8

votes

What is the best way to introduce exercise?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 10, 2011 at 12:50 AM

I've been eating paleo since mid-Feb, having gotten into it because my IBS was getting intolerable. Now I'm usually pretty much pain free, but am 60lb overweight, very weak in the upper body, leptin resistant (using Dr K's criteria) and have a sedentary job. I'm 48, female, postmenopausal. In the past I've tried exercise routines and invariably end up hurting myself (knees, hips, shoulders get inflamed), so am a bit leery of where to go next.

At present I walk the dog, dance around the house, vacuum etc without problems. I want to kick it up a notch, though, to get stronger and improve my sleep (which is crappy right now). Any exercise still needs to be home-based for now, rather than gym based.

My questions are for hackers who understand this kind of profile, please. I'm envious of the athletes here, but going hard out in the beginning will ultimately backfire on me.

So, advice and pointers to some good blogs etc would be very welcome! Should I start with some upper body weights, increase my walking . . . any other ideas?? Or just forget it for now until by body is more healed? Much as this latter option appeals to my fear of getting hurt again, it feels wrong.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 12, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Shari's reponse is absolutely beautiful. I was pushing 240 at 5'6" when I started my loss. I was also quite ill. For the first approx 6 months, I just tried to walk more, in the form of walking when I normally would have ridden, or parking the car at the far end of the grocery store parking lot. When I lost my first 50lbs over 10 months, I stepped up the walking some more. A year later, I began walking daily 30min in any direction. Since 05 (3 years after my total 90lb loss) I've been a Curves member and it is perfect for me. Now I also teach Zumba in the Curves circuit. Go easy...for life!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:51 PM

WTF? A downvote? LOL.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:11 AM

That's funny! Hey what ever gets you to drag your ass in is o.k. in my book. Just so ya know, I used to be unable to walk 1/4 mile and now I am a competitive kettlebell lifter. I'm an athlete, lol! Don't look like one but I am one. Never, ever did I expect to be able to say and that and I gotta tell you that it's quite a thrill. You can probably understand that. I can't wait to go to training now and I used to be petrified and so ashamed it was nearly impossible to go to a gym or do anything remotely like exercise in public. So just keep on keeping on and you will find your way.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Well, I've asked the question so I guess the universe will provide the teacher, lol. I did have a trainer once who was hopeless at adapting his expectations to my realities, but he was so purty to look at that I kept going to him!! Gotta love the gorgeous, ernest ones . . .

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:00 AM

OMG I have had that very same thing happen. If and when you feel up to it shop around for coaches, teachers who not only know how but are really welcoming. I've had so many poor experiences but then I got a few good ones and it was like a miracle. Just feeling accepted and welcomed no matter how fat I was and how limited I was because of the fat was like coming home. It lets you lose the shame and focus on all the good stuff. Just know that there are some great teachers out there who will truly accept you just as you are and would love to walk with you on your journey.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:17 PM

Tai chi is good for balance, too, isn't it?? Balance = feeling more confident. I'll see what classes are around here

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:16 PM

I don't know how this site works exactly, but I thought your answer was valid and an interesting report of a process that worked for you. Thanks very much for taking the time to tell me about it.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:14 PM

Thanks so much Shari, for addressing more than the 'just do it' aspects of exercise. When I read your answer I was reminded of just how humiliating it was when I joined a pilates class that the instructor had no idea how to work with someone whose tummy interfered with the movements she wanted the class to do. The answer about divorcing movement from weight is perfect advice. I can do that.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Downvoted!?!? How on earth is this an unacceptable answer to the question??

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:18 AM

Have started with the protein in the morning, and will start increasing my walking a bit. The feeling of leaden muscles is awful, as is the result of trying to force through it.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:16 AM

Yep, I'm ready. Setting goals makes me crazy though - don't know why, but they do.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 10, 2011
at 04:54 AM

I love my kindle for books that you read cover to cover. However I agree that refrence books are painful to have on the device.

