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CookieJewel 01-24-2012 11:19 AM

New to Exercise, want to do it right!
I'm a female, six months away from my 50th birthday, and I have always hated exercise. I am officially about 60 lbs overweight since I'm 5'2" and weigh 178, but I wear size 8-10 pants and XL shirts. I'm very busty, and carry most of my weight in my arms, back, upper torso. Your basic linebacker build. :o I feel wonderful at 150 lbs, and that is my goal since it's very realistic for me to maintain. I also haven't seen 150 lbs since the mid 80's.

I have a steel plate in my left tibia and arthritis in my ankles, toes, wrists and neck. I have a treadmill and a LifeFitness eliptical trainer. About 3 months ago I started getting up 45 minutes earlier in the morning and I'm walking for 30 minutes on my treadmill before I start work. (I work from home). For me, this is huge. I'm walking on a 5 incline at 3.5mph. Any faster and I'm sliding off the back I have such a short stride. Running is very difficult with my leg, but I want to get to a light jog eventually. I've lost 13 lbs so far, and my energy level has improved. I've started being very aware of what I eat. Never into fruits and veggies so I'm trying to introduce them. I eat a lot of whole grains, lean protein, snack on string cheese, almonds, whole grain toast with peanut butter for breakfast, yogurt, homemade hummus with grain chips, etc. I'm feeling good.

A few weeks ago I bought a Total Gym. So far, I love this thing. I'm starting very slow because I don't want to overdo it. I've been working 8-10 different exercises 3 or 4 times per week at about 30 minutes at a time, but I would like to shorten that workout to 15 minutes and do lower body one day, upper body the next day. Doesn't this give the muscles a day to recuperate?

My current schedule is 30 minutes of cardio in the morning, then I go back after my shift in the late afternoon and do 15-20 minutes on the Total Gym. I will obviously try to increase both the cardio and the strength training as my body gets conditioned to it, but right now I'm trying to find out if I should change anything? I keep feeling like walking 1.5 miles every morning isn't much, but I also have to tell myself that I've walked about 60 miles in the last 3 months and that's more than I did in the last 10 years put together, so it's something! :)


Heddah 02-08-2012 12:11 PM

Re: New to Exercise, want to do it right!

You are already doing more than most people! I am assuming that your main goal right now is to lose the weight? It is a very good idea to do strength training with cardio, but if your primary goal is to lose weight you need to live by the simple formula of burning more calories than you take in. You can run/walk 20 miles a day but if you go and eat two large pizzas it won't matter.
Your diet sounds great. One day write down everything you eat and figure out the calories then compare it to how many calories you're burning every morning. Remember it's all about balance.
Once you get to the weight you are looking for, that's when you can start more intense strength training. I am not saying you should wait until then to do strength training, I am saying that you should wait to start intense training. What you are doing now is great for weight loss. Try to work some cardio into your weight sets to keep your heart rate up-- do jumping jacks or running in place or jump rope.
Dedication is the first and hardest step, so keep that and you are on your road to success.

CookieJewel 02-14-2012 09:42 AM

Re: New to Exercise, want to do it right!
Thanks so much for the advice! I am doing my cardio at least six times per week. I am going back for the Total Gym at least five afternoons per week as well. I found I wasn't able to do as many reps at the higher elevation so I lowered it to the second to the lowest level for my upper body and I can do the full number. It feels kind of weenie right now, but I know I'll build up. :) I also know it's better to do more reps at lower resistance now and build up my strength and then I can go to the higher levels. It doesn't all happen at once.

My focus is to lose weight, but I also know that I have to start building and toning muscle now, so I'm not leaving weights out of it completely. I feel good, and every time I move a muscle and it's a bit sore I'm happy. It's not cry out pain, but at least I know I'm doing [I]something[/I] for the first time that's good for my body!


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