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smooshmcsmeesh 08-02-2010 07:19 PM

Exercise Scares Me! =)
Exercise has always been a challenge for me. Whether it's not feeling motivated to do it, or just not liking the feeling of sweating, I have had every excuse in the book as to why I can't exercise.

But I know it's important, and I do realize I will feel better as a result. So, what I'm looking for is suggestions on low impact exercises and recommended time intervals to get started.

I am 43, and have a very sedentary lifestyle. I have over 100 lbs. to lose.
I do have a treadmill, though I find it boring to use.
I like to dance, though it drives my dogs crazy when I do.

I have some 2lb. handheld weights and stairs in my house.

I really want to get past the mental block that exercise is tedious and not fun. Having some fitness buddies would be nice too!

Thanks in advance for any feedback and support.

Best always,

fletch8502 08-02-2010 07:40 PM

Exercise used to scare me as well, but it's definitely an irrational fear! Once you get into a routine, you'll see that your fear was unfounded.

You said you don't like to you have access to a pool (home, gym, community center, etc.)? Swimming is a great cardio workout that's easy on the joints and prevents you from getting super sweaty!

I agree that walking on the treadmil can be horribly boring! Can you watch TV while you walk? Or make yourself a CD or playlist that pumps you up? That's what I do to stay motivated. Or, try walking outside to change things up. Bring your dogs or a friend along with you! That will make it a lot more fun. =)

Does your city or community offer any adult education classes? Are there any dance classes? My city (and probably many others) offer low-key dance/exercise classes. They run for about 6 weeks and aren't too terribly expensive.

Try borrowing some exercise DVDs from your local library. You can change them out often so you don't get bored, and maybe purchase ones that you like. Try a variety such as cardio, yoga, pilates, strength training, etc.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure it's consistent (5-7 days a week is best!) and make sure you don't push yourself too hard at first. If you ease into it and keep yourself from being bored, exercise will become your friend!

Good luck!

midwestj 08-02-2010 09:10 PM

A sweat you get when you exercise is way different than the uncomfortable sweat you get when you are wearing street clothes and walking around a shopping mall or something. Try wearing some nice loose fitting clothes that are meant to be active in. If I don't sweat during a workout I probably shouldn't have even gone to the gym. You WILL grow to love these feelings: the sweat, the energy, the post workout euphoria.

Bodyweight exercises can be low impact and highly effective, try looking into a bodyweight resistance circuit. You should resistance/weight train 3 times a week and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

If you really need the motivation you might try a personal trainer, they will help you stay credible and keep your workouts intense, also you would be less likely to skip a training session when you are paying for it!

CybNeo 08-02-2010 09:29 PM

Dance Dance Dance.

If you like to dance, then start there. Plenty of gyms have aerobic dance classes. You can also sign up with a real dance school. You can also find some dance DVD's. My gf found some free aerobic dance videos on "Free Movies On Demand" with comcast.

Keep it fun and it will become a habit.


My Blog: Easy Fitness Planner Blog

smooshmcsmeesh 08-02-2010 09:42 PM

Wow some wonderful suggestions and encouragement! Thanks to all who have posted so far.

I especially like the suggestion to check the library -- which I go to often -- I just never even thought to look into exercise DVDs.

Again, I live in a very rural area and have limited transportation options, so access to a gym would be in the nearest city, which is about 30 miles away.

I don't mind walking outside, but we have some steep hills and inclines where I am, and it's a little too challenging for me at the moment. But hopefully someday soon!

As for dancing, I do think that's the best place for me to start. But I'm unsure of actual exercise routines to do. I'm sure there are great sites and articles on the web, but not even sure where to begin with that.

I welcome all idea & feedback! Thanks again... it's very appreciated.

Smoosh :)

fletch8502 08-02-2010 11:14 PM

Sounds like your best bet is to check out the DVD selection at your local library.

For dance, try going to YouTube and tying in "dance exercise." A few things popped up for me that you might like to try.

Have fun and let us know how it's going!

almeeker 08-02-2010 11:29 PM

I hate the treadmill too, it's soooo boring. But what I do like is to put on my headphones and dance around while I'm doing all those mundane chores around the house. Okay, it's not really a workout, but it is extra movement, and having the music on makes the chores and the extra movement more fun. Another thing I do is wear wrist weights to fold laundry, and ankle weights to run up and down the stairs while I'm cleaning the house or getting the kids ready to go somewhere. I've even worn the ankle weights to the store (accidentally) they feel a little like socks.

