3

votes

New to Paleo and want to know what kind of exercise I can do at home to help become healthier?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 18, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Hi, I am on day 2 of the Paleo diet and I am super excited. I want to become healthy again as I have been overweight from the age of 23 until the present, im currently 40 years old. I am 5'9 and 215 pounds with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am wondering what types of exercise I should be doing, I love to walk but im not sure if that will be enough? I want to build leaner muscle mass and I dont have alot of room in my house for large exercise equipment. Should I buy a workout video that uses light dumbbells? Im not sure exactly what I should do. Should I stick with walking, push ups and situps? Any advice would be appreciated.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Yup, pull-ups would be next, then planks, but you can get a decent balance and stimulation with the first two.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Just try to, by whatever means is most practical for you, take every muscle group to momentary failure once per week. Walking is great and all, but this will make more of a difference than anything else.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:22 PM

I love Mark Sisson's fitness plan. Be sure to check-out the videos to learn the proper form and progression to do body weight exercises. This program is really helping me (at 43 years) to build my functional strength and muscle mass. I've always been really active, but haven't done anything for strength in the last ten years (since being a collegiate athlete) and I had to start almost at the beginning. The good thing is the program works for all fitness levels if your goal is to gain functional strength and fitness.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:18 PM

This is what I would have suggested also, except I would add pull-ups to the push-ups and squats if you have a bar available or could walk to a neighborhood park and use a jungle gym bar. If you can't pull yourself up (I can't!) yet, just get hold of the bar, start with your chin above it and lower your body down as slow and as controlled as you can. On the same day, do some push-ups and squats (Mark's Daily Apple site has some great videos to show you the right form and how to start easier and work up to a full body weight squat or push-up.)

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:57 PM

Anna I love that last line! Perfect!!

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:40 PM

And regarding dairy: I like dairy, and I'm willing to argue it is very good for you, especially for sports. I would guess most people here who lose weight when they drop dairy choose things like butter, cream, full fat milk, full fat cheese, etc. I like low fat cottage cheese and greek yogurt.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:36 PM

I totally agree- not to be funny, but you will be surprised how much muscle you have built under there to carry around 215 everywhere you go! I think that you will be pleased to realize what you have already got. A present waiting to be opened!

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:34 PM

What I do for every meal: Pick protein, if it's lean I add a fat source, fill in my caloric needs with fruits/starches. And I have lots of veggies too. Fat source depends on protein. E.g. I add nuts to low fat dairy, I often make curries with lean meats (coconut milk), and like I said I skip the extra fat source for things like red meat.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Mark's Daily Apple* is the site's name

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 05:24 PM

It just seems inconsistent to recommend lean protein and then add fat at the end. Why bother with the dairy at all if you don't want extra calories? But yes, when you're looking to lose a lot of weight, you probably don't need to be looking to add extra fat just for fun.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:54 PM

It really is a game of consistency. Leanish protein, veggies, a bit of fruit, nuts, and fat is pretty much ideal in my book. Oh and lowfat dairy. I realize people here disagree with lean protein and lowfat dairy (lowfat anything really) but I personally find they are 90% as satiating and 50% the calories. Haters gonna hate.

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Thanks for the replies, I am very dedicated to making this work. I know I am literally killing myself eating the way I have for the last 20+ years. Just a little more background, I have done low carb diets in the past, and I have gotten my weight down as low as 155 pounds. The problem has been that I have went to extreme and when I tried to add foods back in, I went right back to eating everything under the sun. This time, I am sticking to the plan, I am eating my protein and vegetables with every meal and I am having 1 piece of fruit and some nuts each day to start out. I know, day2 only.

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5 Answers

6
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on December 18, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I completely agree that doing anything at all is perfect for your right now. It's exciting when first starting out and we like for formulate these grand plans that will get us to where we want to be but sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves with too many expectations or demands for perfection. Focus on the food part and if you find walking fun and energizing do that. Body weight exercises are great if that appeals to you. Just make sure you're feeling positive about whatever you are doing and if it becomes too much then back off the exercise stuff and just keep focusing on the food. Your body is going to change massively just by getting the food part right. As conciliator said, you will be surprised how much muscle you have already. As the fat goes away it will reveal itself to you.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 18, 2011
at 08:57 PM

Anna I love that last line! Perfect!!

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:36 PM

I totally agree- not to be funny, but you will be surprised how much muscle you have built under there to carry around 215 everywhere you go! I think that you will be pleased to realize what you have already got. A present waiting to be opened!

6
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 18, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Check out Mark Sisson's site for lots of good stuff, especially his primal blueprint fitness pyramid, which recommends lots of low and slow (like walking), lifting heavy things, and occasionally sprinting.

Re the lifting heavy things, I'm a big fan of Body By Science. Doug McGuff just did a guest post on Mark's site and has recommendations for how to do this either in a gym or using body weight.

