Exercise! - How do you get started???

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10-30-2006, 08:40 PM
Where can I begin with exercise when I'm so heavy and out of shape? I know I have to start somewhere, but just thinking of more than 10 minutes of aerobics almost makes me pass out! How did you work up to actual workouts? Will the few minutes here and there of silly dancing while cleaning or playing with the kids go towards boosting my fitness level? I feel so utterly hopeless. Can someone please give me some advice or tips, something to make me feel like I can really do it this time?

10-30-2006, 08:51 PM
walk, walk, walk.

At this point, any movement is better than none, period. When I first started, I was taking 3 mile walks and doing some -very- light strength training with inexpensive and easily transportable resistance bands. Then you can maybe start walking up and down some hills, or explore some sort of walk/jog combination (for example, I worked myself up to where I am today by adding 5 min of jog time total to my walks each week - week 1, I walked 45 min, week 2, I walked 40 and jogged 5 min total split into 30 sec increments throughout my walk, and so on). If you do this 3-4 times per week, you WILL improve your fitness level dramatically.

Others have had great success with the Walk Away the Pounds video series, which I haven't tried.

Start slow, you can build up as slowly as you need to be comfortable. You can do it!

10-30-2006, 08:57 PM
You can do it. Start small. Walk, dance or do any activity that keeps your heart rate up. Start at 5 minutes then see how you feel. If you feel like going longer, go. Try to work up to 7 minutes, then 10 then so on. Walking is a wonderful way to start! Good luck to you! :)


10-30-2006, 08:59 PM
Well, I started out at 272 and used the Walk away the pounds tapes and also walked outside. Whatever you do, start slowly and add just a little more every week or so. You don't want to burn yourself out or injure yourself.

I really liked the tapes by Leslie Sansome (sp?) Maybe you can find a used one somewhere to try out.

10-30-2006, 09:16 PM
I started in July at 275 pounds (5'9"), and I walked for about 25-30 minutes at a time. The key, like everyone else said, is to start slowly and just do whatever you can. The WATP videos are good, especially if you'd rather not do anything outdoors or at a gym at first.

You'll be surprised at how quickly your body adapts to exercise, and how you start actually wanting more. I worked my way slowly up by increasing minutes and intensity each week or two, and now I'm doing 52 minutes of cardio 6 times a week. At least once a week, I'm doing a walk/jog, and I never thought I'd be able to jog or run. Even if you only start with 10 minutes, just increase it to 12 the next week...then 15, etc. Before you know it, you'll be craving exercise, and the pounds will melt off. Come back to this forum and post in the Exercise Accountability thread! I love that thread because it always feels good to post what I've done that day.

10-30-2006, 09:38 PM
I agree, start with, say, 10 minutes a day for 3 days a week That way if you want to do more, you can. But if you tell yourself you're going to do 30 minutes 6 days a week and you don't, you feel that you've failed and you are likely to give up.

I started walking by re-discovering my favorite old HS albums (okay let me date myself...) and listening to them on my Walkman when I walked. It's the only time I allow myself the pleasure of listening to those great old albums. I later bought a treadmill, and similarly, I only allow myself to watch those stupid addictive TV shows or movies that you can never get enough of (Trading Places anyone?)--when I'm on the treadmill.

The point is, I like to build in some kind of "treat" when I'm exercising. I also listen to books on tape -- love it.

Good luck, it's so true, your body really is an amazing machine that WANTS to be healthy. Good luck! You can do it!

10-30-2006, 09:46 PM
Don't feel hopeless! I agree with everyone, walking is great, and something is better than nothing. I've fallen in love with a series of DVDs called 10-Minute Solution that I found on Amazon. They're 10 minute programs and you can set them up to play in a specific order. For example, you can choose to just do the upper body segment, or you can do the upper body segment and abs, etc, etc.

My other favorite exercise is water aerobics. The best thing about water aerobics, or really anything in a pool, is that my muscles feel the burn, but when I get out of the pool, my joints don't ache and hurt. It's also easily adaptable to your fitness level.