Hey, if you have dogs and hills, why not combine the two and take the dogs for a walk? Believe me you all will have a great time. And once you take them, they will be begging to go again ALL THE TIME, ta-da meet your new motivation! One thing I have discovered about myself is that I really love a good long walk, which I really never knew, or would have guessed. I love them so much that wearing headphones almost ruins the peace and serenity of it. A long early morning walk is sort of like meditation with movement for me. Try it, you just might surprise yourself, you don't have to go very far to benefit from it, when you get tired turn around and come home.

smooshmcsmeesh 08-03-2010 01:24 AM

Thanks fletch and almeeker for your posts too. Here again, I feel like I have excuses as to why I can't take my dogs out -- they are soooo yappy! I love them, but they insist on barking up a storm at every person, animal, plant, thing and inanimate object we pass by. We have a huge yard, with a cedar hedgerow, so I usually let them run around back there. But I could spend more time outside playing with them -- and that would be some incidental exercise I guess. =)

Tonight, I got on the treadmill for the first time in months, but could only do 5 minutes before feeling winded. That's terrible! But I was proud of myself for just getting on to thing. So I'll keep at it, little by little.

I just hope someday I can become one of those people who LOVES to workout, and can't imagine a day without exercise. But that feels so impossible right now.

We'll see how it goes. Baby steps.

rmdaly 08-03-2010 04:10 AM

I download books to my iPod which I listen to while I am running. I make sure that they are books that I really enjoy listening to. If I only listen when I run then I want to run to see what happens in the book. You could do the same thing on the treadmill. Or, rent movies that you will only watch while on the treadmill.

If you are getting winded after only 5 minutes, you might be setting too fast of a pace. Or just do 5 minutes and the next time try 6, then 7 etc. until you work up to where you want to be.

almeeker 08-03-2010 06:46 AM

Originally Posted by smooshmcsmeesh (Post 17463)
Thanks fletch and almeeker for your posts too. Here again, I feel like I have excuses as to why I can't take my dogs out -- they are soooo yappy! I love them, but they insist on barking up a storm at every person, animal, plant, thing and inanimate object we pass by. We have a huge yard, with a cedar hedgerow, so I usually let them run around back there. But I could spend more time outside playing with them -- and that would be some incidental exercise I guess. =)

Tonight, I got on the treadmill for the first time in months, but could only do 5 minutes before feeling winded. That's terrible! But I was proud of myself for just getting on to thing. So I'll keep at it, little by little.

I just hope someday I can become one of those people who LOVES to workout, and can't imagine a day without exercise. But that feels so impossible right now.

We'll see how it goes. Baby steps.

The dogs are probably yappy when you take them out because they aren't used to it and get super excited. If you got into a dog walking routine, where a long walk was normal, you might find them much less yappy. Besides walking the dogs not just good for you, it's good for the doggies... Hint hint.

Great job getting on the treadmill!!!! Don't feel too bad about the 5 minutes, the first time I got back on the elliptical machine I could only go 3. But I kept adding minutes every workout and now I can go for more than an hour, and not be crippled the next day. Don't hold your breath on becoming one of those people that loves to workout. I've been waiting for that for at least 30 years and so far nada. I have discovered however that I feel much worse and don't sleep very well when I don't workout, so that's incentive.

carrenross 08-03-2010 02:48 PM

HI! I totally relate to the exercise fear. I am currently 'ignoring' this fear by walking. I, too, have over 100# to lose - so I started with 10 minutes a day and have gradually worked up to NEARLY every day and the times are getter longer. I have a cat - but he only will walk to the end of the driveway with me - could you take the dogs for a walk? I am sure they would LOVE IT. To me, right now, exercise is walking. I never thought I would say this but - I am actually looking forward to it, go figure, and feel so much better, less stress and exhausted - in a good way - when I get home. Give it a try. My goal is to do aerobic/weights AFTER I loose 50#. Be encouraged my friend. Carren.

smooshmcsmeesh 08-03-2010 03:03 PM

Thanks Carren! That's wonderful to hear that you're looking forward to walking =), I hope to get to that point.

Going from an extremely sedentary lifestyle to even light exercise can be somewhat daunting, but walking is something I feel I can easily do. I'm not sure my pace is what it should be, but just starting out, any movement is better than no movement.

