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Old 10-22-2005, 07:10 PM   #1  
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Default How to start...?

How did you guys first start excersising? I have NO energy when I get home and my legs and feet hurt so bad. I can barely get of the couch to make dinner. Small steps I know, but how?
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:29 PM   #2  
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Can you go in the morning, or at lunchtime? To start with, just a short twirl around the block is all you need!
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:53 PM   #3  
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I agree. Fit in a walk when you can, and gradually build up time/distance. That's what I've been doing. Even if it's a walk on your lunchbreak or in the morning before work. At first it may seem a little draining and difficult to get up and do it, but after a while, it'll be easier and you may even look forward to it. I know I do.

By the way, my gift to myself at goal is a tattoo too. Got to get my back nice first though!

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Old 10-22-2005, 10:03 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by ScarlettDrawl
By the way, my gift to myself at goal is a tattoo too. Got to get my back nice first though!
Funny--my avatar is the tat I'm seriously considering between my shoulderblades when I get to goal!
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Old 10-22-2005, 11:06 PM   #5  
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Like you when I began to exercise I had a lot of pain. Mine was mostly in my shins. I could do small walks but did not get far because the pain would get overwhelming. It was because my muscles were in poor shape. I got the video for Walking Off the Pounds for the one mile walk on E-Bay. The workout is only 20 minutes but at first I could not do it. I did the tape until I could do the whole thing comfortably. It didn't take too long, maybe three weeks or so at the most. After I could do that I went to outdoor walks. I began on a flat surface and would time myself. I began with 15-20 minutes as my goal. I was not paying attention to distance or speed but rather was focusing on getting into the habit of daily exercise.

I always do my exercise in the morning because if I don't I will find reasons to put it off. After I was able to do 15-20 minutes I upped the time to 30. After I was comfortable with 30 I went on the website for the President's Fitness Challenge and took the 6 week challenge to exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Taking that challenge really helped me. I was still trying very hard to get into the habit of exercise. With the challenge I had to report my progress every day. It made me think before I would blow off a day for exercise. It made me aware I was making a choice not to exercise and did I really want to live with the consequences of that choice.

Now I am taking a gym class and need to do 2 hours a week working out to get credit for the class. That is really not too much time so I also walk 3 miles on my days I don't go to the gym. I make myself get out there and do it 6 days a week. I am comfortably doing 45 minutes now both at the gym and at home. My goal is to get it to 1 hour. An hour of daily exercise is really the recommended level for weight loss. Even at 30 minutes you are doing your cardiovascular system a big favor. I have been at it for about 3 months now and I can see I have made a lot of progress. I don't get winded as fast, my shins don't hurt and I can go up hills pretty easily. The most important thing I can recommend is to begin at a level you are comfortable with and challenge yourself a little bit at a time. Don't get discouraged if it seems like you are not doing enough or that you are making no progress. I noticed I made progress when I least expected it and each of those successes have made me more motivated to try for bigger goals. What is important in exercise I think is not doing great physical feats but rather learning to be consistent. That is the hard part. If getting into the habit of exercise was easy everyone would be doing it. I remind myself of that when I get up at 4:30 in the morning to have time to exercise. It was very important for me to get that there was no way I was going to lose weight unless I became responsible to getting myself moving.

I read recently in a study that most Americans know how to eat a healthy diet and the importance of exercise but only about 5% actually do it. When I am out there exercising I remind myself that I am in that 5% and no one got me here but myself and my own perseverance. It does a lot for your self esteem.
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Old 10-22-2005, 11:40 PM   #6  
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First thing you need to do is make sure there is nothing medically causing the pain that you need to watch out for. I've been through a lot with all my knee surgeries and my favorite physical therapist use to say that he didn't worry too much about pain during exercise (within reason, of course)- it was more how you felt in 4-6 hours. If you're in a lot of pain later on, then you need to cut back, if you felt fine later then a little pain during exercise was okay.

