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Old 03-08-2007, 12:26 AM   #1
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Question exercise options

So, I really want to get into exercise. I'm having trouble deciding what to take up, though. I know the thought of cardio classes annoys the heck out of me. Same for spinning and other gym classes. I think the key is that I want to learn something new, be outside maybe, and not just be in a room playing copycat with no real payoff except the obvious.

I'm still pretty big, 5'2" and 249#. I'm 33 and don't have any health issues. But I'm curious what I can conceivably do and enjoy as a lifetime hobbie, such as - kickboxing, martial arts, skiing, cycling, running, surfing, swimming, etc. Kickboxing, for example, at what size does it just become frustrating? That's my concern, starting something that I'd have the real potential to enjoy and getting frustrated due to my size instead. I'd like to be able to hike mountains with my friends, ski with them, swim in the lakes, etc.

I watch FitTv alot. I'd like to take up pilates for my posture, but you don't see fat chicks doing that? And, yoga, those positions are insane for fat folks. I mean, my god, what?! are they thinking! The kickboxing shows are too intense for me, I give up halfway through but I do enjoy them. The rebounder show looks kinda fun as a rare option in the house, but I don't have a rebounder. Still thinking about getting one. But, the cardio blast and other cardio related shows, ANNOYING! It's the music, the teacher, the class structure, everything about it. So sterile and forced? I'd like to buy a treadmill (so I can walk/run while watching my many tv shows), a real bike+trainer (so I can ride indoors), and a rebounder. Those are all indoor stuff only, though.

Let me know if you know of other potential exercises that don't feel like "exericse" just for the sake of "exercise". Sorry for the length of this.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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You just keep at it. My first "thing" was the recumbant bike. I started at seven minutes, then upped the time a little once a week until I was up to 30 minutes. By that time, I was pretty tired of it, and ready to move on to something else.

Which was kickboxing. I got a DVD. I was terrible at it, but I did it regularly for about a few weeks until I was reasonably successful. Then I went to a class (the cardio class, not real kickboxing) and stayed with that until I was reasonably successful. I felt like I accomplished something. I got exercise through the winter, then I moved on. I'm glad I tried it. I enjoyed improving. But it wasn't my thing.

When the weather got better, I started running. I trained for a 10K race, and ran it last July. I did a half marathon in October. Right now I'm training for a 25K. I like training for races. I think this will remain my main thing.

Meanwhile, I've improved my swimming, enjoyed some kayaking, and I'm planning to become a better bike rider this summer.

As your fitness improves, all of it becomes more fun. But I'm the "pick a goal and chase it" type. After I've reached the goal, then I decide whether to bag it and move on to something else, or do another goal with that activity.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:55 AM   #3
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The world is your oyster when it comes to exercising. You have a great list there to start with. Just pick your favourite one and run with it. If you don't like it go on to the next until you find something you like. My favourite things to do are: I love biking been doing that forever and ever since my teens, weight training been doing that for 22 years , I rollerblade in the summer, I've been running and doing that for the last 4 years, now I swim which I started 2 years ago. In between those favourites I've done aerobics, yoga, water aerobics... Just just keep trying till you find your favourite exercise ...

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
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Just wanted to add that if you are a beginner exerciser to start out gradually with maybe walking and some light freeweights as a starter...
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:36 AM   #5
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Dance Dance Revolution.

I was a dork at it for the first month or so but am proud to say that I'm now pretty darn good.

It's terribly addicting and doesn't feel like exercise in the traditional sense at all. At least for me it doesn't. Plus it's a skill that you work at to get better and better so there's some gratifying self-esteem benefits as well if you keep at it and don't give up.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:15 AM   #6
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ifonly - the only thing that truly limits you is your imagination and the belief that you can't do something. I started seriously hiking at nearly 300 lbs, although even over 300 lbs I did some minimal hiking. Hiking is my preferred activity now although I'm thinking of doing some form of martial arts soon.

You will need to start slow though for any activity and build up. When I started hiking, I couldn't do very steep hills very well. I'd take tons of breaks and at a certain point, my legs would give up. Although for flat terrain, I can go for miles without a problem. Now I can do steep hills for an extended period of time with no breaks at all. It is because I have built up my stamina for hiking. The stamina doesn't always translate into other activities though so if I want to do something else, I have to build up as well.

