OH Community Help Time!
We often get emails, see threads or talk with people that are struggling with being more active. We'd love to know what's working for you!
What are your personal tips for starting and maintaining an exercise routine, or simple ways you add more physical activity into your life?
*We will turn this topic into a blog post with some of your helpful tips to further help the OH Community on their journey. OH Blog posts are shared on various social media outlets.
Here is what has worked for me over the last 18 months, turning me from a couch potato into someone who actually goes to the gym 5-6 days a week and is now running 5K's (which I swore would never happen because I really hate running):
1. Start off easy with walking...or cycling...treadmill or other machines. Doesn't matter what you pick but start off SLOW. If you start off like gangbusters you're going to hurt yourself or exhaust yourself. Either way it sabotages your efforts.
2. Increase the distance/mileage gradually each week. If you start off with 15 minutes walking, do 17 minutes the next week, 19 the next wee****il you are consistently moving your body for 30 minutes at a time. This goes for whatever form of cardio you are doing.
3. Shoot for movement/exercise at least 5 days a week. I'm one of those people that has to do something every single day because I get out of the routine too easily. Don't worry -- you're not at the fitness level in the first 6-9 months where you need to worry about giving your body a "rest" day. We don't need to rest from walking and movement. Come back and we'll talk about rest days when you're working out 6 days a week for an hour at 80% of your maximum heart rate.
4. As soon as you're cleared by your doctor, start some kind of resistance training - this is important! Choose a weight lifting routine (there's lots of easy ones you can do using your own body weight at home); resistance bands; kettlebells; light hand weights; Pilates. You pick -- but do it at least 2-3 times per week. Everyone who sees my arms and legs assumes I go to the gym and lift weights (seriously people, my legs are like granite). I use resistance bands 3 times a week and it's made a HUGE difference in my body.
4. Figure out if you're a gym person, a group fitness person or a lone wolf that likes to be on your own and then make that part of your routine. I found out at 1 year post-op that I'm a group person. If I didn't work out in a group situtaion I would never make it 5-6 times per week to the gym. The group keeps me accountable. My husband on the other hand can't stand groups or gyms...he's the lone wolf.
5. As you drop the weight and get more fit, start doing all the tricks you've read about before: 1) park further away from the store, 2) take the stairs instead of the elevator, 3) run to the mailbox and back, 4) walk that 6-12 blocks to your friend's house, 5) take walks around your building at lunch. Those little activities won't add up necessarily to calories burned or pounds lost, but you will be healthier and more alert because of it.
6. And finally - read this and memorize it: EXERCISE ISN'T HOW YOU LOSE WEIGHT! The battle of the bulge is won in the kitchen - period. You will never out-exercise a crappy diet. Exercise is about strenghtening your muscles and your heart/lung health so you have more ease of movement when doing normal, every day activities - so you can easily bend down and scoop up your kids/grandkids in your arms, so you can play frisbee in the park without throwing out your back, so you can run up those stairs at work without sweating and panting for air. It's about being able to live your life for a whole lot longer as a healthy, vital person.
Really great advice, Tracy
I've been working the resistance bands recently. Do you do them at your gym or watching YouTube? I'm the lone wolf - hate people - so I've found a few that I enjoy on YouTube. I was using barbells in the pool during the summer and would literally spend hours just pumping them. I miss it now that the weather is cold.
"Oderint Dum Metuant" Discover the joys of the Five Day Meat Test!
Height: 5'-7" HW: 449 SW: 392 GW: 179 CW: 220
Resistance bands are part of my group-training fitness class that I take. Three nights of HIIT with kickboxing and three nights of bands.
Find something you love. Over the past 13 years I've done many things. If it didn't feel right, I tried something else. I am a swimmer and am now working on being a runner too. It doesn't happen overnight. The key: don't give up...find YOUR passion. It's there.. .anything worth having is worth fighting for. 13 years out RNY maintaining 250 lb loss