I can't do a lot of walking, due to my knee...and a lot of other exercises are out too, like biking. One of my all time favorites is a using an exercise ball- also called a Swiss ball. Even just sitting on it while you're on the computer for 20 mintues helps strengthen your core muscles. You can do a lot of simple things on the ball, like bicep curls- but you end up working more muscles because you have to stabilize its like 2 for the price of 1. Plus you can have a lot of fun with the ball- its hard to be bored or upset when you're playing around with it...think of it as recess time at school. I recently got a resistance kit at WalMart to add to my ball- it has 4 straps that go around the ball with resistance bands to do a lot of upper body stuff.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:56 AM   #7  
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I started by swimming, my pool is great, there are all shapes and sizes, and I didn't care that I looked the like the Michelin man in a swimsuit! But if your self concious about your size, then it might not be the right approach for you.

I already walked alot, so I boosted that up, and now I am a gym bunny and regularly weight train and do cardio. It took me about six weeks to get used to exercise.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:16 AM   #8  
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Hrm, I didn't have pain in my legs but I definitely felt so out of shape, I didn't know where to begin. I got winded going up stairs (still do!) and couldn't imagine doing an exercise tape. I'd fall over and pass out! Luckily I have an exercise bike that I was using to hold up the wall in the garage, so I dragged that inside. It's a FitnessEdge bike, recumbent bike, I really love it. Even though it claims the weight limit is 250 pounds, I threw caution to the wind and got on it.

I've been at it about 2 weeks now and my trick is, I don't really push myself too hard right now. I'm not getting a great aerobic workout. Oh well. I'm getting something, though. My pulse, which is normally way too fast anyway, only gets up to about 128 which for my age (33) is supposedly in a 'slow fat burning' zone. It gets me a little winded, and I only do it for half an hour. I can tell I'm getting a little better, though. Less winded, can bump up the resistance some, etc.

Now, 5 or 6 years ago I was even more exhausted than I am now (but less overweight). I figured I must have been the laziest person on earth. My house was a mess, I didn't have the energy to clean, I'd come home and go lie on the bed and I won't tell you how much I let the house go, it was bad. I just barely had the energy to go to work. I felt like I must feel so bad because I was out of shape. Nope! I eventually (long story) ended up at a hospital while on a business trip, and they ran some blood tests, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. It ended up being that I was severely anemic, an iron deficiency, like to the point where they were thinking of maybe blood transfusions to correct it.

Actually, that was the beginning of a successful weight loss period. I had to go to a nutritionist to deal with the anemia, and while I was there I was like, "Hrm, how do I eat healthy?" I really didn't know! She helped tons, boy I wish she was still working. She was completely flexible, she didn't preach or lecture, she worked around my constraints, helped me set realistic goals, etc. Best doctor ever.

Anyway. After this rambling, I guess my advice is to see a doctor first, to make sure there's nothing medically wrong. (Easy for me to advise, I'm deathly afraid of doctors and have an appointment in about 10 days I'm already worrying about.) If that checks out okay, just take it slow. Even a 5-minute walk is a walk.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:39 AM   #9  
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I started slowly. I took out a 6 week gym membership, on the basis that it gave me enough time to get into it without being a long term commitment, and just tried to see what was going to happen. I started doing 5 minutes cardio at a time, very little really, but it got me into the habit of doing something, and then I could build up from that slowly.

Until you get into the habit of doing something I wouldn't try to push yourself too hard. It's natural to want to do as much as you can when you're motivated, but if you give yourself bad experiences you might not stick with it long term, whereas if you build up what you can do slowly and surely you might find it a lot easier.

Also, make sure you find the time that works for me. I would never exercise in the evenings if I left it that late. I just wouldn't be able to pull myself up off that sofa. By going to the gym in the morning before I do anything else I get it out of the way and don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Also, if you workout clothes are all set out for when you wake up, and you just put them on I find personally that I'm in less of a mood to argue with myself at that stage, and tend to get to the gym on autopilot!
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Old 10-23-2005, 09:12 AM   #10  
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At the very beginning, I didn't exercise. After the first couple of weeks I started making an effort just to move more. Little things changed - like I didn't ask someone to bring me a drink just because they were going to me up. I got up and got my own. I started putting the laundry away in several loads rather than taking one big trip at the end of the day. I stopped asking my kids to hand me this or hand me that. I walked to the end of the driveway to get the mail instead of stopping by in the car as I pulled into the driveway. I knew I was a couch potato but when I really started paying attention I was amazed by how little movement was involved in any given day for me.

