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Old 04-21-2004, 01:19 PM   #1
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newlywedgurl HB User
How do I get started?

Hey guys! I have not posted on this board before!

I want to get in better shape and lose some weight that I gained from a medication I was on. I have always eaten pretty healthy--don't eat fast food, eat balanced meals and control portions. I've never NOT been in shape.....but I've never been buff-n-stuff either! lol

My question is where do I start? Should I join a gym? I have never been to one before, so I don't know what to expect. I don't know how to use all the equipment, and really just have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing. What do personal trainers do exactly? Is that something I should look into?

I know I'm probably asking the most asinine questions that could possibly be posed, but I really just need a nudge--well, OK a SHOVE--in the right direction! Can anyone offer me any advice? Thanks in advance! Newlywedgurl

 
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:19 PM   #2
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Evl316 HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Those are good questions. Well there is a ton of info out there on exercise if you were inclined to weed through it all and so forth. But I think a personal trainer is a good way to get started. A few sessions to learn the machines and some general information is an excellent start. That's pretty much what I did to get started years ago but my gym offered like one session free with the membership at the time and it was good to learn how to do things and so forth so I didn't look dumb not knowing what I was doing. Fortunately most everyone at a gym is friendly and only too happy to help you if you ask so don't be shy. Also you should start out slowly and work your way up. If you start like gangbusters you'll likely be really sore and think you can't do it. If you start out slowly and work your way into things it will be a much easier transition.
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:27 PM   #3
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Naxis HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Welcome to the fold!
My general advice on gyms is "if you can afford it and think you will actually go, do it!" Sometimes just knowing that you're paying for it whether you go or not is impetus to get you to drag a** in there when you're feeling lazy. Don't be intimidated by all the machines and weights and classes and equipment... most gyms will let you do an orientation with a trainer or staff member that will show you what everything is and how to use it. Or, to answer your other question, you can get a trainer that will help to design a workout program for you as well as showing you proper form and helping you to track progress. It's not necessary for everyone, but can be helpful.
I find it's best to educate yourself a little bit, try a couple things (get a free week pass to a gym to see if you like it and play with machines and whatnot) and then decide if you can do a program of diet and exercise on your own or if you want the assist of someone that does it for a living. sometimes that initial help is all you'll ever need of a trainer, but it is best to learn things the right way the first time than to have to unlearn bad habits later. Just to start, Google for some fitness websites and do a little reading (or ask any specific questions here - there are a lot of knowledgable and helpful people). Do a search for "exrx" or "fitness" and peruse for a bit. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 04-21-2004, 03:06 PM   #4
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Thank you so much for your responses. And thank you for not laughing at me! lol

I've tried to do some research on diet and exercise on the web, but end up just overwhelmed by the info. And I don't know enough to even know what I don't know (if that makes any sense) or to be able to distinguish the fact from the fiction. I've just never had to do this before!! I've always had a fast metabolism, but that medication sure killed it. I'm hoping I can get this extra weight off...but just not sure how (which is embarrassing by itself!)

I know that cardio is what burns calories, and thus makes you lose weight. But there is so much information and a lot of it is contradictory, so I'm not sure what is right...I don't know what my options for cardio are or how long/often I should do it to see results. I also don't know what to think about all of the debate on low-cal diets (using that loosely--I don't want to get flamed by the "it's a lifestyle") versus low-calorie, etc. I would think that just eating healthy, balanced meals and getting some extra exercise would do the trick...no?

I think I'll contact some gyms in the area and see what they charge for memberships...I'll ask about a personal trainer too. I'm sure it costs an arm and a leg, though!! I'm still pretty intimidated about going...all those mirrors!! And what about
co-ed gyms......I guess I'm just self-concious. The people there are surely in tip-top shape. I wish I could have my own padded room to work out in until I was comfortable! lol

Any advice or suggestions about good dieting and exercise strategies would be awesome. I don't want to jump on a fad-bandwagon....I would much rather just feel better, have more energy, and lose this weight!! For the long-term!!

