Author Topic: Exercise recommendations please  (Read 4339 times)

Offline Jean

  • Major
  • ***
  • Posts: 951
  • Karma: 57
    • View Profile
Exercise recommendations please
« on: February 04, 2012, 02:31:12 PM »
Hi folks, I'm going to have a really good read of all the back workout threads once I have time. Just started a new job, so I'm still at the headless chook stage right now. In the meantime, I'd appreciate some thoughts about exercise please.

I think my diet is pretty good now, still working on it but I'm at a slim weight (lower than what I used to think of as "ideal") and I feel healthy and energetic. Fixing my diet was last year's project. This year I'd like to get fitter and stronger. I am extremely unfit and need to build up slowly. I've never been a person who found aerobic fitness easy; even in my younger days when I ran every day I only had average aerobic fitness. I'd really like to get fit enough that I can do physical things I enjoy without worrying about injuring myself or collapsing halfway through. I especially don't want to get decrepit as I age, so I really feel I need to start working on this now! (I am 45.)

To start with, DH and I are planning on doing a yoga and meditation class on Wednesday evenings to help us destress mid-week, and I'd like to incorporate a bit of daily yoga practice into my routine.

I enjoy all types of outdoor recreation and dancing. I hate all types of ball sports - no hand/eye coordination. I'm interested in getting into barefoot walking/running, but I get cold feet in winter. I don't like gym classes much, mainly because of the noise.

Physical problems/limitations are:
- I get a crick in my neck quite easily that can evolve into migraine, seems to happen while carrying heavy things even when I'm quite careful, eg loading a slab of water into a supermarket trolley
- I had a frozen shoulder a couple of years back so I'm still a bit wary of shoulder stress
- There are some exercises I can't do because of uterine prolapse, having intensive physio for that, will know by mid-year if I need a surgical fix. Basically anything that increases the pressure in the abdominal cavity a lot is out:  http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-safe-resistance-exercises.html
- Have had problems with achilles tendonitis for years. Started when I went for a ten-day tramp with a much heavier pack than I was used to. That's definitely worse when there is any pressure on them so I'm hoping barefoot might work better if I can get my technique right.

I don't enjoy exercise for its own sake much, so motivation is an issue. In the past I've been fittest when I've been doing things I love, like skiing and horseriding. Unfortunately those sorts of things tend to take more time and money than I have right now! I'm pretty busy just now and finding time is hard, especially during the week. Weekends are easier.

Any advice welcome thanks!    :)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 02:32:57 PM by Jean »

Offline Jean

  • Major
  • ***
  • Posts: 951
  • Karma: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 02:41:31 PM »
Oh, and I'd also like to look more toned, too.    ;)


Offline stuward

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 11:34:46 AM »
You seem to have come up with excuses why you can't do much.  Lets look at what you can do.  You like yoga, dancing, walking, etc.  that's good.  Low intensity fun activities should be the foundation of your exercise program.  Do lots of this and do it because you enjoy it. 

Next, add in a cardio/metabolic pathway/energy production training or whatever the latest buzzword is.  The key is progressively increasing your heartrate for brief periods.  You don't have to spend a long time on this.  A few minutes every couple of days will do it.  It does eventually have to get strenuous. 

The next step is resistance training.  There are 5 basic movements.  You should do each on a frequent basis, keeping in mind that it's the period between workouts that the positive adaptation takes place.  Recovery and rest are paramount.  The 5 movements are push, pull, squat, hinge and carry.  I can give you examples of each.  You need to do them hard enough that you start to struggle with the movement.  Start doing them with light weights and progressively (the second time I used that word, do you think that's a coincidence?) increase the load over time. 

Stu

Offline stuward

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 11:43:37 AM »
By the way, that web site has a lot of "can't do" exercises that I consider essential exercises.  Your goal should be to do all of those exercises.  Before you jump into a set of back squats, you need to prepare your body for that.  It's good that you are seeing a physio for your  uterine prolapse.  Print off the "can't do" list and give it to your therapists.  Tell him/her that her job's not done until you're cleared to do all those exercises.

Offline C C G

  • General
  • ****
  • Posts: 1506
  • Karma: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 04:33:57 PM »
I am lazy.  I hate cardio type exercises like running and circuits and use the excuse that my body is ideally shaped for procreation and not running (which is arguably true, being 5'1'' and 35-25-37, and having a lung capacity of about 2 litres, thanks Gran!).