20c518f9d33b0d04c7a19b8bb7487695

(195)

on June 10, 2011
at 03:59 AM

Tai chi, or a basic stretching program, each has tremendous benefits.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 10, 2011
at 03:17 AM

if UCP3 is off and you exercise you increase ROS and that depletes stem cells. That is why fat folks feel like crap when they exercise when they are leptin resistant. Once they solve it in 4-8 weeks exercise works and works well. Walking is the best way to start. I use water aerobics for my leptin resistant patients.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 03:11 AM

not really. i started out at 36, 60 pounds overweight, postpartum and with multiple sclerosis. you have to start somewhere, but STARTING is the most important part. if youre ready it will happen. if youre not....well, then youre not.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Thanks akd - we obviously have completely different approaches to life, as this makes me want to hide under the covers! I've tried it before, and failed dismally each time :-(

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:37 AM

This! Thanks. I've asked Dr K a question below about leptin resistance, but if I work it this way, my muscles and joints shouldn't get too inflamed and sore.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Actually, Jack, that's part of what I was wondering about - not for losing weight, but for getting into some kind of process. If it's pointless for all reasons, though, then I'll wait. I'm sure the leptin resistance is one reason why I get so inflamed.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:31 AM

I don't mind it if I know what I'm looking for - the search feature is a great time saver. I also like it that people around me don't know what I'm reading, lol.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:29 AM

Favorite answer. Starting slow and gradually increasing is the best way to create a healthy habit that lasts. Also try yoga. Hulu And YouTube have some good videos. I love the deep stretching and breathing simply to center my mind and connect it with my body.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Opps. Forget to mention that it's great for those trying to "rehab" backs, joints, postural issues, etc.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Quilt...but wouldn't just getting into the habit be a great start? I would hate for her to be discouraged and simply give up altogether. The cardio benefits of a good walk are better than saying she's hopeless.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:00 AM

i have a kindle and i ADORE it, but only for novels. reference books, poetry, cookbooks, etc. are horrid.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Great advice.....you can't lose weight with exercise unless your leptin sensitive at the muscles. Biochemistry 101. No one wants to hear it but it's in every text book. If ucp3 is turned off you can't burn fat

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:45 AM

I'm kind of a tech geek but I can't go for ebooks. I like my hard covers and paperbacks. How you like the kindle?

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Great link, thanks. I think seeing people do them on video helps more than the pictures. Damned if I know why I've become so fearful about exercise, but also damned if I'll let it defeat me!!

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Yeah, I'd forgotten about that!! The hassle of a kindle, where you can't just flick through the pages.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:01 AM

I think in Wolf's book he has exercise descriptions with photos of home workout stuff.

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7 Answers

best answer

2
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on June 10, 2011
at 02:08 AM

I would start by taking slightly longer walks, and increasing both the speed and distance once or twice a week. That will get your body moving, get you outside, and breathing deeply. Move on to occasional hikes when you're ready. Mark's daily apple has out of the gym exercise ideas that you can work up to...but take it easy! If you push too hard too quickly, you'll likely set yourself back with injury or exhaustion. Listen to your body...and give yourself props...this is such a wonderful thing you're doing for yourself!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:29 AM

Favorite answer. Starting slow and gradually increasing is the best way to create a healthy habit that lasts. Also try yoga. Hulu And YouTube have some good videos. I love the deep stretching and breathing simply to center my mind and connect it with my body.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:37 AM

This! Thanks. I've asked Dr K a question below about leptin resistance, but if I work it this way, my muscles and joints shouldn't get too inflamed and sore.

best answer

4
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on June 10, 2011
at 02:14 PM

I started in worse shape than you and stuggled with this issue for years. Got the food down but could not get the exercise piece of the puzzle into place. At 300+ lbs every attempt made me hurt. And the worst part was feeling like a complete incompetent and after each attempt a complete failure.

