOOKED. There are lots of fitness boards on Pinterest with motivational sayings that inspired me, too, and I set fitness goals as I got better. Reaching those goals, and seeing how exercise was changing my body, was pretty exciting!

About the 5 minutes, I'd say no, personally. I would get cleared by a doctor first if you are severely overweight, but I would say to start at 15 - 30 minutes. If you join a gym, you can usually get discounted sessions with a personal trainer who can evaluate your fitness level and goals and put you on the right path.

Just keep going - you can do it - challenge yourself - and exercise DOES become fun (for me, anyway!)!

VioletDolphin83
10-20-2013, 08:31 AM
I've already got cleared by a doctor for exercise infact I've had a doctor suggest that I exercise. I live in a rural area and there are no gyms or personal trainers anywhere close by, I would have to go to the nearest city and that is over an hour of driving away. The reason I haven't stuck with any exercise program so far is because I feel as if I'm getting nowhere with it if I only have to start with just 5 minutes when I can comfortably do 10-15 minutes at a time. Sticking to just 5 minutes in a day gives me a lack of interest.


kaplods
10-20-2013, 09:59 AM
I've never read anything like this from a reputable medical source. Everything I've read advises folks to start wherever they comfortable can, whether that's 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or 1 minute.

If you try to push yourself like you see people being pushed on weight loss shows, you likely will injure yourself and lose motivation.

It can be difficult to know when and how hard to push yourself, but you will get to know your body's limits. Do not ignore pain or even discomfort or fatigue, especially at first.

When I started, I couldn't even stand for 5 minutes, so 5 minutes of exercise was too much. I started with a step counting pedometer and set myself the challenge every day to take more steps than I did the day before.

I still can't "exercise" in the sense of raising my heartrate for any significant time (except in the water).

Do what you can comfortably, whether that's 5 minutes or 45.

susan1975
10-20-2013, 10:54 AM
I started with 10 minutes on my treadmill every single day. It was a slow process but now I am up to 1.5 miles in 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. That is starting to get easier for me so I am going to add 5 more minutes in starting this Monday. Remember anything you can do is better than nothing.

Frances123
10-20-2013, 11:57 AM
If you can comfortably do 10 - 15 minutes of walking, that's a great place to start. But remember that you do need to challenge your body, so I'd personally increase it to the point where you can tell it's 'work' for your body. That's when you will start to see change.

I'm not a doctor or personal trainer, but I *am* someone who's been morbidly obese at various times in my life and talked to doctors, different personal trainers, nutritionists, and others who've exercised at various levels of health. I have known people who were well over 100 pounds overweight who did the Couch to 5K program after being cleared by a doctor with no ill effects on knees, etc. You just have to find something that works for you and challenges your body.

Ligapramim
10-20-2013, 09:35 PM
I've never read or heard of anything like that. What I've heard, however, is to do what you're most comfortable with and not to push yourself so much.

Wannabeskinny
10-21-2013, 09:22 AM
I've already got cleared by a doctor for exercise infact I've had a doctor suggest that I exercise. I live in a rural area and there are no gyms or personal trainers anywhere close by, I would have to go to the nearest city and that is over an hour of driving away. The reason I haven't stuck with any exercise program so far is because I feel as if I'm getting nowhere with it if I only have to start with just 5 minutes when I can comfortably do 10-15 minutes at a time. Sticking to just 5 minutes in a day gives me a lack of interest.

Are you listening to your doctor or are you listening to some bit of arbitrary information you don't even know where it came from? Stick to the facts, the doc says you have to exercise so start there. If you're not interested in sticking to 5min a day what makes you believe you can stick to 10-20min? I'm really not understanding the dilemma here. This whole business of adding a minute every week or whatever is dumb, someone made that up for a specific person, perhaps someone who was morbidly obese and couldn't do much possibly. The premise however is correct, start with a little and then add a bit every day or every week to accommodate your growing strength and endurance.