 
Old 04-22-2004, 09:33 AM   #5
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Naxis HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Fad diets are just that - fads. You can certainly live a low carb lifestyle, but all the "quick fix" diets will leave you disappointed in the end. Here's the basic 101:

Diet: there are a lot of methods to reaching the same goals, but a few "rules" that must be followed. Calories are the primary factor in determining fat loss. You must have a caloric deficit (burning more than you are eating) or you will not lose fat. Conversely, if you eat too little, your body will slow its metabolism and hang onto fat, so you have to find the right range for your body. Gerneral rule of thumb is 10-12x bodyweight in calories each day (higher in the range if you're working out). If you can, divide those calories into 5 or 6 small meals to eat throughout the day (every 2-3 hours). It will keep you from being hungry and keep metabolism up so that you will use the nutrients and burn fat more efficiently.
Once that is in order, check the content of your diet. You need to be getting enough protein to build and maintain lean muscle mass (which keeps metabolism high) which is generally .8 to 1g per pound of body weight.
Carbs should be complex. Avoid sugars and white foods when possible (white bread, white rice, pasta etc) because your body metabolizes them like it would sugar which increases likelihood of fat storage. Whole grain breads and brown rice and the like are burned more slowly and less likely to be stored. Vegetables are always a good choice, fruits are ok, but don't overdo it (sugar).
You must have fats. They are not the devil. But fat has 9 calories per gram (as opposed to 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein) so those calories can add up fast. A little healthy/unsaturated fat each day will help your body to use it's own fat for fuel (under a caloric deficit). As well as regulate hormones and various body functions.

Also good is to drink 1-3 litres of water a day.

Now, for a workout, 3x a week is a good place to start. You need to condition yourself some before going full force. If you want to go to the gym, a little resistance training hitting each muscle group will help get some muscle tone. If you decide to do it at home, a small set of dumbells or resistance bands will be okay. Cardio for 20-30 minutes 3x a week will help build cardiovascular endurance and burn calories. Please don't feel self conscious about the gym. Everyone there is going in order to improve themselves, regardless of starting point (and most people in a gym are *not* in tip top shape - but working toward it. ) No one is judging you. Even if they were... who cares. You aren't there for them. It's all you, baby. Hope that's helpful.
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Last edited by Naxis; 04-22-2004 at 09:33 AM.

 
Old 04-22-2004, 12:20 PM   #6
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Oh my gosh, that is so helpful!!!...I have printed out your post so that I can do all the figuring re: caloric intake. That makes a lot of sense about the protein for building muscle (I do remember SOME things from the Bio I took in college! lol)

Can I ask one more question??? About the cardio? And then I promise to stop harrassing you with my goofy questions!! What would be considered "good" cardio? I know walking is pretty blah, but I'm not sure if that would be enough to do any good....I've never done anything like aerobics or anything....wonder if I should? I don't know. I'm also kind of in a bind because I live in the Southern US and it is unbearably hot and humid in the summer. It is already in the mid-eighties now!! It's not at all unusual to have highs in the upper 90's low 100's in the summer, and I'm inland, so NO breeze. What alternatives do I have to say, jogging/running? Again, I apologize for asking such sophomoric questions. But I really do appreciate all of your help...more than you know!

 
Old 04-22-2004, 12:51 PM   #7
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Naxis HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newlywedgurl
Can I ask one more question??? About the cardio? And then I promise to stop harrassing you with my goofy questions!! What would be considered "good" cardio? I know walking is pretty blah, but I'm not sure if that would be enough to do any good....I've never done anything like aerobics or anything....wonder if I should? I don't know. I'm also kind of in a bind because I live in the Southern US and it is unbearably hot and humid in the summer. It is already in the mid-eighties now!! It's not at all unusual to have highs in the upper 90's low 100's in the summer, and I'm inland, so NO breeze. What alternatives do I have to say, jogging/running? Again, I apologize for asking such sophomoric questions. But I really do appreciate all of your help...more than you know!
Im in SoCentral TX so I feel your pain there. Might try doing it first thing in the morning. I *love* going running in the morning. What activity you do is really up to you. You want to keep your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes at a time. Jogging or running is better (for the heart as well as burning more calories) but if a brisk walk is all you can do, then that's fine. This might also be another good argument for joing the gym: A/C as well as a variety of cv equipment. Or maybe invest in a couple of aerobics videos and work out at home. Any activity that keeps you moving will do the job.
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Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins

 
Old 04-22-2004, 12:54 PM   #8
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: How do I get started?

Thank you so much Naxis!! You're awesome!

 
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