Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You've Got to Move It...Move It! Beginner Style


Amazing! Two days in a row. This must mean that at least my mind is ready to get up and get going. Hoping the body will be ready to follow in a day or two.

The other day I heard someone say that if it weren't for exercise...working out wouldn't be so bad. I had to laugh. People have a mind set that if you are to lose weight through exercise...that "working out" (i.e. lifting weights, jogging and doing aerobics until you drop) are the only path to success. To that I say.....NOT TRUE!

Now before I continue let me reiterate something I have said a number of times in this blog. Before you start any kind of an exercise/workout program....be sure and talk to your doctor. Depending on your weight, your age and your over all health there could be certain restrictions as to what he/she would like you to safely do...especially in the beginning. But in most cases....they will not only okay but encourage some form of activity to get you up and moving.

That being said....there aren't a lot of us that are truly excited about working out....EVER! Lets face it, if we had the choice to sit in our recliner and watch our favorite tv show or to get up and exercise....our recliner and tv are going to win out every time. And that is why we need to move more than anything. Our recliner and tv are part of the reason why we are fat, unhealthy and completely out of shape. If there was a zombie apocalypses right now....I am pretty sure I would be the first to go! Yep...that's just how out of shape I am.

So what is the cure for those of us who NEED to exercise but hate the thought of bar bells and sit ups? MOVING! That's right. Like the song says...."You've got to move it...move it...move it!" If you are a beginner (i.e. haven't exercised since Reagan was president) then for most of us....jumping into jumping jacks, push ups and a mile run won't work. Your body is not prepared for that straight out of the gate. You can't go from A to Z in the alphabet without hitting the other letters first and the same goes for exercise. You can't go from your only exercise being walking from the kitchen to the recliner and then suddenly run a marathon. Your muscles, along with your heart and lungs are out of shape and they need conditioning. However....just for fun and if you really want to test yourself now and then check on your progress later on down the line there is a little test called the *Move It Move It test which you can do your first day of exercise and then retest yourself a month later. I will post it at the end of this blog.You might just be surprised at your progress.

Now....let me say a little bit about exercise. If you are overweight...chances are that there is a reason aside from the obvious...that you eat too much and you don't move enough. Perhaps you live a high stress lifestyle. Maybe you suffer from mild depression or maybe you use food to mask emotions. While this sounds a bit psycho babbly...the fact is that food is often how we make ourselves feel better which in turn makes us fat. If someone hurts our feelings we reach for the Hagen Das, if we are mad we reach for the chips and sometimes when we are blissfully happy...we celebrate with food. For just a few minutes...food can heal a broken heart, fill a void and make us happier than sex, but just as quickly it can make us feel horrible about ourselves, our willpower and our lives. What most people don't know is that exercise can do all that food can do with none of the bad side effects. When you are mad...if you punch a punching bag for 10 minutes instead of reaching for that ice cream....you will get the same euphoric feeling with the added bonus of calorie burn and no self loathing afterwards. If you go for a walk when you are sad instead of reaching for the chips....it clears the head, it honestly helps the pain and your metabolism is jolted into burning calories up to an hour after you take that walk. Bottom line is that exercise can give you all the same feelings as a half a cheesecake without the regret later. Of course exercise has more than just psychological benefits such as muscle building, weight loss and setting you on track for a healthier you, but in my way of thinking....the psychological benefits are the most important. It teaches you to handle the world around you in a healthy way. Studies show that those who exercise regularly have less depression and are more productive in the work place. Who knew that exercise was the "magic pill" we have all wanted and it is as close as getting up out of the recliner and moving?

So if not the pushups and toe touches...then what is exercise? Exercise is anything that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up for a period of time. Can't afford a gym membership? No problem. Go up and down your stairs 4-5 times in a row and then gradually increase. Waiting for your laundry to finish? Grab the fabric softener and the Clorox bottles and do 10 curls. Think you hate sports in general? Try getting a punching bag and gloves (usually priced $50-$100) and start out punching for 10 minutes and work your way up. You will be amazed how much frustration and aggression can come out in just a short session and how much better you feel afterwards. Do you like to dance? Want to learn? The internet is full of free instructional videos on line dancing. Pull some up and give it a go right in the privacy of your own living room. You will be amazed at how much fun you have. Before you know it.....you will have sweated your way through a half hour workout and love every second of it. If you have a Wii game system for your kids.....get yourself a Wii fit game or a dance game. These will have you up and moving and some of them even have built in monitors to monitor your progress. There is also biking, bowling and the greatest exercise of all...WALKING!

