‘Exercise Info’ Category

Weight Loss Walking Plans

Exercise can be a little tricky if you are an original couch potato (like yours truly).  One of the easiest ways to exercise if you’re not used to it is walking.

I wanted to do something, and walking seemed to be about the easiest — put on the shoes and go.  But I had some things holding me back.

  • First, I didn’t want to appear in public in exercise clothes.  Actually, I didn’t want to appear in public at all, because I was so ashamed of my appearance.
  • Next, I didn’t want to either pass out from heat exhaustion or get stuck in a thunderstorm.  Here where I live in Florida, it’s hot and humid all year, except for maybe a week in the winter.  Plus, there aren’t any sidewalks, so I’d be out in the street or trudging along the swales.
  • One of my legs had been injured, and although I could walk some, I had a fear of the pain getting really bad more than a few blocks from home and have to practically crawl back (ew).

Ok, so those were my excuses, valid or not.  But I wanted to do something — I really needed a weight loss walking plan that I could do, and that I could stick to.  Even if it was only a couple times a week, it would be better than nothing.

 

   

 

After reviewing my options, I decided on the “Walk Away the Pounds” program of in-home walking.  It let me exercise at home, in the air-conditioning and if I really started hurting, I could just stop and hobble to a chair.

Here’s how it works:  put on your walking shoes, pick one of the DVDs, pop it in and follow the walk.  You can do anywhere from 1/2 mile on up to 5 or more.  You walk in place most of the time, but there are also a few stretchy side-to-side movements (easy even for me) to give it a little interest and move some different muscles.

The pace is a mile in 15 or 18 minutes (depending on the DVD).  There is music to keep you on pace, and the leader, too (Leslie Sansone).  Yeah, she’s a little too chatty at times, but her enthusiasm is much appreciated.

The Walk Away the Pounds weight loss walking plans have quite a few DVDs available.  Honestly, I got a few so I could vary the routine a little — the same DVD over and over again would drive me batty.

I’m almost to the point where I can walk in public — well, except for the heat and thunderstorm part at any rate.  But these walking DVDs are great for either getting started on a walking routine or for something different to do from time to time.

The DVD is a keeper for me.

Do I Really Need to Exercise to Lose Weight?

If you haven’t been exercising in the last few years or decades, it’s a daunting proposition.  And if you’re significantly overweight (40 or more pounds), you may be very self-conscious exercising in public.  So you may be asking, "Can I just skip the exercise part of the diet and exercise?".

Yes, you can.

No, you shouldn’t.

Here’s why.

Not everyone can exercise.  I know a lovely woman who was 90 pounds overweight, but confined to a wheelchair due to a disability.  She lost the 90 pounds (although slowly) with a sensible diet.

I know there are lots of people who find exercise very difficult or painful, like with arthritis and some other diseases.  Others who can’t walk.  Are they doomed to staying overweight because they can’t exercise?

No.  With a sensible (and possibly doctor-supervised) diet, even people who cannot exercise can lose weight.

That being said — if you can exercise at all, you should, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes a day.

It doesn’t count if you can physically exercise but say you can’t due to schedules or  travel or the fact that the sun rises in the morning.   There are exercises you can do in an office chair, resistance bands that fit into a small purse.  Not to mention just plain walking!

I’m the first to admit that I am, or was, a couch potato.  That the thought of exercising made me feel faint.  I didn’t want to go out in public or to a gym.  And to top it all off, I had a leg injury that prevented me from walking very far.

But I was able to do some strength training with resistance bands.  Able to do some simple balance ball routines.  Not a whole lot, but every little bit makes a difference.  I’m still struggling with the walking, as I can make it only a half mile before the pain sets in, but I’ll get there eventually.

Yes, you really should exercise if you’re physically able.  You don’t have to start a big routine right away (unless you want to).  Just make the effort to start and remember that every little bit counts.