Do what you can, set a small goal and reach it. It could be walking for 15min, do that today. If you finish that and you feel good at the end of it, and you don't have any kind of joint pain or excessive lethargy afterwards, and if you don't wake up all sore and disgruntled then that means that walk was within your limits. Next day push it to 20min and reassess. The point is you have to set up goals for yourself and you have to start understanding what your limits are. For example, I know that I can walk 3miles and feel great the rest of the day. I also know that I cannot walk 6miles without feeling horrible at the end of the day. I know what I can do and what I can do but I only know that because i pushed myself little by little. After you exercise you should feel warm, a little tired but also have plenty of energy left, a few hours later you should still feel energized and the next day it's ok to feel a little sore but not lethargic. That's how I gauge it.

kaplods
10-21-2013, 01:40 PM
Are you listening to your doctor or are you listening to some bit of arbitrary information you don't even know where it came from? Stick to the facts, the doc says you have to exercise so start there. If you're not interested in sticking to 5min a day what makes you believe you can stick to 10-20?

This is an extremely good point, and needs to be addressed head on.

We've been led to believe a lot of BS regarding health, wellness, fitness, and weight loss. And a lot of it, we don't even realize we believe, even as it leads us to sabotage our efforts time and time and time again.

Things like:

5 minutes of exercise "doesn't count"

I'm not really exercising unless I go to a gym

I'm not getting any benefit unless I exercise until I feel severe pain or throw up (thanks for that Biggest Loser).

If I don't see impressive weight loss results immediately, or if I see a small temporary gain from water weight (which the body needs to repair and recover) it means the exercise isn't helping.

Only 30 minutes of sweating hard, or an hour at a comfortable pace "counts" and if I don't have the time or a convenient place, or if I can't do the minimum, it's not worth the effort.

These are all "normal" thoughts and beliefs and they're all complete BS. Start wherever you can. Increase as you feel comfortable. If you hurt yourself learn from your mistakes. If you're bored, find a way to be less bored (for me, music helps).

There are a thousand and one excuses you can use to avoid exercise. Boredom, impatience, and procrastination are at the top.

"Sticking to just 5 minutes a day" is NOT what is giving you a lack of interest. It's your lack of interest that is fueling the inner voices that are choosing to be uninterested and finding a way to justify the lack of interest.

The advice to start with 5 minutes was once unheard of. Then, weak, busy and sedentary people identified lack of time or inability as a demotivator.

You choose your motivators and demotivators, they do not choose you. Whether you start with 30 minutes or 1 minute, you choose whether, when, and why to gain or lose motivation.

Also, unless you remember and respect the source, "I read somewhere" just doesn't cut it as a reputable source of information. People can and do say and write all sorts of untrue crap. People's memories for written material is also unreliable. If you found and reread the original material, you might find that it came from a tabloid or other notorious source, or that the advice was geared towards a very specific group to which you do not belong (such as people barely able to stand, like I was)

Sound advice gets repeated by reputable sources, so rather than rely on your memory of "I read somewhere" advice, go directly to the reputable sources. The internet can be helpful, but only if you can evaluate and verify the reputation of the source.

This is a rhetorical question, so you don't have to answer, but if you went to the trouble to get cleared for exercise, why didn't you ask your doctor, when you had the chance, what type, intensity, and duration of exercise he had in mind?

If he had given you the "5 minute" advice, he might have had a good reason (and you should then ask more questions to find out those reasons and if this is a guideline or a requirement and the doctor's reasoning behind the advice).

You can always ask your doctor, "Is there any reason, I can't....."



I know I've thrown a lot at you, but this is really important stuff. There's so much crap advice "out there" that it's really important to develop the skills that will allow you to identify and sort through the crap to find the treasures of reliable information.

Wannabeskinny
10-21-2013, 03:14 PM
Well said kaplods we often find too much information to process well. You have to be careful who's advice you follow.

VioletDolphin83
10-21-2013, 10:39 PM
This is an extremely good point, and needs to be addressed head on.

We've been led to believe a lot of BS regarding health, wellness, fitness, and weight loss. And a lot of it, we don't even realize we believe, even as it leads us to sabotage our efforts time and time and time again.