As a lost a little more weight and added more and more movement to my life, I progressed to dancing around the house to entertain the kids, doing a few jumping jacks while I waited for the coffee to brew, etc. I didn't feel like I had the time or energy for "real" exercise but I noticed that I had plenty of times throughout the day when I was just standing there - waiting for water to boil while cooking dinner. Waiting for a lean cuisine to finish in the microwave. Watching my kids play. So, I took the opportunities to do something. It might have just been jogging in place or jumping up and down for two minutes but it was something and it got my heart rate up for a bit. Better than that, though, was that it gave me a taste of how good exercise could make me feel. It helped me feel less "clunky" when I moved.

With a little confidence and little less weight to carry I finally moved on to planned, intentional exercise. Most of the aches and pains I had when I was at my heaviest were a direct result of NOT exercising. They were aggravated by my weight but they existed because I didn't move enough. I am pretty sure I always thought it was the other way around - that I felt pain because I was too heavy.
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Old 10-23-2005, 09:34 AM   #11  
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When I began this summer, I also wasn't really exercising, but made deliberate decisions to "move more" like jawsmom. After about 6 weeks, I took a look at the treadmill that was gathering dust in the basement and gave it a whirl. I stopped after 15 minutes and hadn't done anything much -- but it was a huge hurdle. Of course, I didn't get on it for another week, but I started to go further in my other movements. By the 1st week of September I was back on that treadmill and have been regularly at it since. I increased the lengh of the workouts from 15-20 to 30 minutes over 3-4 weeks. I'm only doing it 4-5 times a week right now (listen to me "only!" so much different than before!), but would like to up it when some other times constraints disappear. At some point, probably in December, weight training will be added.

There's a theme here. Start slow and just move!

I would add: Congratulate yourself on every hurdle along the way!

Edited to add: Does anyone else find their food shopping has increased with a new lifestyle? We used to do a "major shop" maybe once a month -- stock up on canned and frozen foods. You can do that when you aren't buying produce, I guess. Now every week I go the store (if not twice a week)... and I often make 3 stops: Sam's for meats and bulk items, the produce place, and the regular grocery. I don't count that in my exercise, but it's another example of how I move more now: more time pushing a cart around!

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Old 10-24-2005, 09:00 AM   #12  
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All excellent suggestions from everyone, the only thing I can add is find something that you like to do. What I have found if you do not do an excercise you like (or even love) or have fun with, you will find it that much harder to keep doing it.
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Old 10-24-2005, 10:52 AM   #13  
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Our dear Jiffy posted a great response here about exercising and getting started.

My suggestion if you are wiped out in the evenings is to set your alarm 10 minutes ahead in the mornings to get in some exercise. Try for 10 minutes. If you don't make it that's okay. Find out how long you can make it and go from there.
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:37 PM   #14  
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When I got started I could hardly shower. Holding my arms above my head to dry my hair made me feel like passing out. I was in terrible shape. As suggested here I started watp. The first weeks it wiped me out but after a while I had more energy! I heard exercising gives you energy but I never believed it. 9 months ago I could hardly dry my hair and today I can run up and down 10 flights of stairs without stopping.

Just start small. Make exercise a priority. Get it done first thing in the day.

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Old 10-24-2005, 01:44 PM   #15  
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Great thread thanks everyone! In my previous experience with exercise (successfull ) I made sure I had good shoes and eventually orthotics. Those poor feet affected everything else, including shins, back and hips. I learned I was a morning exerciser but also found running after work a great stress relief once I was more fit. I also buddied up, made exercising a treat (sauna and/or steam room with conditioner in my hair, jacuzzi after, etc). The non-fitness rewards were great, especially early on. Can you tell I was single with no kiddies at the time? My challenge now is to balance a more stressful job, 3 monkies, and a DH demanding my time. I now try to build in walking in little ways b/c I often can't get out for the kind I like - parking away from door, walk 1 flight up / 2 down vs. elevator, etc. Pedometers can be a great tool. Also, music really motivates me. Think I'll go take my own advice and walk back to work. Have a great day everyone!
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