How I'm Doing It: Beginning to Exercise

Jenny's Journey

I get a lot of questions about what specifically I have done to lose weight and get fit, so, I'm going to spend some time with a series of blog posts that does just that. This is the first one about exercise.

So, here is the absolute most important advice I can give you - GO SLOW!!!

When you are getting back into exercising after a long hiatus, you need to take it slow. Like, really slow. If you jump in too quickly, one of two things typically will happen:

  1. You will injure yourself
  2. You will be sore and miserable and won't want to exercise again

So, take it really easy in the beginning. Here are a few tips on how you can get started.

Start with just walking for 15-30 minutes a day on the treadmill or a flat road. Walk at a slow pace and build up over time. If walking is a little too easy for you, I still recommend staying with low impact exercises like the following:

  • Elliptical- I started with this wonderful, easy on the joints machine and did 10-15 minutes at a time, about 3 times per week. That's it. That's all I started doing when I started to exercise in November of 2016.
  • Stationary bike- Another awesome low impact choice to start with, from 10-30 minutes a session.
  • Yoga- Of course, yoga. I cannot sing the praises of yoga enough. Most gyms will offer a yoga class or you can download one of many yoga apps (I use Gaia) and do it at your own house. It's amazing and I love it and I hope you do too. It can help your flexibility, strength, balance, chronic pain issues, and is a very meditative practice.
  • Swimming or water aerobics- Yet another way to offload the joints and still burn those calories!
  • Weight lifting- I started lifting in December 2016, just doing light weight (like 20-25 pounds for arms) and doing two sets of 10 reps. I prefer to use the machines as opposed to free weights because it is easy and helped me keep good form. Initially, I lifted 1-2 times per week. Don't strain yourself, again start low and slow and build up over time.
  • Get a personal trainer- If you have the budget for even one personal trainer visit, I think it's a good way to get some guidance on where to start. I don't personally use them, but I know many people who do and love it. 

So, that's a pretty good place to jump off! I recommend trying the above cardio 3 times a week at first and then work at building it up! As always, before starting an exercise program, it's best to consult your primary care provider. 

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