Good luck, and have lots of fun! Don't forget to experiment and see what works best for you, your schedule, and your body!

10-31-2006, 07:25 AM
Where can I begin with exercise when I'm so heavy and out of shape? I know I have to start somewhere, but just thinking of more than 10 minutes of aerobics almost makes me pass out! How did you work up to actual workouts? Will the few minutes here and there of silly dancing while cleaning or playing with the kids go towards boosting my fitness level?

You were right all along!
Remember, the basic is ... eat less and move more. 10 minutes of aerobics is more ... dancing with the kids is more ... a 10 minute walk is more.
You've got it my friend ... just do more!

10-31-2006, 07:43 AM
I did it! You can do it! I started at your weight and like the others, just started moving more. WALKING upstairs instead of yelling up to hubby... parking a little further away. Workouts began at 10-15 minutes..

Now, over a year later, I work out weightlifting 2-3 days a week 60 min each, yoga once a week, and some cardio!

BTW, congrats on your loss so far! AND, I see you're new. I invite you to join us on the 300+ board (people starting at or over 300 pounds) -- we're under "support forums". We have a very active exercise thread you might like. We set goals of minutes to exercise per month and track not only our own progress, but tally a group total -- we are striving for 200,000 minutes this YEAR (which is AWESOME!!). It's great for accountability!


Misti in Seattle
10-31-2006, 08:19 AM
Well I will chime in here and agree with the walking. I started at 298 and it WAS hard, yes it was!! :yes: I had to stop and rest, lean on poles, sit on rocks, etc., every few minutes. But you CAN do it! Just do what you can and don't feel as if you should be doing mega workouts. You will be amazed at how quickly you can start doing more bit by bit. Go for it!!!! :hug:

10-31-2006, 08:38 AM
BTW ... I'm not sure I've ever done an actual workout. From start to finish? I don't think so.

10-31-2006, 09:19 AM
I'll put in another good word here for Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds workouts. I am almost 300 pounds and finally woke up one day about 2 weeks ago and just started doing it. I do a 30-minute 2-mile workout DVD with her at least 4 times a week, and it's perfect for me since I can't walk outside at that time (I exercise at about 4:15am, so it's still dark out, and not particularly safe). It's great for those of us who aren't particularly coordinated since it's really basic steps (mostly just walking in place, knee lifts, basic front kicks, and side steps). And she says throughout the entire workout that if you don't feel up to doing something, you can just walk in place or do smaller movements (i.e., you don't have to kick as high or lift your knee as high, etc.).

10-31-2006, 10:13 AM
Thanks everyone! I used to be in great shape, so it's hard to accept the physical limits I have now. I'll check out those ideas and pop in at the 300+ board. :)

10-31-2006, 03:50 PM
10 minute walks to start?

Pfah, I say! When I started, it was walking around the block. I think I might've put in 5 minutes. Maybe 4.

But people are right when they say that stamina builds surprisingly fast. But honestly, you can start with whatever. Sometimes, I know, even starting with a 10 or 15 minute walk sounds daunting, but luckily, you don't have to start there.

10-31-2006, 04:17 PM
I remember reading a story of a woman who walked to her mailbox and back as the beginning of her exercise journey. We all start somewhere.

10-31-2006, 04:58 PM
Hi Fallenangel,
Please be encouraged...you CAN do this, like everyone has said.

When I started at 460 lbs, I could only lay on my bed and do movements along to a Sweatin To The Oldies tape by Richard Simmons. I progressed to doing portions of each song sitting on a chair, to doing the whole 50 min exercise tape while sitting.

And now I also use resistance bands for strength training, do water aerobics 3 times a week at the Y, and use a mini trampoline for about 45 seconds at a time, several times a day...trying to strengthen my legs.