I'd welcome any exercise support buddies too! I think the encouragement is really important. :D

smooshmcsmeesh 08-03-2010 03:52 PM

Well I just went to the library and found two exercise DVDs that I'm going to give a try.

First one is "The Biggest Loser Workout" and the other is "Pilates Complete for Inflexible People". I laughed at the name of that last one.

Wish me luck! =)

smooshmcsmeesh 08-04-2010 08:23 PM

Well everyone, I attempted "The Biggest Loser" DVD today and got through about 20 minutes of it without keeling over. But I have to say, while I'm proud of trying, I absolutely hate how I'm feeling. All weak, sweaty, winded, light headed. I'm about to hit the shower, but I realize that I need to really work on strenghtening my core & muscles. I couldn't even do the lunges. Knees were crackling (ewww) and I felt like I was gonna fall over (I have no balance).

Anyway... I really hope this exercise thing gets easier for me. :rolleyes:
I may just have to stick to the treadmill for a while. I don't know.

cjohnson728 08-04-2010 08:32 PM

Great effort, Smoosh! Those workouts are no joke! You will be amazed at how quickly you build up endurance. Congrats; you made it through :).

fletch8502 08-04-2010 09:06 PM

Don't give up, smoosh! Doing 20 minutes is better than not doing anything at all. I bet you'll be surprised how much better you do the second time around. Muscle memory is a very cool thing!

For knees cracking during lunges...look down and make sure you can always see your big toe on the leg that is bent. If you can't see it, you're leaning forward too much which can really strain your knees. If your knees are still cracking, you might want to leave out the lunges for a little while. Walk in place or do some other exercise instead.

For balance...keep a chair near you and grab onto it when you feel wobbly! That will help a lot while you're building your balance and core.

Remember, when doing exercise DVDs you don't have to do exactly what the instructor says. If they tell you to do 20 reps of something and you can only do 10 for right now, that's fine. If you need to pause the video to get water, do it! If you just don't like an exercise or the way it makes you feel, fast forward! You don't want your workout to be completely miserable or you won't stick with it. Make the DVD work for you!

Keep up the good work...

PS - Let me know how the other DVD is. I laughed at the title, too. =)

smooshmcsmeesh 08-05-2010 11:18 PM

I did another segment on the Biggest Loser tape today. This time it was shape & sculp oriented -- not cardio. I used my 2lb handheld weights, and wow, I still broke such a sweat. I modified some of the lunge movements since I just don't have the leg flexibility or strength right now... BUT... I completed the whole segment! Yippee!!!

I'm feeling good, and I'm sure I'm gonna feel sore tomorrow.

I still don't like sweating (ick) but the shower was a nice reward.

anne88 08-13-2010 01:35 PM

One more idea
I too have been working on the transition from couch potatoe to an active lifestyle. One way to motivate myself to use my treadmill and recumbent bike was to join Netflix. Around $12 a month for two DVDs, that way I always have one on hand. Whatever I order I can only watch while working out. In the beginning I could only do 15 minutes at a time, now I am up to an hour and at almost -50 pounds loss. For me the best were HBO/TV series, multiple episodes on each DVD - the time flies by and I can't wait to see what happens next.

smooshmcsmeesh 08-13-2010 07:24 PM

Adventures In Stair Climbing! =)
So, today I was feeling more tired than usual and not really motivated to exercise yet. That's not unusual, as I have been doing my activities mostly in the late afternoon / evening, since I'm not a morning person.

As I went into my bedroom to absorb some of the chilled A/C air, I looked in the mirror and thought, "Do I want to take a nap? Or should I walk to the library?" Trust me, the nap was edging out the library... but then I saw the reflection in the mirror of the beautiful sunny day outside and my mind said, "Hey! Don't waste this precious weather. Get outside! Enjoy yourself! You don't have to power walk there... take it slow and enjoy some 'ME' time."

I changed into some comfortable clothes, put on my tennis shoes (although I prefer sandals, but I know they're not good for walking, hehe) and headed out the door.

My rural area is very scenic for walking but there are challenging inclines and some 80 steps down a steep ravine to the main road where the library is located. I saw it as an adventure!

I left my house at 2pm. I walked, walked, walked... down the hills, down the steps (which hurt my knees just a little) and then over a pedestrian suspension bridge across the river that made my legs feel like rubber bands as I bounced my 250+ frame along.

I made it to the library only slightly winded and felt proud of myself! After perusing the books for about 15 minutes, it was time to head home. Some storm clouds loomed in the distance so I tried to pick up my pace a little bit. I was also lugging some hard cover books with me that felt like they weighed about 2 lbs.

