Hi :) tips/schedules/help
I am getting on my way toward my goals by counting my calories and shrinking portion sizes, and have lost six pounds just from that. (thrilled!)
I know, of course, my next step is getting back into an excercise program and need help in that area.
In the past, I've always busted my behind and came out sweaty at the gym with little to no results. That usually ends up in me deciding my efforts are for nothing and I give up.
I want to excercise, I almost think I don't know how!
Where do I start? I walk into the gym/ymca and am crazily overwhelmed with the choices and variety. How do I maximize my time and energy?
Thank you in advance for your time and ideas,
good news re: good new food choices!
the gym doesn't work for everyone; actually the gym is just a recent invention, isn't it?
anyway, maybe you could rethink exercising. you're right, the key is sticking with it... find something you will want to do 200 days in 2010, and something you will want to keep doing in 2011 and beyond. exercise can be hiking, taking dance lessons, doing yard work, group boot camps, or taking a walk around the neighborhood (with your neighbors even).
i could tell you that running burns a lot of calories per hour, and is a very efficient way to exercise in terms of time; but if you don't like running, that information is useless to you. works great for me, but we're all different.
my suggestion is to find a friend or two and make a list of alternative exercises that each you like to do or would like to try, and then plan to do two activities on the list every week as a group. when you find something that you like, or things that you like, stick with them. exercise should be a fun part of your day; when it becomes a chore, you know what happens.
Keep it simple and consistency is key.
Some plans you might find on these forums or in a book may help you to know where to start, but you need to adapt what you find to your own needs. Listen to your body and keep it simple.
Like mcsolar, I would note that it's not necessary to be in a gym to do cardio. If the atmosphere deters you or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, you can always do cardio outside.
Running is a great way to lose weight. You don't need any equipment except some running shoes (but try to splurge on these, it's your only equipment!) and you can do it anywhere. I was never fond of running, despite my father being a serious runner. But, I tried it again more recently and found it to be much better than I remembered (and a very effective weight loss exercise). I was able to stick with it and enjoy it because I didn't overdo it starting out. In the past I was trying to keep up with someone else, but this time I started slow and concentrated on consistency. I was able to run half a mile when I started, but instead of focusing on how far or fast, I just focused on doing it every day. I was able to increase mileage over time, and am now running 5 miles in addition to other cardio and lifting! But the only reason I am able to do so much now is because I built a strong base. I listened to my body and took my time. So, don't try to be a super athlete your first day out. Get rid of preconceptions of what you should be able to do, how fast you should be able to go, etc. Just go out and see what you can do. Sure, push yourself now and then, but don't over do it. If you take it slow and are able to enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it.
Also, it helped me to set a goal. After running a couple of weeks I decided I needed something to look towards. I signed myself up for a 5k a couple of months down the line (At active you can search for local physical activities and events of all kinds). I told everyone I knew that I was going to run it. So, I couldn't back out. It was great motivation to keep running, and running the race made me want to keep running. My family and friends were all cheering at the finish line, and it felt really good to accomplish a goal. It also shifted my focus to performance based goals rather than weight goals. After the 5k, I signed myself up for a half marathon, and I'm going to run that in April. Every time I want to skip a day I think of all the people I'd have to tell if I couldn't do the half marathon. The thought of the embarrassment is enough to get me out there.
My activity of choice is running, so I am using that to explain the principles that helped me. If you don't like running you can transfer these principles to just about any other activity. I also like to climb mountains and I did the same types of things for that activity.
It depends on what your goals are too. Are you looking to lose weight or tone up the the weight you have.
Resistance training ie weights burn tonnes more calories than most cardio. Like they said above, find activities you like. Listen to music or audiobooks as you do it. But definitely make at least half your gym time on weights. Pushups, crunches, medium weights with high reps is what you want. You want to get sweating and breathless and use all your energy before you leave. Calorie deficit will make your body start reaching into your stored energy locations to survive while building your muscles gradually to replace.
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