I now don't need my wheelchair, and have progressed to a walker. My goal is to lose weight and get stronger so I don't even need the walker. I have a disease that affects muscle and connective tissue, yet even I can do SOMETHING. And have seen vast improvements.

Someone here has a great saying in there signature line...something like: "If you really want to do this, you will find a way...if not, you will find an excuse." I loved that! It is so true. I decided not to focus on what I can't do...but to focus on what I CAN do. Since the battle is won or lost between the ears, this has really helped me.

I wish you the best of success on your journey to health!

10-31-2006, 05:11 PM
I started exercising at around 340 pounds and in the beginning I could barely walk in front of the TV for 10 minutes. Like others have said, start with 10 and then the next day do 11. Or do 10 minutes once a day and then after a week try 10 minutes twice a day. You might be absolutely amazed at how much you can build up your fitness level if you start off slowly and be careful to never push yourself too hard. One of the reasons I always failed in the past was expecting too much from myself too soon as wearing myself out. Small increases can lead to big things. I now look forward to working out and absolutely love my gym time.

10-31-2006, 05:46 PM
Also something to keep in mind....

Exercise is cumulative. If you exercise some in the morning then feel like you can do more in the afternoon then do so. It all counts in the end.

Just be careful is the biggest thing when doing this. You don't want to push yourself too hard or too fast. :hug: Good Luck on your weight loss journey!

10-31-2006, 10:33 PM
Like Nike says, "JUST DO IT!" We all spend time obsessing about the "right" way to exercise, the "right" plan, the "right" exercises, the "right" amount of time, the "right" intensity and often get so discouraged that we aren't able to measure up to the "right" expectations that we don't do anything at all (aka the "why bother, since I can't do it" syndrome). Start with one foot in front of the other. Don't even call it exercise if you don't want to - call it "getting the mail from the post office", or "walking from the far end of the parking lot to the mall" or "taking the stairs to the office". One step will lead to two, then three, and soon you'll be looking into programs to improve your stamina.
Just start with one foot in front of the other. Today.

10-31-2006, 11:16 PM
freiamaya-- great message! :)

I think the same can be said of the eating part too!!!!! It can be overwhelming, and yet if we just START... a pebble, running down a hill, can start an avalanche!

10-31-2006, 11:49 PM
Did you get some good ideas. I hear ya when it comes to getting motivated. When I come home from work I get out of my work clothes and into my PJ bottoms and my sweat shirt. I then take a cat nap or try to plan dinner. Just 2 years ago I used to run and go to the gym at least 5 times a week. It's all I can do to drive pass a gym and feel guilty for going in. I even have a gym membership and I got it last Feb and I have only used it 2 times.... I did however watched a INFO comercial and I actually ordered it. It was the Windor Pilates. I thought, anything! I hate aerobics. Hate them, hate them...... But the Windsor has the round metal circle that you use. I have only done the 10 minute work out and loved it. I have only done it one time though. Have you heard anything about the Windsor?
How have you done with eating healthy? I try so hard.... but, I fail....

11-03-2006, 04:46 PM
Thanks for all of your replies. :) I remember a doctor telling me some time ago that if I wasn't getting my heartrate up for at least 20 minutes, then whatever I was doing was pointless; I had always thought that it all adds up, so I was pretty discouraged and upset by hearing that. I'll just keep up with my baby steps! I've never tried Walk Away The Pounds or Pilates or anything like that - maybe I'll look into them later this winter when I have a bit more confidence in doing this whole thing. Thanks for the info, and the inspiration! Good luck to all of you on your way to your goals!

11-03-2006, 05:07 PM
Angel - Doctors like that make me want to scream! It makes me so mad because it just discourages people. It is like when you are looking for your first job - no one wants to hire you because you have no experience, and you have no experience because no one wants to hire you. You have to start where you can start.

One thing you can do is try things out through either the library or Netflix. That way you can check things out before buying.

