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Old 10-28-2010, 02:17 PM   #1
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How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

Hello everyone.

I am a 21 year old female. I am five feet, six inches tall and weigh 160 pounds. I would like to get my BMI into the healthy range- meaning I need to drop 12-15 pounds.

I do have an old sports injury to my left knee so things like running and jogging are not options for me.

I do yoga 5-6 times a week, an hour at a time. It's usually pretty gentle yoga, nothing that burns a crazy amount of calories, it just keeps me feeling good and helps my knee a bit.

So basically, I want to start working out. What should I do? How often? For how long?

I want to lose these few pounds and keep them off! I need to do this the healthy way. Any tips?

 
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

Hello Bee. I have bad knees myself so I use the treadmill on a hill setting and do a brisk walk. I keep raising the elevation throughout the workout to keep my heart rate up. This does not bother my knees at all. Elliptical machines and bicycles are other good choices to get your cardio in. You should work to get your heart rate up and then keep it there for 20 to 30 minutes. Do this and add resistance training and you will see the weight come off, providing you are eating healthy foods within a certain calorie range. The beauty of weight/resistance training is that you build muscle mass and that raises your metabolic rate and you lose faster. Not to mention it tones and shapes your body. Yoga is good for stretching and toning so keep doing that.

 
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

diamond839 gave a great response - that's fantastic advice.

The best advice I can give that hasn't already been said is stick with it. Eat well, go to the gym on a regular basis, and don't let yourself get discouraged!
If you follow the above advice the weight will get worked off. Good for you for wanting to do it the healthy way - the weight also tends to stay off when done correctly.

When I feel my ankles aren't up to the task of full on jogging I go for the elliptical/cross trainer (whatever you want to call it) or walk on an inclined treadmill. The important thing is to get that heart rate going!

EDIT: Remember that exercise is only part of it - eating correctly and not too much (or too little) is very important!

Good luck!

Last edited by WanderingAround; 10-28-2010 at 05:18 PM.

 
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
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Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

Hi there,

There are many different ways to exercise healthy, but almost any exercise is healthy exercise. Because of your knee injury walking is a very good exercise. I would also suggest the elliptical. Depending on the severity of your injury, the elliptical would be precisely the right cardio exercise. Because of an almost stretching muscle it might create long lean muscles. Another great option would be swimming. I read many reports that swimming has been proving to be the best cardiovasculer exercise because you cant really hurt anything (other then if you drowned) where as running alot of people have knee problems. Not that running isnt healthy but many people tend to develop knee injuries. Biking is also great. Also think about getting a few sessions with a personal trainer. They are great, know what they are talking, will know the right exercise, and know how to create a meal plan as well.

When i was in high school a trick my gym teacher taught me was to always drink one or two glasses of water before a meal. It will lessen your appetite.

But always remember BATTLE CRUISER OPERATIONAL

Last edited by sleepz; 10-30-2010 at 01:28 AM.

 
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

1. Do not measure your progress solely by weight or BMI. If you exercise, you may gain muscle, which would cause your weight to increase, or mask the effects of fat loss if you just look at the scale. But muscle gain is healthy, so you should not avoid it. You may want to consider tracking your waistline at navel level as a way of measuring progress. For good health, it should be less than half your height (athletes will usually be lower, perhaps down to 42% of height). Muscle is also denser than fat, so if you notice your clothes fitting looser even if your weight stays the same, that means that you are more muscular and less fat.

2. As others have noted, swimming, elliptical, bicycling, and hiking up hills may be less impact than running. Swimming is also a full body exercise, as opposed to a primarily lower body exercise. Another full body exercise that may be available is rowing (with sliding seat). For cardio exercise like these, you may want to consider doing both endurance sessions at around 70-80% effort, and (when you have a reasonable baseline of cardio fitness) high intensity interval training of a minute at maximum effort alternating with a minute of low intensity "active rest". If you want to do cardio exercise outside, you could obviously ride a bicycle, swim in an outdoor pool or lake, hike up a hill, or row a boat; there are also now elliptical bicycles available for outside use.

3. To build muscle, include resistance / weight / body weight training. Be sure to include your larger muscles like your back (pullups, pulldowns, weighted rows), chest (pushups, bench press, dips), and legs (squats and other leg exercises). Abdominal core muscles can be built up with the usual crunches and exercises like the plank (however, the common belief that exercising those muscles will "spot reduce" fat there is not true in any practical sense). The usual advice is to get instruction or read up on how to do exercises with good form (to maximize gains and reduce the risk of injury) and to pick a weight or resistance level that you can do a range of reps in (often given as 8-12 reps, though beginners and older people are often suggested to do 10-15 reps); when doing the highest number of reps in the range is easy, try increasing the weight.

4. It is best to give sore muscles a day of rest between exercise sessions. If you want to exercise every day, you can alternate different muscle groups so that each muscle group has a rest day after a hard workout.

Last edited by tjlhb; 10-30-2010 at 05:53 PM.

 
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #6
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Smile Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

Everyone, thank you tremendously. This is all great advice and very encouraging!

tjlhb - Excellent and thorough advice. Thank you for the tip about measuring at the navel line. That would most definitely be a more accurate way to track my progress instead of BMI or the scale alone.

Walking on an inclined treadmill is much better for me, thank you for that advice diamond839 and WanderingAround. I have been trying your different suggestions every other day or so. Also swimming, as suggested by sleepz, is such an enjoyable exercise that I forget how hard I'm working and just enjoy it (perhaps that's the Pisces in me...)!

I feel very positive about this, thanks again everyone!

 
Old 11-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: How do I begin exercising in a healthy way?

tjlhb hit it on the head. Don't pay attention to your BMI! Don't even get on a scale unless you suspect you're losing too much weight. The best indicator of health is how you feel and look. Buy a full length mirror instead. If you look in the mirror and see a "healthy person" you're probably in good shape. Also, BMI charts/calculators lie-my BMI is 27 so I'm obese right? I'm 5'10", 190. However, I've got a 32" waist and a 45" chest so the chart doesn't work. As for excersize, start slowly-very very slowly. In fact if you think you're starting off slowly, slow down some more and then start. that way you won't hurt yourself. Also, don't get discouraged by an apparent lack of progress, if you're working out, you're making progress!!!

 
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