Things like:

5 minutes of exercise "doesn't count"

I'm not really exercising unless I go to a gym

I'm not getting any benefit unless I exercise until I feel severe pain or throw up (thanks for that Biggest Loser).

If I don't see impressive weight loss results immediately, or if I see a small temporary gain from water weight (which the body needs to repair and recover) it means the exercise isn't helping.

Only 30 minutes of sweating hard, or an hour at a comfortable pace "counts" and if I don't have the time or a convenient place, or if I can't do the minimum, it's not worth the effort.

These are all "normal" thoughts and beliefs and they're all complete BS. Start wherever you can. Increase as you feel comfortable. If you hurt yourself learn from your mistakes. If you're bored, find a way to be less bored (for me, music helps).

There are a thousand and one excuses you can use to avoid exercise. Boredom, impatience, and procrastination are at the top.

"Sticking to just 5 minutes a day" is NOT what is giving you a lack of interest. It's your lack of interest that is fueling the inner voices that are choosing to be uninterested and finding a way to justify the lack of interest.

The advice to start with 5 minutes was once unheard of. Then, weak, busy and sedentary people identified lack of time or inability as a demotivator.

You choose your motivators and demotivators, they do not choose you. Whether you start with 30 minutes or 1 minute, you choose whether, when, and why to gain or lose motivation.

Also, unless you remember and respect the source, "I read somewhere" just doesn't cut it as a reputable source of information. People can and do say and write all sorts of untrue crap. People's memories for written material is also unreliable. If you found and reread the original material, you might find that it came from a tabloid or other notorious source, or that the advice was geared towards a very specific group to which you do not belong (such as people barely able to stand, like I was)

Sound advice gets repeated by reputable sources, so rather than rely on your memory of "I read somewhere" advice, go directly to the reputable sources. The internet can be helpful, but only if you can evaluate and verify the reputation of the source.

This is a rhetorical question, so you don't have to answer, but if you went to the trouble to get cleared for exercise, why didn't you ask your doctor, when you had the chance, what type, intensity, and duration of exercise he had in mind?

If he had given you the "5 minute" advice, he might have had a good reason (and you should then ask more questions to find out those reasons and if this is a guideline or a requirement and the doctor's reasoning behind the advice).

You can always ask your doctor, "Is there any reason, I can't....."



I know I've thrown a lot at you, but this is really important stuff. There's so much crap advice "out there" that it's really important to develop the skills that will allow you to identify and sort through the crap to find the treasures of reliable information.

It seems a lot of assumptions are being made here. My reason for not sticking to exercise in the past is to do with the fact I suffer from depression (I also suffer from other mental illness and more serious than that but I don't want to mention it) and it causes me to change my mind a lot on the exercise routine I'm doing. The doctor didn't say only do 5 minutes of exercise they suggests I do 30 minutes on most days of the week or work my way up to it and for it to be low impact exercise like walking, swimming or cycling etc. I don't understand why I have to mention this as I didn't say the doctor hadn't been specific or that I hadn't talked in depth with the doctor, again another assumption being made. I did say it was something I read so the 5 minute thing isn't doctors advice. I got it from a website and there are plenty of supposed health and exercise websites that recommend starting at 5 minutes of exercise if you are sedentary, however I find that too easy.
When I was younger and fitter I really enjoyed exercise and when I was a kid I did at least an hour a day. Throughout my teenage years I also did a lot of exercise. I've spent more than half my life being thin and want to get back to that. My hubby is morbidly obese and I guess his habits rubbed off on me and I ended up putting on a lot of weight. So I'm no stranger to exercise. It's just that because I was exercising at such a young age, I can't remember how I got the fitness in the first place.

kaplods
10-21-2013, 11:19 PM
The only assumption I made about you was that you would assume that anyone posting was trying to bechelpful and that you would understand that any advice you might get, might or might not apply to you, and that you'd take what you found helpful, and would ignore what didn't apply to you.

I gave generic recommendations and recommendations based on my experiences because that's the only kind I can give without knowing more about you than I have time to learn.

When giving generic advice to a stranger, the only way to have a chance of being helpful is to tailor the advice to the broadest possible audience from the person who knows nothing about the topic to the person who holds an advanced degree in the field.