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Mark's Daily Apple* is the site's name

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:22 PM

I love Mark Sisson's fitness plan. Be sure to check-out the videos to learn the proper form and progression to do body weight exercises. This program is really helping me (at 43 years) to build my functional strength and muscle mass. I've always been really active, but haven't done anything for strength in the last ten years (since being a collegiate athlete) and I had to start almost at the beginning. The good thing is the program works for all fitness levels if your goal is to gain functional strength and fitness.

4
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on December 18, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Doing anything in your situation would be great. Pick something easy that you can stick to. It doesn't matter if you like Zumba, if it makes you active do it.

I realize you want to gain lean muscle, but I promise you that underneath your 215 pound frame you have significant amounts of muscle.

Walking every day is a great place to start. I would avoid workout videos, pushups, and situps as I personally find them miserably boring.

If you want to lift weights... you could probably put together a simple dumbell routine. But at this point, it's not needed.

  1. Get your diet (quality & quantity) in check. Make it something you can stick to. In general it's healthier to eat gluten/dairy/legumes/whatever if it means you'll stick to your diet and get back to a healthy weight. And if you don't lose weight making qualitative choices, count calories.
  2. Do something active. It doesn't matter what, walking is great.
  3. Try and keep stress down and sleep up.

These are the most important steps you can take. If you can't take them, there's no point discussing anything else as nothing will have the same importance as these.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:34 PM

What I do for every meal: Pick protein, if it's lean I add a fat source, fill in my caloric needs with fruits/starches. And I have lots of veggies too. Fat source depends on protein. E.g. I add nuts to low fat dairy, I often make curries with lean meats (coconut milk), and like I said I skip the extra fat source for things like red meat.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 05:24 PM

It just seems inconsistent to recommend lean protein and then add fat at the end. Why bother with the dairy at all if you don't want extra calories? But yes, when you're looking to lose a lot of weight, you probably don't need to be looking to add extra fat just for fun.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 06:40 PM

And regarding dairy: I like dairy, and I'm willing to argue it is very good for you, especially for sports. I would guess most people here who lose weight when they drop dairy choose things like butter, cream, full fat milk, full fat cheese, etc. I like low fat cottage cheese and greek yogurt.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:54 PM

It really is a game of consistency. Leanish protein, veggies, a bit of fruit, nuts, and fat is pretty much ideal in my book. Oh and lowfat dairy. I realize people here disagree with lean protein and lowfat dairy (lowfat anything really) but I personally find they are 90% as satiating and 50% the calories. Haters gonna hate.

F3984a97c7c0f392d3d7ca02cf576cb4

(45)

on December 18, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Thanks for the replies, I am very dedicated to making this work. I know I am literally killing myself eating the way I have for the last 20+ years. Just a little more background, I have done low carb diets in the past, and I have gotten my weight down as low as 155 pounds. The problem has been that I have went to extreme and when I tried to add foods back in, I went right back to eating everything under the sun. This time, I am sticking to the plan, I am eating my protein and vegetables with every meal and I am having 1 piece of fruit and some nuts each day to start out. I know, day2 only.

3
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 05:33 PM

On the off-chance you wanted some less passive advice.

Walk as much and as often as you want/can. Take every opportunity in life to take the more physical option - after all the whole point of improving our fitness is to be able to use it for real life situations right? Carry your shopping etc.

If you have time and inclination to add extra effort, the two things you want to look at are sprints (don't worry, this can mean walking fast if that's what gets you out of breath, or any other exercise really), just go as fast as you can for say 30 seconds, then rest til you can do it again, 5 times over. The details aren't important. The second thing is weight, and bodyweight is fine. Situps aren't much use, but pushups and squats, this time keeping the movements slow and controlled but again looking to reach your limit in a short period of time. You can do these once a week, or twice if you like. There's not a lot to be gained from doing more in terms of weight loss, but you may appreciate the fitness and added activity of other light exercises that are walking-like intensity but use other muscles. I'd suggest yoga.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 18, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Yup, pull-ups would be next, then planks, but you can get a decent balance and stimulation with the first two.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 18, 2011
at 09:18 PM

This is what I would have suggested also, except I would add pull-ups to the push-ups and squats if you have a bar available or could walk to a neighborhood park and use a jungle gym bar. If you can't pull yourself up (I can't!) yet, just get hold of the bar, start with your chin above it and lower your body down as slow and as controlled as you can. On the same day, do some push-ups and squats (Mark's Daily Apple site has some great videos to show you the right form and how to start easier and work up to a full body weight squat or push-up.)

1
268b47209dfd85e911ee7c55124fd71a

on December 18, 2011
at 08:45 PM

I suggest, PLAY! Get the paleo eating down first and just focus on playing more. Through a football, go for a walk, roll around and play with your pet (if you have one).

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