I walked, walked, walked... then came the hills. I felt my breath quicken, and my face redden, but I took it slow. I felt like a snail inching up the mountain. Across the bridge... up another incline, and then -- EEK! -- an 80-step climb up the ravine. The steps themselves weren't too high, thankfully, but I started the climb, counting one-by-one. 10-20-30-OMG-40... thankfully there was a platform. I could hardly catch my breath, my heart was pounding. I waited under the shade for a minute and thought, I have my cell phone -- I could always call hubby to come get me -- but no, I could do it! With trepidation, I started the second 40. Egad am I out of shape! I wanted to collapse at the top and I still had about 1/2 a mile to go to my house. I leaned against the railing for 5 minutes and let myself settle down a bit.

From there, the remainder was a breeze and I am so proud of doing it! While I may not make this walk everyday, I know I will get stronger the more I exercise and pretty soon (like in a year), I will run up those steps Rocky Balboa style and cheer!

*Gonna fly now....* =)

Thanks for reading along about my adventure. You guys are amazing inspirations and support! I appreciate that so much.

Smoosh :D

PS - I was back home by 3:08pm, so all in all it only took me 1 hour to make the circuit. 45 mins of walking; 15 mins of library time. HOORAY!

Lizzycritter 08-13-2010 11:20 PM

Awesome, grasshopper (yeah I know Karate Kid, not Rocky, but still an 80's movie reference):D

midwestj 08-14-2010 12:35 AM

YouTube - rocky3 eye of the tiger


Haha I found a better one:

smooshmcsmeesh 08-14-2010 12:36 AM

LOL Jason, awesome... thanks! :D

acbraswell 08-14-2010 01:38 AM

Hi all. I'm new to this website (just joined today). Smoosh, congrats on your progress. The hardest part of beginning an exercise routine is actually getting in the routine and building up. The best piece of advice I can give you is to stay motivated. Schedule in exercise, just like you would a doctors appointment or anything else you put on your calendar. If you keep all your exercise "appointments" for, say, a week, reward yourself (NOT food!). Even something as small like a cute notepad out of the $1.00 bin at a store, or a new body lotion that you wouldn't normally buy yourself. You may never grow to love exercise, but the feeling you get, mind and body, after a nice workout is amazing and think of the improvement to your health! Keep up the good work!

heytred 08-14-2010 03:30 AM

I'm not gonna lie, I was a little afraid to do my Friday depletion workout this week. I was so pumped all day, but got a little nervous right before hand because I know how rough it is. But I ended up getting one of my best workouts ever... I was sore 30 minutes afterwards... Today I feel dead physically, but great mentally.

elljak 08-14-2010 06:26 AM

Hi smooshmscmeesh - I'm 51, 100 lbs to lose and while I am reluctant to say I hate exercise, I do hate sweating and I hate the feeling that two minutes into what I am doing when my muscles start to complain, and the clock says I still have 28 mins to go!! But I am married to a man who is fit and not overweight and loves exercise. He is a spinning instructor, and he persuaded me to go. The first time I did it, it made me cry!! You really need someone to do it with - someone who does not commiserate with you but motivates you to keep going (I mean sessions, not time!!) - and not someone who measures the amount of calories burnt in the number of chocolate bars you can have!! There is nothing more demotivating than doing something you find difficult with someone who is negative about it - you will go once and never again!! My husbands classes are good as well because the lights are off - we have disco lights (so you don't feel as if you are being watched), and really you can then go at your own pace. You don't feel as though you have to compete with anyone else but you do have some guidance to keep you going. The key is to go with someone who will motivate you to go the second time, and the third, and the fourth.

CoeyCoey 08-14-2010 10:24 AM

Hi Smoosh,

Great to hear you are upping your physical activity!

I have not seen the biggest looser DVD's, but I did see a couple shows and I have to admit they are horrible! Many of the things they make those people do are dangerous and may result in permanent joint problems and other health issues. The show is designed for ratings and not for healthy and permanent weight loss. Several of the winners have gained most or all of ther weight back.

The hard way to lose weight is to try and exercise it all off. If you can keep up the intensity level to burn those extra calories for decades, you might be able to keep your weight down until you get too old to keep working out at that intensity level. Then your weight will return with a vengeance.

