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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

Which is better?

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Old 04-11-2006, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Which is better?

The situation is this: I live at home, and exercise is a four letter word in my household. I come from a fat family, and any hint that my parents have that I'm trying to improve myself is going to be seen as, essentially, an attack on how they raised me ("You think there's something wrong with you? You're perfect! You don't have to change! We raised you well!") At this point, it's a battle I'm not willing to fight. I know I need to get healthy, and although they did raise me well, they also raised me fat. But it's not something I'm really up for discussing with my parents, all the same.

I was doing the WAtP DVDs for awhile, but only when my parents were out. However, a situation has come up where one of them is now always home. We don't have a huge house, and if I do it upstairs, they can hear me, and there's no privacy downstairs. I was thinking of maybe just starting an outdoor walking regimen, now that the weather is nicer. Walking doesn't really get my heart rate up, though, no matter how fast I go. I'm too ashamed to be seen outside jogging (I know, I know, I need to get over that, but still). I know there's a lot of walkers here... is that all you do for exercise? I also do strength training, but I'm wondering if walking five days a week + strenght training three times a week would be an adequate workout. If so, how many miles a day is a good place to start out, and how many a day is a good goal?

But my question essentially boils down to this: Which is better, brisk walking outdoors done longer and more often, or intense cardio that gets my heartrate way up? Am I sacrificing weight loss progress if I can't do the latter?
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:18 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert so I can't give you a definitive answer, but I can tell you about my own experience. I've found that long, brisk walks definitely help me lose weight. I don't think you can go wrong with the regimin you've described (walking five days a week + strength training three times a week). As for how much to start out with, that's hard to say without knowing what sort of shape you're in. I started out with slow one-mile walks in January, and I was huffing and puffing by the time I finished my mile. These days, a brisk 2 miles is usually not enough of a challenge, so I'm ready to increase to 3 miles next week. Just remember to start out slowly if you're new to this; as you become fitter, you'll be able to go faster and further.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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I would say walk outside with leg weights
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:47 PM   #4
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Kashi, rather than worrying initially about which methods will result in expected weight loss, I recommend that you choose your exercise by how much you enjoy it. If working out at home is stressful to you because of your family, go out.. take walks, breathe some fresh air, ..

I seriously believe that the best exercise is exercise that you enjoy.. there are so many benefits to exercise beyond what it does for us physically.

Good luck.

*.. oh, about the leg weights mentioned by another poster.. just my opinion but I would not recommend it. Leg weights are not only unnecessary they are dangerous.
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:33 AM   #5
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The only other time I lost weight, all I did was walk. Have you got a swimming pool nearby? What about community classes like yoga and pilates that are just done on a drop in basis, that your not committed to?

I think it's great your looking for solutions to this. Families and weight loss make me
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:57 AM   #6
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I'm sorry for the position you are in. I say go for walks because I love the fresh air. Can you go early in the morning where no one will see you jog? You don't want to get totally out of breath when you walk...just so you're breathing harder....maybe try swinging your arms for a power walk? I think you could even mix it up and tell your parents you are just trying to get a little healthier maybe?? and ask if you could do one workout a week inside or something? They are eventually going to notice you are losing weight anyway and then they may be upset you were sneaking around behind their backs. I'm sorry it's so hard for you. Just try to keep it up!

Oh, and I agree that leg weights are a bad idea. They can cause injuries. I've been told to keep weights out of my cardio.

Good luck! We're all pulling for you!

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Old 04-12-2006, 11:34 AM   #7
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Do you have a bike? Biking will get your heart rate up nicely if you're looking for something more strenuous than walking. If you don't have a bike, you can probably pick up one cheap through the newspaper or craigslist. (Although I agree that brisk walking is great exercise and will do loads for you)

Also keep an eye out for classes or activities that sound interesting to you. Maybe something you can join with a friend? I also second the recommendation for swimming if you have access to a pool.

Sorry this is such a sore subject with your family. Hopefully they'll get used to you being more active and will find it less threatening after a while.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:01 PM   #8
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Or consider joining a martial arts studio. Working toward a black belt in something is very admirable, and you would be amazed at how much exercise you get. You could even tell your parents you are doing it for self defense (what parent could say no to that?).

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Old 04-13-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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You know, I was planning to just focus on my eating habits for a few weeks until I could figure out a quieter workout, but apparently if I don't exercise (that is, I have no plans to exercise), I like to eat a lot more. I thought that I'd eat more on the days I exercised, since I was expending more energy, but the past few days that I haven't exercised, I've wanted to gorge myself!

I do have a bicycle, but I see it more as a method of transportation than a workout. I've always heard that biking (either stationary or otherwise) is pretty much useless for a workout. I'm wrong?

Hmm... would an hour 3-4x a week or a half hour 5-6x a week be better for weight loss?
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:02 AM   #10
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Anything that gets your heart rate up is a good work out (as long as you're not injuring yourself of course ) I've gotten in shape enough now that I can't really get my heart rate up walking any more (unless I'm climbing hills) but it's easy to ride my bike fast enough to get my heart rate into an aerobic zone.

As for the how often/long to work out. I'd suggest doing whatever works best for your schedule. If it's convenient you'll keep it up
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:17 PM   #11
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You might want to get a heart rate monitor. I have one and it really helps me stay on track with outdoor walking. There are also some really good CDs like Kathy Smith's Steady Strides and cardio coach that teach you how to stay at a higher level. The Kathy CD is especially good because she gives you all sorts of form pointers that increase your burn.

Biking can be really great to, I wouldn't call it useless at all, especially if you live somewhere hilly.

And don't think of it as jogging but as running and training. You could try the couch to 5K plan http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
which has really helped a lot of people.

If you are really overweight maybe you can get your doctor to tell your parents that you need to lose weight or you can run into all sorts of problems down the line.

Good luck. If you are movin that is what matter the most.

Oh, and Leslie Sansone from the WATP videos has a book called the walk diet that is really good sensible plan for who to lose walking.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #12
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I love walking too and do lots of it! I have a question though... why and how are leg weights dangerous? I do have a pair of them but have never worn them since I don't feel I am "up" to that level yet since I still have so much weight of my own to lug around? But... what is wrong with using them?
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
..why and how are leg weights dangerous?
Ankle weights do not distribute weight fairly evenly like the weight of your body so using them can strain tendons and ligaments in your body and is also not good for your knees and ankles.

Walking with them also tends to give people more of a shuffle walk than the normal stride you would want for cardio. They really are a bad idea.
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30 min of rigorous cardio interval training
30 min of flex time: cardio or weight training or intensive functional exercise

I didn't lose weight. I burned up stored calories.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:26 PM   #14
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Oh wow, thanks for telling me that! I have a weak knee anyway from an old injury. (I fell in the sewer in Manila, Philippines, and that is NOT a lie LOL.) So sounds as if the ankle weights were a waste of $$$ for me. Glad for the info.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
Oh wow, thanks for telling me that! I have a weak knee anyway from an old injury. (I fell in the sewer in Manila, Philippines, and that is NOT a lie LOL.) So sounds as if the ankle weights were a waste of $$$ for me. Glad for the info.
You are welcome.. You can always use them as fishing weights.

You fell in the sewer... yikes!
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August DAILY goals Total points 3.5/24
30 min yoga or pilates or ball
30 min of rigorous cardio interval training
30 min of flex time: cardio or weight training or intensive functional exercise

I didn't lose weight. I burned up stored calories.
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