Anyway, if you find something you really want to do, go ahead and do it. Build up in it and you will improve over time.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:33 AM   #7
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I love yoga. I'm almost always the only fat girl in class, but I don't care anymore. My instructor is amazing and has never made me feel intimidated... she's very encouraging and positive. Sure, it takes awhile to learn the poses, but I can do all of them now.. except the inversions, my stomach gets in the way! Oh well... a good instructor will show you other options for the poses you can't master yet. I've also seen people who are thin and "look fit," whatever that means, struggling to do some of the poses, so I don't really think larger people are at too much of a disadvantage.

Pilates, too! In those kinds of classes, you just start out and do what you can. I only went to a few classes and prefer yoga, but pilates is great too.

Just wanted to chime in on that... the poses look crazy, but they're not impossible with a little pratice!
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:41 AM   #8
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I also say try everything. When I started this the only exercise Iíd ever really done (on purpose anyway) was swimming. As I tried new things I discovered I also enjoy yoga, pilates, rollerblading, freeweight lifting, and I can even tolerate jogging (afraid Iíll never be able to say I enjoy it, but I did c25k and I can jog, to my surprise ).

Also, be patient with yourself. Try to focus on weather or not youíre enjoying the activity rather than weather or not youíre doing it up to whatever standard you think you should. You will get there, but everyone has to start somewhere and build up.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djs06 View Post
I love yoga. I'm almost always the only fat girl in class, but I don't care anymore. My instructor is amazing and has never made me feel intimidated... she's very encouraging and positive. Sure, it takes awhile to learn the poses, but I can do all of them now.. except the inversions, my stomach gets in the way! Oh well... a good instructor will show you other options for the poses you can't master yet. I've also seen people who are thin and "look fit," whatever that means, struggling to do some of the poses, so I don't really think larger people are at too much of a disadvantage.
Exactly. When I took a beginning yoga class, I had the same concerns and my instructor had informed me that size doesn't matter (sorry guys). Ahem...anyway...

She said that yoga was all about flexibility. That you stretch and you gain flexibility. And that anyone of any size could have flexibility or not. We had people of all sizes in the class, and size did not seem to be an issue as to how well anyone could do the poses.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Let me know if you know of other potential exercises that don't feel like "exericse" just for the sake of "exercise".
I think most apparatus exercise indoors is going to feel like exercise for the sake of exercise.

You say that you'd like to be able to hike and swim and ski with your friends. So why not start out by walking more and maybe joining the Y so that you can swim offseason? (Sorry, can't help with the skiing.)
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:21 PM   #11
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Default thanks for advice

MissDee: There's a local female only kickboxing class near me, that's really grabbed my interest. It's on my list to call them and discuss their beginner program. Plus, they have a month bootcamp of sorts and everybody seems to really enjoy them, bit and small folks. From what I understand, the leader really works with all the girls he takes in to help them reach their goals. The place is oriented to self-defense kickboxing for females.

BattlingTheBulge: DDR is one that I like and it's indoors. I'm not even too much of a dork at it.

djs05: Your yoga teacher sounds awesome. I found some yoga classes that specialize in plus-size students. I'm going to check that out. I think the pace might be easier to keep up with.

I've tried the coolrunning program, mostly just walking/jogging around my house, and while I didn't hate it, it sure seemed boring. But, then I started combining that with The Daily Show in the mornings and that kept me interested enough to keep going. That's why I want to get a treadmill and/or bike for indoors, so my tv time can be more um, active?

I've love to try kayaking, but can't figure out how I'd fit my bigbutt into a kayak! lol And, swimming, I used to love that. But, there's no way I'd inflict my bigbutt on the general public these days. So those two, I'd love to do again, but they're further down the list.

I love biking and still have incredibly strong legs. But, I haven't ridden in years and I miss it all the time. I just can't picture my bigbutt on a bike, though!
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:46 PM   #12
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ifonly -- Stop that negative self talk about your big butt... Get swimming and biking and you butt will thank you ...
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:07 AM   #13
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The main thing about exercising is actually getting to the gym or track. Once you are there, it's a piece of cake. Mmm..cake! lol, no but seriously, if you can just make it to the place of where you're going to exercise (and not skip it!) you will be fine. NO EXCUSES!
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
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ifonly -- Stop that negative self talk about your big butt... Get swimming and biking and you butt will thank you ...
Your butt will thank you even more if you install a wide gel seat on that bike.
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:07 PM   #15
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I have seen a picture of Oprah in a Kiyak....before she lost weight, Her first book with Bob Greene.

Of all the stuff I have, my indoor favs. are a good treadmill and the rebounder. I don't like the DVDs for the rebounder, I use music instead and alternate it with free wts. sets for 20 mins. of quick interval routine.
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