If you are not losing weight through diet alone, then exercise isn't going to help you keep it off. You need to make sure you have made a lifestyle change to the way you fuel your body. Ironically, you are likely starving yourself or many micronutrients. When you do this, your body craves more food to get enough of those micronutrients which means you end up eating too many macronutrients in the form of protein, carbs, and fat. If you give your body all the micronutrients it needs, your cravings will diminish. In addition, you will have more energy and feel better overall, which is more conducive to you wanting to engage in physical activities.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, lengumes, and other plant-based foods have the highest nutrient density. That means that they have a higher ratio of micronutrients compared to their macronutrients. Animal products have a very low ratio.

If there is one thing you should cut out first and foremost, it is dairy. Dairy's purpose is to make a baby put on lots and lots of weight! It not only does this with fat, protein, and carbs, but also growth hormones. Even "hormone-free" dairy is still packed with the animals natural hormones. It just doesn't have any added hormones.

If you want the weight to melt right off, I suggest a 100% raw diet of fruits and vegetables. Eat all throughout the day with a peach here, an apple there, a smootie with some spinach, kale, and bananas, and you could easily lose 100 pounds in a year. Your gut will take some time getting use to the new food supply, so give it time if you decide to try it.

As far as exercise is concerned, I would focus on long walks and keep building up your cardio-respiratory endurance, and leg joint mobility and stability. If you start feeling any pain, take a day or two off. At this point, you want to avoid anything high impact or even high intensity. Not only because it might be too much for your body, but because you don't need it and forcing yourself to do it might make you lose your motivation. Just build up slowly, and maybe within a year or so, you might be finding yourself running a marathon, or something amazing like that!

With yappy dogs, you can try some reverse psychology When they bark, say "Speak" and give them a treat. Do this for a while until you can get them to bark on command. Then, when they bark randomly, loudly say "Quiet" and when they stop barking, give them a treat. You will be able to get them to "quiet" on command then.

Also, you might be encouraging them to bark. If they are barking and you yell at them, they might just think you are joining in with them. Or, if you have anxiety about them barking, they will sense that and think you are scared of whatever they are barking at and they are trying to protect you.

There are many good dog training books. I use all non-violent methods and recommend a book called "The Dog Whisperer" by Paul Owens.

I hope this helps!

smooshmcsmeesh 08-14-2010 01:46 PM

Thanks everyone for your posts of support, encouragement and great advice! I learn so much from all of you and continue to be so motivated by your efforts & progress.

As I've said before, this time feels completely different than any other attempts I've made to lose weight. I'm more focused on better food choices and daily movement, moreso than the scale, and I'm really happy about that. I feel more 'content' with this instead of apprehensive as I've felt in the past. I also have no fear of it ending, whereas in previous years I've always worried about falling off the wagon. So mentally I think I'm in the right place this time, and it feels really good! :D

davej323 08-19-2010 09:30 PM

Smoosh, it looks like you already got a lot of good advice, but I will add my $.02 as well. If you are like me, then you don't currently have any intention of getting "ripped" and are more interested in some kind of sustainable exercise for health reasons. I find that this type of exercise is easiest when you couple it with some other purpose. For example, when my fiance and I first started a weight loss plan, we would walk a couple of miles to the grocery store every day to buy the ingredients for that evening's dinner. Our schedules have diverged somewhat since then so those walks are not possible, but I got a pedometer and try to make sure to get at least 10,000 steps every day. I do this by parking farther away than I need to, taking the long route to places at work, etc. I also go to play disc golf a couple of times a week. Walking is a great way to introduce your body to more physical activity, and over time you will find that you have more energy and might even be compelled to do some jogging. In my case, a friend and I who play disc golf together now jog between the holes to make even more of a workout out of it. I know that someone else mentioned using your dog walks as a form of exercise and that sounds like it would be a great start.

lleveritt 08-20-2010 12:57 AM

Thats awesome you got on the treadmill. I have found that I wont go outside and walk just for the sake of walking. I have to have a destination!! Now, I walk my daughter to shcool and back so I get 4 miles 5 days a week. When I lived in the mountains I would walk to my brothers to steal a bottle of water or see my nephew. His house was 1/4 mile but some severe mountains. Also- I would leave the 4-wheeler at the bottom of the road and walk home, then the next day walk to the 4-wheeler to bring it home. It sounds crazy- but if I HAVE to do it, there is less chance of me blowing the walking off. Plus, after a while, you dont need an excuse- now I just walk to walk also. (But I wouldnt do 4 miles if it wasnt for school!):p

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