I've been eating paleo since mid-Feb, having gotten into it because my IBS was getting intolerable. Now I'm usually pretty much pain free, but am 60lb overweight, very weak in the upper body, leptin resistant (using Dr K's criteria) and have a sedentary job. I'm 48, female, postmenopausal. In the past I've tried exercise routines and invariably end up hurting myself (knees, hips, shoulders get inflamed), so am a bit leery of where to go next.
At present I walk the dog, dance around the house, vacuum etc without problems. I want to kick it up a notch, though, to get stronger and improve my sleep (which is crappy right now). Any exercise still needs to be home-based for now, rather than gym based.
My questions are for hackers who understand this kind of profile, please. I'm envious of the athletes here, but going hard out in the beginning will ultimately backfire on me.
So, advice and pointers to some good blogs etc would be very welcome! Should I start with some upper body weights, increase my walking . . . any other ideas?? Or just forget it for now until by body is more healed? Much as this latter option appeals to my fear of getting hurt again, it feels wrong.
I started in worse shape than you and stuggled with this issue for years. Got the food down but could not get the exercise piece of the puzzle into place. At 300+ lbs every attempt made me hurt. And the worst part was feeling like a complete incompetent and after each attempt a complete failure.
I agree that starting with something easy is key. I actually started with Leslie Sansone Walk away the Pounds DVD's. There is a 1 mile walk that takes about 15 minutes. Each kit also included a 2 mile and 3 mile walk. It's a little more than just walking but all very basic stuff. I think yoga dvd's are great to just get you in touch with your body, stretching and moving. They are very restorative. A great place to check out exercise DVD reviews and see clips is Collage Video
What ultimately worked for me was two things:
Divorce exercise in every way from weight loss. Do not do it to lose weight. Do it for every other reason and benefit you will enjoy but not weight loss. If weight loss happens that's icing on the cake but make it about loving yourself, caring for yourself, keeping promised to yourself, fulfilling commitment to yourself, etc. Do it because that is one thing that all healthy people do and have in common. Just focus on becoming part of the club of healthy people. "When you see people who have what you want do what they do to get it." Best quote I've ever heard and nothing could be more true.
Focus on the discipline of daily movement. Carve out 30 minutes each day and commit to do some type of self-care that involves movement of your body. On days you just can't do it let that be o.k. but during the time allotted make yourself sick quietly and do some productive thinking related to this movement piece of your life. Or maybe just so light stretching. Do whatever you can deal with in that moment and if it's just sitting that's fine. No distractions, no other obligations taking this time, no excuses. You wouldn't find excuses not to pick your kid up from school or miss your kids doctor appointment and you need to find that same sense of obligation for lowly body movement because it is just as important to properly care for your self as it is to care for your child. For me there was a huge component of self-parenting that I had to develop to make this work. The only goal here is developing the discipline of attention to self-care through body movement. Learning to value yourself and value your body enough to make it a very high priority in your life.
At some point I think joining a gym, or better yet, a training facility is the ultimate push to make but for now just do what you can do and work on writing the new script you will need running in your head that makes the idea of regular exercise the new normal. Once the idea becomes practice you can fiddle with the type of exercise but for now the type is a moot point because that only matters if you are actually DOING it and that is far more problematic for people like us than what type of exercise we do.
I would start by taking slightly longer walks, and increasing both the speed and distance once or twice a week. That will get your body moving, get you outside, and breathing deeply. Move on to occasional hikes when you're ready. Mark's daily apple has out of the gym exercise ideas that you can work up to...but take it easy! If you push too hard too quickly, you'll likely set yourself back with injury or exhaustion. Listen to your body...and give yourself props...this is such a wonderful thing you're doing for yourself!
sign up for something! a class, a race, somehitng with a deadline. find a friend to train with you, or go to a yoga class with you. make it a ritual- like go to yoga and get tea with a friend every monday night or something. in no time you will start really looking forward to it. the couch to 5K plan on cool running is fun and totally do-able, and plans like body for life, or mark sissons are also really easy to fit into your schedule.
i started by signing up for a 2X weekly small group personal training class. it went for 8 weeks at my local Y and was a lot of fun. i learned a ton from the trainer, who was a woman my age who absolutely loves free weights. since i paid for the class, i HAD to show up. i made sure it fit in my schedule, and by the end of the 8 weeks i was armed with a ton of knowledge, i was really comfortable in the gym, knew a bunch of faces and had dropped more than 4% body fat. it was a great motivator, and really helped gain confidence in the gym. good luck!
I am by no means an athlete, and I've also been prone to hurting myself when I've tried to start exercising in the past. However, I really like the "YOU: on a diet" workouts by RealAge. A lot of the poses are based in yoga and have a focus on warming up, building some muscle, and then stretching. They have a beginner's workout that's 20 minutes long, very modified (like the pushups are from a full out hands/knees position with no incline from your hips to your back), and I always feel great after doing them. Plus, they're free on YouTube! There are different levels which are essentially the same workout with more challenging positions.
Here's a link to the beginner's workout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMc-afhihfo
My mother, mother in law and myself (postnatal) all used this home based system called T-Tapp. Anyone can do it. It is resistance based - bodyweight only. The focus is on core muscles. I can't really describe it, check it out here.
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