I did yoga for a while but found it mind numbingly dull.  I also tried to do proper weights at the gym but felt pretty self-concious being the only girl picking up 10kg dumbells or trapped on the floor under a 35kg barbell doing hip squats.  And again, I found training alone super boring and found it pretty hard to motivate myself.

I would recommend
- dance class, but one with more emphasis on strength than aerobic, so ballet rather than zumba
- swimming, as it's non-impact
- rowing, again non-impact, although if you do it the fun way (crew team) then you'll even up doing a lot of medium-high intensity cardio, which pretty unfun.  You could do single sculling instead (or double scull with your husband) and mix your workouts between slow, low intensity and sprint /interval (anaerobic) workouts.  Rowing on water is about 10000000x more fun that the ergometer at the gym!
(disclaimer - former coxswain and sculler talking)
- gymnastics, as it's a good mix of aerobic, high intensity intervals, and bodyweight/strength exercises
- bodyweight exercises - see MDA and primal blueprint fitness

I just started doing Krav Maga, which is super fun, although a certain level of aggressiveness and imperviousness to pain does help


Offline Jean

  • Major
  • ***
  • Posts: 951
  • Karma: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 04:57:56 AM »
Thanks guys, those are good suggestions.

CCG I hadn't thought of rowing, but we have a small lake nearby with a competition rowing course and lots of rowing clubs on it. Maybe I should join a club! They'd often train early in the morning which I might be able to fit in with work if DH takes the bus to the train station in the morning rather than me giving him a lift as I do now. We are up before six as it is - he commutes to Melbourne for work - so a bit earlier wouldn't be that hard. I have long arms and hefty shoulders for a female, so I guess I might be able to get quite good at rowing. In my younger days when I did bodybuilding I used to lift more than lots of the guys at the gym. Not sure what kind of training they'd do in the winter - it would be dark before and after work then, although it doesn't get too cold to be out on the water here.

Offline C C G

  • General
  • ****
  • Posts: 1506
  • Karma: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 12:38:39 PM »
Thanks guys, those are good suggestions.

CCG I hadn't thought of rowing, but we have a small lake nearby with a competition rowing course and lots of rowing clubs on it. Maybe I should join a club! They'd often train early in the morning which I might be able to fit in with work if DH takes the bus to the train station in the morning rather than me giving him a lift as I do now. We are up before six as it is - he commutes to Melbourne for work - so a bit earlier wouldn't be that hard. I have long arms and hefty shoulders for a female, so I guess I might be able to get quite good at rowing. In my younger days when I did bodybuilding I used to lift more than lots of the guys at the gym. Not sure what kind of training they'd do in the winter - it would be dark before and after work then, although it doesn't get too cold to be out on the water here.

If you train in a double scull with your husband then you can do it whenever suits you, and you'll avoid the chronic cardio that you'd be subjected to rowing in 8s or 4s.  A double scull is also a great boat to learn in (compared to an 8+) because it is much more sensitive so it's very easy to tell how your movements affect the movement of the boat.  You can train in the winter with lights on the boat if you are experienced enough, so start now if you can!
Maybe do double sculling with your husband weekends and one night after work (depending on what time work finishes) and go out in a single on your own later in the mornings.

Rowing is actually more about legs (and lung capacity) than it is about arms...this is why a lot of rowers are also very good at cycling!  Most of the power comes from the legs, as they have much bigger muscles than the arms - have a look at the quads on the next group of rowers you see

Offline Jean

  • Major
  • ***
  • Posts: 951
  • Karma: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Exercise recommendations please
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 12:46:19 AM »
DH and I went for a drive around the lake today on the way home from town, checking out the possibilities. There are two community rowing clubs, one of which was advertising a "learn to row this summer" programme for beginners. Probably too late to join that now, but it was good to see.

There was also a canoe/kayak club. We agreed that might be a bit tame on the lake compared to white-water, although it would be interesting to paddle around the reed beds birdwatching.

There's a yacht club, which is a bit amusing as it's a tiny lake only 5km around and about six feet deep right across, and you can only sail little Hobie cats and such, but that could be fun too. I think most people belong for the social aspect, bar/restaurant etc. There are other bigger lakes within a half hour's drive from our place though, so if we got a little boat or some sailyaks we could go a bit further on weekends. The yacht club does learn to sail classes.

Today was a beautiful day, sunny with a light fresh breeze and only 27 degrees (it's been blissfully cool this summer), and there were lots of people milling around heading out on the sparkling water. I must say it looked very attractive! Neither DH nor I came from boating families so we've never really thought about doing these things before, but actually it has more appeal than getting into cycling or similar.