I agree that starting with something easy is key. I actually started with Leslie Sansone Walk away the Pounds DVD's. There is a 1 mile walk that takes about 15 minutes. Each kit also included a 2 mile and 3 mile walk. It's a little more than just walking but all very basic stuff. I think yoga dvd's are great to just get you in touch with your body, stretching and moving. They are very restorative. A great place to check out exercise DVD reviews and see clips is Collage Video

What ultimately worked for me was two things:

  1. Divorce exercise in every way from weight loss. Do not do it to lose weight. Do it for every other reason and benefit you will enjoy but not weight loss. If weight loss happens that's icing on the cake but make it about loving yourself, caring for yourself, keeping promised to yourself, fulfilling commitment to yourself, etc. Do it because that is one thing that all healthy people do and have in common. Just focus on becoming part of the club of healthy people. "When you see people who have what you want do what they do to get it." Best quote I've ever heard and nothing could be more true.

  2. Focus on the discipline of daily movement. Carve out 30 minutes each day and commit to do some type of self-care that involves movement of your body. On days you just can't do it let that be o.k. but during the time allotted make yourself sick quietly and do some productive thinking related to this movement piece of your life. Or maybe just so light stretching. Do whatever you can deal with in that moment and if it's just sitting that's fine. No distractions, no other obligations taking this time, no excuses. You wouldn't find excuses not to pick your kid up from school or miss your kids doctor appointment and you need to find that same sense of obligation for lowly body movement because it is just as important to properly care for your self as it is to care for your child. For me there was a huge component of self-parenting that I had to develop to make this work. The only goal here is developing the discipline of attention to self-care through body movement. Learning to value yourself and value your body enough to make it a very high priority in your life.

At some point I think joining a gym, or better yet, a training facility is the ultimate push to make but for now just do what you can do and work on writing the new script you will need running in your head that makes the idea of regular exercise the new normal. Once the idea becomes practice you can fiddle with the type of exercise but for now the type is a moot point because that only matters if you are actually DOING it and that is far more problematic for people like us than what type of exercise we do.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:11 AM

That's funny! Hey what ever gets you to drag your ass in is o.k. in my book. Just so ya know, I used to be unable to walk 1/4 mile and now I am a competitive kettlebell lifter. I'm an athlete, lol! Don't look like one but I am one. Never, ever did I expect to be able to say and that and I gotta tell you that it's quite a thrill. You can probably understand that. I can't wait to go to training now and I used to be petrified and so ashamed it was nearly impossible to go to a gym or do anything remotely like exercise in public. So just keep on keeping on and you will find your way.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:14 PM

Thanks so much Shari, for addressing more than the 'just do it' aspects of exercise. When I read your answer I was reminded of just how humiliating it was when I joined a pilates class that the instructor had no idea how to work with someone whose tummy interfered with the movements she wanted the class to do. The answer about divorcing movement from weight is perfect advice. I can do that.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Well, I've asked the question so I guess the universe will provide the teacher, lol. I did have a trainer once who was hopeless at adapting his expectations to my realities, but he was so purty to look at that I kept going to him!! Gotta love the gorgeous, ernest ones . . .

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on June 12, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Shari's reponse is absolutely beautiful. I was pushing 240 at 5'6" when I started my loss. I was also quite ill. For the first approx 6 months, I just tried to walk more, in the form of walking when I normally would have ridden, or parking the car at the far end of the grocery store parking lot. When I lost my first 50lbs over 10 months, I stepped up the walking some more. A year later, I began walking daily 30min in any direction. Since 05 (3 years after my total 90lb loss) I've been a Curves member and it is perfect for me. Now I also teach Zumba in the Curves circuit. Go easy...for life!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:00 AM

OMG I have had that very same thing happen. If and when you feel up to it shop around for coaches, teachers who not only know how but are really welcoming. I've had so many poor experiences but then I got a few good ones and it was like a miracle. Just feeling accepted and welcomed no matter how fat I was and how limited I was because of the fat was like coming home. It lets you lose the shame and focus on all the good stuff. Just know that there are some great teachers out there who will truly accept you just as you are and would love to walk with you on your journey.