I stand by the generic advice - but it is generic advice. None of it may apply to your specific situation. I'm also not thinking only of you when responding, but also to the many others who might have a similar problem, so I tend to try to give advice that I think will have the potential to help the most people. Not only because that's the only way I might give you (who I don't know) helpful feedback, but so it might help more people than just you.

Unfortunately, there's always a very good chance of disappointing or offending someone, because you don't know them and they don't know you.

I stand by my generivc advice: Seek out specific health and fitness advice from reputable professionals, not random sources (not even random strangers, such as myself, on a weight loss board). Talk to your doctor first and foremost, because he or she knows a lot more about your body than random strangers.


I'm sorry my advice was not helpful to you. Hopefully it will be helpful to someone else who reads it. None of it is meant to fully apply to anyone. That's the risk you take when you give or request advive to/from strangers. Some of it will apply, but most of it won't and that's why it's usually better to get the advice from someone who can tailor fit it to you specifically, rather than getting it from a complete stranger who has to guess what you need or respond (as I tried to) in the most generic way possible.

DrivenByAmbition
10-22-2013, 08:17 AM
Just don't believe everything you read unless there have been reputable studies behind it. Also, understand people are on this website to be helpful or wanting help. If you do not want advice that may change your original opinion, don't ask for it.

kaplods
10-22-2013, 10:19 AM
I wanted to add that you did and do not have to share anything about yourself that you do not wish to. However the less you mention, the less likely responses to your post will apply to your situation.

I also see that I did make one other assumption I forgot to address. OF COURSE I assumed that you didn't have an in-depth conversation with your doctor, because if you had, why on earth would you believe a random website over your physician?

Also, while many websites suggest starting with 5 minutes, it's usually stated as a suggestion, not as a strict mandate and the 1 minute increase per week is NOT common advice (and again, even if it were, your doctor would still be a better source of information than any website that knows nothing about you).

Depression and other mental health issues can make it difficult to clearly assess the value of advice you might hear or read. Unless the source of the recommendations come from a health professional who knows you well, most of the advice will be of little or no use to you.

This site is a great place to get opinions, but that's all they are. None of us can know enough about you to guarantee good advice.

Ask your doctor if there's a reasoon you should start with 5 minutes and not more. If the doctor already told you where to start, then start there.

Or just do what is comfortable. It's hard to hurt yourself with low impact exercise like swimming, walking, and cycling done at a leisurely pace, but that is ASSUMING you have no physical limitations.

But again, your doctor or even your psychiatrist (if you have one) is a more reliable resource than random strangers and weight loss websites.

I have a master's degree in psychology and have studied (to a limited degree) exercise physiology for sedentary and disabled, but you have no proof of that, AND I don't know enough about you to give better advice than your doctor.

You've been given good advice (even if you discount everything I have said) but it isn't better advice than you could and should be getting from your doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist.

The rest of us are just strangers and website bloggers with opinions. Not a bad place to start BEFORE talking to your doctor, but if you've already talked to your doctor, then follow his or her advice.

VioletDolphin83
10-22-2013, 11:03 AM
You've gotten the complete wrong impression from what I said. I know I don't have good communication skills. My posts are short and simple because of communication difficulties due to mental illness. I actually have taken into account some of the advice in this thread and have already put it into practice with some good results so far. I've already been to the doctor and asked questions multiple times and gotten advice. I've had a lot of health checks etc as my psychiatrist insists upon them and go to the doctor regularly. I have already been told by the doctor all this but the problem was I guess that I didn't really trust them fully. There have been times when I've had bad experiences with doctors and had to go to another doctor for a second opinion. I wanted to get the additional opinions of people I know are exercising and want to know their opinions. I don't understand why this thread has so much discussion, I mean I could be guessing here, but your repeated replies mean you are annoyed with me?

