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Old 03-19-2006, 12:12 AM   #1
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turtlegirl HB User
Question Start with Cardio or start slow?

I'm trying to lose weight. I have 150 lbs to lose. (Please don't say Richard Simmons - I have those dvds but those exercises are too low-key for me, I can do more than that!) I have low blood pressure but when I do cardio, my heart rate shoots up very quickly above my preferred heart rate range within minutes! I have Tae Bo dvds for cardio.

Should I do something that's not cardio before cardio? Should I just do running/walking first? When will I know that I'm ok to do cardio?

I'm just starting exercising regularly, so I know this will change as I do this daily. I have back problems and my muscles always feel tight no matter how much I stretch.

I feel like I should be doing cardio but I don't know if my body is ok with it. But Richard Simmons is too easy and not challenging (or at least the dvd I have is not challenging.)

Can someone give me some advice? Thank you so much.

 
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:57 PM   #2
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Naxis HB User
Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

First, what are your stats? Height/ weight/ age (if over 17)?
Are you looking for strictly in-home exercise - no gym?
What is your preferred heart rate and how high is it getting when it shoots up?
Do you have any pain when you do the videos you have now?
Have you addressed diet? What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
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Last edited by Naxis; 03-19-2006 at 12:58 PM.

 
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:55 AM   #3
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Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

I agree that the questions Naxis posed need to be answered and here's another: What does your physician say? I would hope that your m.d. helped you decide to begin this exercise regimen so he or she should be guiding you in what's "safe" or appropriate for you at this time. If you haven't been consulting with your doctor, I recommend doing so to be safe and if you happen to be a member of a gym, book time with a trainer.

 
Old 03-25-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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turtlegirl HB User
Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

I'm sorry for not replying earlier - had the flu AND midterms at the same time... oh so pleasant.

Ok here are my stats: 5'3" / 270 / 26

I don't want to do a gym because I live in a small town and the nearest gym (non-Curves, to be honest, I hate Curves and refuse to join for many reasons that I won't go into here) is about 45 minutes away. My room mate owns a stationary air-resistence bike, lots of small free weights of various amounts, a jump-rope and a gazelle, and she said I could use them. I may join a gym later, when I move into town hopefully this summer.

According to the american heart assoc.'s website, I should have a target heart rate zone of: 98-146 beats per minute and a maximum of: 195 beats per minute. My resting rate is 84, and it seems to shoot up (when doing something I consider vigorous, like running) to near-max after 5-10 minutes, though I have not actually timed this, this is an estimate..

When I use the gazelle, my lower back hurts after about 10 min., so I usually switch to the bike & then back and forth. I don't have pain with Richard Simmons, but the dvd of his I have is seriously way below my level. The one I have is for people who are bed-ridden I think.

Despite my size, I am a geologist, and so I have to occasionally go out and do work in remote places. Last summer I climbed 3000 ft up a mountain in Montana (already at 6000 ft, where we ditched the vans) every day (8 hrs) for 3 weeks. I CAN force myself to continue if I feel pain in my back, I just have to take breaks and take my time.

I am working on my diet, but I think that every time I've worked on my diet before, weight loss had stopped because I did not incorporate a vigorous exercise routine. I am currently on a low-fat "diet" (actually it's not a diet, it's just being fed up LITERALLY with eating poorly) that takes me down to 1500 calories a day, and I am probably going to join WW next week just to reinforce & strengthen these habits.

My doctor says that as long as I feel comfortable, it's fine.

Thanks for the replies.

 
Old 03-26-2006, 07:51 AM   #5
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Naxis HB User
Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

When you exercise, watch heart rate and if it goes higher than your max, slow it down. But keeping it at or around your max is okay. If you exercise consistently, it will take a longer to get it to the max and you'll be able to exercise more vigorously for longer periods keeping heart rate in a lower zone.
There are plenty of things you can do without a gym. Walking (with intervals of jogging if you can do it) is excellent cardio. Skip the Richard Simmons and find some other ones you like. Tea Bo is good, any of the aerobics or step aerobics are also good for cardio. I would also really recommend doing some kind of strength training. Building and keeping lean muscle will raise your metabolism and make your body more efficient at burning fat. I'm willing to bet that the little dumbells you have around the house are way too light for you. If you can, invest in some resistance bands or look into more strength-focused training like Pilates.
As for diet, I'm not a huge fan of Weight Watchers. Of course it's your choice, but it's a lot of marketing and hand-holding and they still don't really teach you how to eat properly. It weirds me out to think of all food as points for the rest of your life. Anyway, as an alternative, you might consider picking up a Body for Life (or just Eating for Life) book. The BfL book has an exercise and diet program which gives you "how" and more importantly "why" diet guidelines. The one caveat is that it recommends using EAS protein shakes as part of the diet (the guy that wrote the book owns EAS so he is basically plugging his own products) but it can be very successful without the shakes. It's just a recommendation. And for the record, 1500 calories is too low. Eating too little is worse than eating too much because it will trigger a starvation response which makes your body *hold on* to fat. Eating more of the *right* foods will make a big difference.
I hope that's helpful. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:25 PM   #6
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turtlegirl HB User
Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

Thanks for the reply Naxis.

I will check out this body for life book also. I'm considering joining a weight loss group that isn't on a specific plan. Something like TOPS if I can find one in my area. I am really just going to concentrate on eating less to no fast food (my biggest problem) and exercising more.

I'm not sure how many calories I should be eating, practically every site says something different so I just picked one of the recommendations.

I'm doing (or TRYING to do) the 10,000 steps per day mixed with jogging. How do I know how much weight my dumbbells should be? The tiny weights are 1,2,3,5 and 8 lbs. What do I need to look for when I look for resistence equipment?

Last edited by turtlegirl; 03-28-2006 at 11:27 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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Naxis HB User
Re: Start with Cardio or start slow?

Resistance bands are good because they're so versatile. If you get a 'medium' and a 'heavy' resistance band all you have to do is get a little longer stretch to get more resistance. Slowing down repetitions will increase intensity too. If you want to get more dumbells, hit a sporting goods store and try a few out to find some that -doing various exercises like presses and rows- you can only do 10 to 12 reps with. The last reps should be a struggle, but not impossible. If you can just breeze through a set of 12, then it isn't placing enough stress on the muscle to give you any benefit. *Usually* 10 to 15 lbs is a good starting point, but you may be more or less strong, so I leave it to your own judgement.
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