2
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:03 AM

sign up for something! a class, a race, somehitng with a deadline. find a friend to train with you, or go to a yoga class with you. make it a ritual- like go to yoga and get tea with a friend every monday night or something. in no time you will start really looking forward to it. the couch to 5K plan on cool running is fun and totally do-able, and plans like body for life, or mark sissons are also really easy to fit into your schedule.

i started by signing up for a 2X weekly small group personal training class. it went for 8 weeks at my local Y and was a lot of fun. i learned a ton from the trainer, who was a woman my age who absolutely loves free weights. since i paid for the class, i HAD to show up. i made sure it fit in my schedule, and by the end of the 8 weeks i was armed with a ton of knowledge, i was really comfortable in the gym, knew a bunch of faces and had dropped more than 4% body fat. it was a great motivator, and really helped gain confidence in the gym. good luck!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 03:11 AM

not really. i started out at 36, 60 pounds overweight, postpartum and with multiple sclerosis. you have to start somewhere, but STARTING is the most important part. if youre ready it will happen. if youre not....well, then youre not.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Thanks akd - we obviously have completely different approaches to life, as this makes me want to hide under the covers! I've tried it before, and failed dismally each time :-(

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:16 PM

I don't know how this site works exactly, but I thought your answer was valid and an interesting report of a process that worked for you. Thanks very much for taking the time to tell me about it.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Downvoted!?!? How on earth is this an unacceptable answer to the question??

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:16 AM

Yep, I'm ready. Setting goals makes me crazy though - don't know why, but they do.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:51 PM

WTF? A downvote? LOL.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 10, 2011
at 04:57 AM

I would echo extending the walking. Maybe tackling a hill on occasion.

You could get a set of dumbbells and do a simple curl... Maybe a few more simple exercises. the bigger the muscle the better...

1
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:04 AM

My mother, mother in law and myself (postnatal) all used this home based system called T-Tapp. Anyone can do it. It is resistance based - bodyweight only. The focus is on core muscles. I can't really describe it, check it out here.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Opps. Forget to mention that it's great for those trying to "rehab" backs, joints, postural issues, etc.

1
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on June 10, 2011
at 01:45 AM

Turn off the computer, right now, and go outside and take a walk for twenty minutes.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:18 AM

Have started with the protein in the morning, and will start increasing my walking a bit. The feeling of leaden muscles is awful, as is the result of trying to force through it.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Actually, Jack, that's part of what I was wondering about - not for losing weight, but for getting into some kind of process. If it's pointless for all reasons, though, then I'll wait. I'm sure the leptin resistance is one reason why I get so inflamed.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 10, 2011
at 03:17 AM

if UCP3 is off and you exercise you increase ROS and that depletes stem cells. That is why fat folks feel like crap when they exercise when they are leptin resistant. Once they solve it in 4-8 weeks exercise works and works well. Walking is the best way to start. I use water aerobics for my leptin resistant patients.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:58 AM

Great advice.....you can't lose weight with exercise unless your leptin sensitive at the muscles. Biochemistry 101. No one wants to hear it but it's in every text book. If ucp3 is turned off you can't burn fat

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Quilt...but wouldn't just getting into the habit be a great start? I would hate for her to be discouraged and simply give up altogether. The cardio benefits of a good walk are better than saying she's hopeless.

1
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on June 10, 2011
at 01:04 AM

I am by no means an athlete, and I've also been prone to hurting myself when I've tried to start exercising in the past. However, I really like the "YOU: on a diet" workouts by RealAge. A lot of the poses are based in yoga and have a focus on warming up, building some muscle, and then stretching. They have a beginner's workout that's 20 minutes long, very modified (like the pushups are from a full out hands/knees position with no incline from your hips to your back), and I always feel great after doing them. Plus, they're free on YouTube! There are different levels which are essentially the same workout with more challenging positions.

Here's a link to the beginner's workout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMc-afhihfo

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on June 10, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Great link, thanks. I think seeing people do them on video helps more than the pictures. Damned if I know why I've become so fearful about exercise, but also damned if I'll let it defeat me!!

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