11-03-2006, 05:50 PM
Ugh, I hear ya'll on the evil doctors! Keep up with your baby steps, Angel, because they really DO add up! Every little bit helps. My (awesome) doctor says so ;)

11-03-2006, 11:38 PM
Our local library has dozens and dozens of exercise cd's and tapes...all varieties. You can try them for free, even some you are just curious about but are doubtful about buying. I had fun with all kinds. Some of the titles are hilarious, like these at my library:
Dancing Grannies
Moving to Mozart
Chicken Fat (youth fitness)
Jazzercise Funk
ElmoCyze (Elmo the muppet!)
Cher Fitness (yes, THE Cher!)
Chubby Hubby Workout

If nothing else, you'll get an ab workout laughing at the titles!:D

11-04-2006, 02:53 AM
HI, Just wanted to add to the walking routine...I bought a MP3 player & loaded all my favorite music on it..that way its takes a while to get bored...good luck...you can do it...

11-04-2006, 08:35 AM
I just popped back in to say Loretta ... I am sooooo proud of you. I know people who would rather crawl in a hole and cry than start what you did. I'm very impressed!
Have you posted your story so far anywhere?

11-04-2006, 08:48 AM
I remember a doctor telling me some time ago that if I wasn't getting my heartrate up for at least 20 minutes, then whatever I was doing was pointless; I had always thought that it all adds up, so I was pretty discouraged and upset by hearing that.

Angel - you're right and your doctor is wrong. :) Here's what the latest US government exercise recommendations have to say about it:

The barrier often given for a failure to be physically active is lack of time. Setting aside 30 to 60 consecutive minutes each day for planned exercise is one way to obtain physical activity, but it is not the only way. Physical activity may include short bouts (e.g., 10-minute bouts) of moderate-intensity activity. The accumulated total is what is important—both for health and for burning calories. Physical activity can be accumulated through three to six 10-minute bouts over the course of a day.
(my emphasis added)

Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2005 - Ch 4: Physical Activity (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/chapter4.htm)

Keep up your baby steps - you're doing your body lots of good!! :D

11-04-2006, 10:22 AM
Meg - Wonderful info!!! When my DD was a baby I would do 10 minutes of any exercise 3x's a day. It's the only way I could be consistent.

FallenAngel - Keep going! Every step is helping you!!!! :D :D


11-04-2006, 10:54 AM
My plan is .10 miles per day - matching the day of the month:

Nov 1st = .10 miles
Nov 2nd = .20 miles
Nov 3rd = .30 miles

by the end of the month, I'll be up to 3 miles. So far I've been lucky and gone a little over my goals each day.

This also reminds be of how much my minimum walking distance should be. On Nov 16th, I know I should walk at least 1.6 miles. I think I'll want to do more by the time I get there. When I started walking several years ago, it got to the point I HAD to walk or I just felt "off." In three weeks I'd lost one (or was it two?? Senior moment going on here...) pant sizes. I hadn't lost any weight at all, but several inches.

Speaking of inch loss and not weight loss: I think the scales can be very confusing for some. As I said, when I walked, I lost inches but no weight. If I relied totally on the scales, I would have given up. We all know muscle weighs more than fat.


Deb B. in VA

11-04-2006, 07:39 PM
SusanB wrote: "I just popped back in to say Loretta ... I am sooooo proud of you. I know people who would rather crawl in a hole and cry than start what you did. I'm very impressed!
Have you posted your story so far anywhere?"

Oh, thank you so much for saying that...this last week had been HARD, and I needed to hear that! LOL! But no, I don't feel "ready" to post my story. I am a turtle, taking sooo long. I am NOT dieting, but learning to do this for the rest of my life. So it is a little slower, but permanent. I still have MUCH to learn.

I LOVE what you have at the bottom of your posts:


I am learning a lot from Tom Venuto, who wrote Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle...he talks alot like that...except he includes the importance of MENTAL TRAINING.

Thanks for the encouragement!

11-04-2006, 11:36 PM
Coincidence? I think not. I like Tom Venuto too. In fact we discuss Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle in this thread. Come and join us.