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Monday, August 06, 2012

Getting back into the whole exercise routine thing. I hit a plateau with my weight loss, anyone have any suggestions for me? I am not one to really exercise, but it's time I start. I have a treadmill, I tried the couch to 5k program before, I liked it. I don't know how much to do as far as strength training goes. I need help. Thanks!
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    Chiming in really late here, but this is something that I struggle with so I thought I would chime in with my 2 cents of thoughts....

    First, I majorly agree with the importance of finding something you ENJOY. Even if you can't do it for every workout, the more things that you do that are FUN the more likely you are to keep it up. For me, my absolute favorite forms of exercise are tennis, fencing, and playing soccer. Since these activities all involve other people, I can't do them every day but when I *can* do them I not only burn a ton of calories but I have a blast doing it... it something I look forward to, not just something I do because I have to.

    To fill in, I try to find other activities I enjoy even if not as much as those three, and I personally like to mix things up a lot so I have a lot of possible activities to draw on: roller blading, biking, canoing, swimming, hiking, walking, dancing/dance cardio, yoga, water aerobics, Tae Bo (on dvd), dance games on the Wii/Wii Fit, etc. I don't like going to the gym but I do have easy access to a local fitness center, so if those fail or I just need out of my apartment but the weather outside is icky, I can use the treadmill or the elliptical. I just find them really boring so they are kind of my workout of last resort.

    Second, mixing things up will help keep your body challenged and working hard. If you always, say, go for a walk on the treadmill, the body goes "oh, wait, I can do this more efficiently" which makes it easier--which is great, except when your goal is to burn calories! But if you walk one day, go skating the next, put in a dance cardio dvd the next, you are constantly challenging your body to work in new ways and to use different muscle groups and you'll burn more calories.

    third, I highly recommend strength training. It doesn't burn calories directly, but it helps us build strong and fit muscles that burn calories. Plus, when you are losing weight you tend to lose muscle mass (which would be bad) as well as fat---strength training prevents that. As far as what to do... that really depends on your fitness level, but sparks has a ton of strength training exercises in it's data bases with good information about form and how to adapt things if they are too much. As for intensity, you want it to be able to do a minimum of 8 reps at a time but not so easy you can do more than 15 in good form. If you can do more than 15 at a time, step up the challenge. If you are unable to do more than 3, go to a lighter weight. You want to make sure that you are working every major muscle group, and remember to increase the intensity as it gets easier for you.
    3221 days ago
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    Jillian Michaels 30 day shred kicks my butt!
    Miss you.
    3235 days ago
    Do you have any @ home workout videos? They're a great investment. I'm a huge fan of Turbo Jam. Sometimes I'll do the whole video or if I'm strapped for time and/or just want to get my workout in... I'll do half of it and I still get my sweat on. Give it a try. If not jump on the treadmill for some interval type running/jogging/walking, it will be fun and worth every minute.
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    3239 days ago
    For me, exercise is all about what I like to do, and packing a bag and heading to an indoor gym doesn't cut it for me. You should start looking around for some things you can do that you enjoy and then it's not exercise, it's fun! A lot of dance studios will offer classes for adults - I do 2 a week and love it! Or see if you can locate a Zumba class somewhere, that's really fun as well! Whatever you choose to do, make sure you like it enough that you'll miss it when you don't go, otherwise you'll lose interest!

    Good Luck!
    3239 days ago
    I like to walk. It's relaxing and gets me away from everyone.

    Do you have a gym membership or is there a community center nearby that provides some kind of exercise class? I find that taking the group classes helps me discover new ways to move. I've been doing yoga at the Y and even tried a class that involved weights, that one made me sweat!

    If you can't afford to do those things, then invest in a couple of sizes of weights or a resistance band and try out some of the videos on this site. There are plenty of exercise videos here and they're really easy to add to your exercise tracker. Browse the different things you can do, the exercise tracker gives you samples of how to do things.

    There's plenty of things to do if you look!
    3239 days ago
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