Wannabeskinny
10-22-2013, 11:32 AM
Nobody is annoyed. We've given the best advice we possibly can under the circumstances. Only you know yourself. If you think you can handle more than 5min of exercise then do so. Build up slowly and trust yourself. You don't need permission from anyone (including a doctor) to get up and get moving. Go at your own pace and push yourself little by little.

kaplods
10-22-2013, 05:40 PM
If I were annoyed, I would telly you so, or I would simply have chosen not to write a second post. Instead, I took the time and effort to clarify my advice. And because of my current health and pain issues, I just don't bother with people who annoy or stress me.

My repeated attempts to clarify my advice were motivated by respect and a desire to help, otherwise I wouldn't have wasted my time.

Good luck and best wishes with however you choose to proceed.

VioletDolphin83
10-23-2013, 05:09 AM
It seems to be a misunderstanding. Sorry about that. I took on some of the advice and ideas in this thread. I'm sticking to a comfortable amount of exercise, which seems to be 11 minutes and have bought a pedometer. Thanks for the advice! :)

Wannabeskinny
10-23-2013, 09:08 AM
A pedometer is great! It helps me think of every step as being important, not just while I exercise but for the whole day. Everyday when I put on my pedometer it switches me on to active-mode and I shoot for 10,000 steps a day.

VioletDolphin83
10-24-2013, 07:34 AM
It will be a long time until I get to 10,000 steps a day, lol. Still figuring out how this one works.

kaplods
10-24-2013, 10:57 AM
When I started, I couldn't even stand for 5 minutes. I did clip a pedometer to my shoe, through the laces (a tip from a friend, after I complained that I kept losing pedometers and forgetting to clip them on).

I set myself the goal every day of walking more steps than the day before.

At first, my steps were in the hundreds. Every morning, I would write the step total for the day before on the calendar for that day. At the end of the week, I'd write the week's total on the calendar. At the end of the month, I'd write the month's total.

I got out of the habit, but I think I'm going to start that up again.

VioletDolphin83
10-25-2013, 11:01 PM
Clipping the pedometer to my shoe is a good idea. I'm having trouble getting it to detect my steps when it is clipped to my waist band so hopefully it will work better there. It seems like I average about 900 - 1000 steps a day, which isn't much but I've noticed it can vary a lot from day to day. Using a calendar for step totals is a good idea! :)

Lolo70
10-25-2013, 11:32 PM
I started with 30-day shred by Jillian Michaels. It is about 30 min/day 6x per week. I was totally out of shape and had heart problems. The first couple of days I was almost passing out after 10 min. But I liked JMs style and continued. The results came fast and I still find her exercises produce amazingly efficient results. I downloaded a couple of more moderate and easygoing exercises before moving on to JM, but found I needed to be challenged. I also liked how fast my stamina improved and inches melted away. I think working out on a regular basis will help both with weight loss motivation and depression issues. You just have to find something that you like.

Wannabeskinny
10-26-2013, 11:17 AM
I clip the pedometer to my bra strap or to my jacket pocket when I work out. When I'm out and about shopping or whatever it's usually in my purse and it's very accurate.

VioletDolphin83
10-27-2013, 11:25 PM
Mine doesn't count steps when I have shoes on. Maybe I have it on the wrong setting or something. I wish it had come with instructions.

kaplods
10-28-2013, 12:42 AM
Mine doesn't count steps when I have shoes on. Maybe I have it on the wrong setting or something. I wish it had come with instructions.

Try checking online for instructions, using your brand name in your search.

A bit off topic, but I have found the cheapest models are usually the easiest to use. They tend to be a little less accurate, but I figure their easier instructions make up for it. For me, if I can't remember how to reset or change settings on a pedometer, I'm less likely to use it.

I tend to favor the $3-$4 models from Walmart, Target, and Fleet Farm/Farm & Fleet.

VioletDolphin83
10-30-2013, 12:26 AM
I got a cheap pedometer ($3) about a year back. I decided to try it out after your post. I must admit, in some ways the cheaper ones are better. It's really easy to figure out how to use and I didn't have to enter in any info. I attached it to my sock or shoe, whatever I was wearing at the time and tried it out for the day. I ended up doing over 3200 steps. I didn't have any problem with wearing shoes with this one. I've also got a treadmill I've been using. So everything seems to be going good now.