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How do I go from couch potato to being fit?

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Old 09-15-2014, 05:16 AM   #1
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Default How do I go from couch potato to being fit?

I would like to start exercising, but I am not sure where to start. I am thinking I would just start with walking. I am prone to shin splints so I need to wear good shoes and slowly work my legs to getting stronger. I don't have anyone to go with. I know some places to start and once I am fit there is a trail hiking group I could join. I just have no plan. Any advice on how to get moving?
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:54 AM   #2
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Start with an easy exercise like walking and then build your fitness up a bit. After you've done that then experiment with different types of exercise to find something that suits you. Do a few days of resistance training each week too. The important thing is to find something you enjoy because that will help motivate you to exercise regularly. Make sure you get approval from your doctor before starting exercise too.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:59 AM   #3
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Thank you.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #4
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There's only one way to start and that's just to put your shoes on and get out there. You don't need anyone to go with you, that's not real motivation anyway. You don't need motivation either, you just need some shoes and the time to go out there.

It's very important to enjoy what you are doing and you can accomplish that by remaining mindful during your walk. Pay close attention to how your body feels, how your surroundings make you feel. Extract the good feelings about it. Try not to let your mind wander to dieting or losing weight - nothing kills an exercise buzz quicker than thoughts about calories. Let exercise be joy, not punishment for weightloss.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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You might want to get a pedometer to keep track of your steps. Take walks and try to do a little more each day. Small increases will add up over time.

Some people here like a program which I believe is called couch to 5K. Here is some info: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml. There should be some info on this website about it as well. However, you don't need to do a program...you just need to move more.

I do think resistance training is a great way to boost your fitness as well as to increase metabolism. I have some kettle bells and I think they're a great tool. There are a lot of youtube videos that show great kettlebell exercises.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #6
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I started small. I picked a daily workout off of Pinterest, and just did it everyday. And some days were WAAAAY harder than others to get of the couch, but you just have to make yourself. I've gone through bouts of working out for 4 days in a row but then that 5th day I let myself mope around on the couch and then I can't get back into my workout schedule for another week...you have to be diligent about doing it! I promise, it isn't always hard. The more you do it, the easier and more of a habit it becomes. Once you get used to a schedule, you can test the waters and try some other things. I naturally progressed from a small strength circuit everyday, to following a Zumba schedule. I did Zumba for months, and then progressed into kickboxing/cardio, and from there to a full on strength training program. I never imagined I would be here now, but I owe it all to starting on that first day.

Another suggestion I have is to pick a workout that comes with a schedule. That helped me a lot, too. Like the Zumba DVDs that came with a packet of workout schedule options, or this program I'm doing now that maps out for you when you will work out, and what work out you will be doing. It helps take some of the guesswork out for a beginner!

Hope you find something that works for you.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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I just wanted to echo what everyone said about starting small. I would also encourage you to join the monthly exercise challenge on this board! It's a challenge against yourself - a lot of people will set a goal of the number of exercise minutes they plan to do that month, or steps or miles, etc. It's a nice way to keep track of what you're doing, and see how you progress from month to month. It keeps me motivated!

Also, don't wait until you are fit to start hiking. It can be really nice to hike alone, or you may be able to find someone through the hiking group who is at your level
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:27 AM   #8
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In addition to what the others suggested I wanted to mention that there are lots of workouts on Youtube. Even full-length ones. Leslie Sansone is good for beginners and a couple of her workouts are on Youtube. My library also has many workout DVDs which are good to borrow and try out before purchasing. I'm also liking Zumba though I bought Zumba Gold which is the more beginner version. Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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You don't have to start with an official walk or exercise. You could start by something as simple as parking further away when you shop, or going up a flight of stairs when instead of taking an elevator all the way up. This is something I struggle with too. Thanks to OP for starting this thread and to responders for all the useful suggestions.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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A key for a lot of people is having something they can do anywhere, which is why walking and jogging are such popular choices. If you're interested in building strength as well, bodyweight exercises are a great start because you can do them anywhere - anywhere in your house, at the gym, in the bathroom at work, whatever.

The 100 pushups program (http://hundredpushups.com/) has been around a while. Like Couch25k, it's designed to build you up slowly from a total beginner level to an end goal - in this case, being able to do 100 pushups without stopping. They have several other similar programs that you can find on the bottom left side of the page, including 200 lunges, 200 situps, 200 squats, etc. If accessibility is a concern for you, this may be a good place to start, and of course it's fine to start with "girl" pushups or crunches if you can't do the full movement at first.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
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thank you. there is an area here that is about a 3 mile loop I could walk. I like the idea of adding in some sort of strength training, too. I will check out the link.
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorib64 View Post
thank you. there is an area here that is about a 3 mile loop I could walk. I like the idea of adding in some sort of strength training, too. I will check out the link.

If you get shin splints, maybe start with something shorter than 3 miles?

For strength training you don't have to buy any weights - you can start as Underanalysis suggested with exercises or use stuff around the house, soup cans (weight less than a lb), phone books, etc. Then as you progress you can purchase heavier weights if you wish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ok0Mdj3RDM

Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:28 PM   #13
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I started with walking....I didn't go far at first, but I did go three times a week. Now I am up to five times a week and two miles. I suggest you start small and work your way up...good luck!
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:41 PM   #14
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when i very first started trying to actively get in shape, i used home DVDs for awhile but found that it was hard to do that with everyone underfoot...i used to go hide in my son's room just to get a workout in and i could still hear the chaos in the house that i wasn't able to respond to while working out

then i changed to walking and i did that often but it wasn't a hard enough workout for me (i do like to push myself) and then i changed to biking but couldn't do it in the winter here

finally i committed to joining a gym and i've been going there for 3 years now...i like that it has a variety of machines so when I get bored with something, i can find something else to work out on...but what especially keeps me on track is that i'm PAYING FOR IT lol....and nothing bugs me more than wasted money....so i feel like i need to get over there and work out as many times during the week as i can because it's already coming out of my pocketbook

i definitely agree to find something that you like to do for exercise....and to be kind to your body, invest in good shoes and don't push yourself too far and cause an injury (done that!)
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:49 AM   #15
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I walk outside every morning for an hour but I also walk 2 miles to my Leslie Sansone's DVD in the evenings and that 2 miles is 32 mins each time.
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