Walking is the exercise that almost anyone of any size and any fitness level can do. If you are severely overweight and out of shape, start by walking to the end of the block and back. Gradually you can add on from there. While I love walking outdoors....weather is not always permitting but that shouldn't stop you. If you have access to a treadmill you can easily bring your walk indoors or if no treadmill....there are walking videos you can purchase and even some online that take you through a one mile walk right in your own living room. However you want to do it...works. Walking is often the cornerstone of any beginner workout. You may start with walking only to the end of the block and find yourself soon walking a couple of miles per day.

The point I am trying to make is....whether you choose to walk, dance or maybe you want to get creative with house work or possibly you want to beat the tar out of a punching bag.....however you want to do it.....get up and MOVE IT! Start out with as little as 10 minutes 3 times per week and gradually add time until you get yourself up to half an hour and then an hour. I guarantee you will see the effects in how you feel both mentally and physically and you will see your body change as you start to shed pounds. Of course I would be remiss if I didn't throw in that exercise must go hand in hand with eating healthier and choosing  healthier foods over high fat and processed foods. We will be talking more about good food choices in later blogs. Today though...I give you a challenge. Take 10 minutes and move. Walk outside, walk your stairs or try some dance moves. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you are up and moving. Let today be the first day of a healthier you.

So there you have it. The magic pill is exercise and the key is you. Now lets get up and Move It....beginner style!



*The Move It Move It Test

Day One of Exercise
In 1 minute I can do _____ situps
In 1 minute I can do _____ pushups
In 1 minute I can do _____ toe touches
I can run/walk a mile in _____ minutes

After one month of moving/exercise at least 3 times per week, take the test again. Where are you now? Continue taking the test monthly and watch yourself progress. 

One Month of Exercise
In 1 minute I can do _____ situps
In 1 minute I can do _____ pushups
In 1 minute I can do _____ toe touches
I can run/walk a mile in _____ minutes

7 comments:

  1. I can't say just how much I love this blog. I especially like the housework part of working out. Since I am a SAM working out around my family responsibilities can be daunting. As you pointed out though, my housework can turn into a workout with little effort. Love this. Keep up these blogs. I love them.

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  2. Interesting ideas. I like the fact that you remind people to check with their doctor before starting to exercise. The exercises that you talked about seem very doable for anyone but I especially like your emphasis on walking. I started walking for 15 minutes a day two years ago and I now walk 3-5 miles daily and once a week I do a 10 mile walk. I have lost a total of 75 pounds and I feel like a brand new person. Trust me, if I can do this anyone can.

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  3. Speaking as someone who has taught fitness classes and worked as a personal trainer, to be truly fit you have to work on muscle mass vs. fat. As you said though, you can't go from A to Z without the rest of the alphabet. You are right on target with first checking with your physician and then starting out slow with an activity that interests you and is doable for your lifestyle. My only suggestion would be to get a set of dumbells 1 or 2 lbs and set another 10 minutes aside a day to do curls and lifts to start toning the arms. The more muscle mass you have the more fat you burn. You can also use these small weights on walks, swinging your arms holding the weights as you go. As this blogger says though, start doable and then build from their. This is my first time reading your blog and I am intrigued. Keep up the good work and good luck on your own efforts.

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  4. Awesome little fitness test at the end of the blog. Those simple exercises plus the mile run are an excellent guage of where you are physically. Something very similar is used in physical fitness tests for school children. I hope anyone who is serious about a starting point for health reads your blog. Loved it.

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  5. No More Couch Potato'sJanuary 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    We implemented a new rule in our house this new year. To earn 1 hour of tv you must do 1 hour of exercise. This can mean yard work, a kickball or football game or an hour on the treadmill. This is for adults and kids alike. I can already see that this has cut down on our laying around tv time and it has also gotten us closer as a family. We are doing things athletically as a family and we are also spending more time playing games, reading and yes, even doing homework. There were grumbles from even my husband when we started this, but 16 days into the new year and we all seem to be thriving. No more couch potato's here. Nice blog.

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  6. Working out seems so difficult from my couch. I want to be thin and fit if I can be thin and fit watching The Big Bang Theory while eating a meatball sub. I know. Not going to happen. Reading your blog does bring home the fact that 10 minutes a day is not too much to ask to start on a healthier life. In fact I like all of your ideas. I know I will never be supermodel thin but knowing I am healthy and will be around to torment my kids for another 20 or 30 years is so worth turning off the tv and putting down the sandwich.

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  7. I love this blog....very well written I have been working hard on my fitness and have seen it as a lifestyle change not a diet. I LOVE working out but am limited by back issues. Dont let it slow me down. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to walk.....its how I started this journey out doing....that and the Wii Fit. But as you say....anything that WORKS for you is what you should start out doing. Any kind of moving is better then just sitting on the couch.

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