Friday, October 26, 2012
Let me start this with the disclaimer that I'm not a professional in any of the aspects of a lifestyle change. I built my program by reading, thoughtfully reading, Sparkpeople articles and choosing those things that I thought would work for me. However, I read other people's blogs and posts and realize that my program won't work for the person in a wheelchair. My program won't work for the person that feels that tracking their nutrition and fitness is oppressive. What should they do? Quit? Why? They can develop their own program using the information available here on Sparkpeople and asking questions on message boards. Perhaps the person in the wheelchair can use a recumbent bike or upper body exercises for some cardio. Perhaps the person who feels that tracking is oppressive can achieve calorie control through food choices and portion control. Thinking about solutions instead of dwelling on the problem is how we move past those things.
In deciding on foods I had to choose what would work for me and my family. I know that I'm the adventurous eater in my house so, while there are foods I would like to try, I know that I'm the only one in the house that will even taste them. I dabbled with vegetarian and juicing but soon saw that I was on the wrong track. It took time and I had many bad days but eventually I found my groove. Your situation is probably different than mine but you can figure out what works for you.
I've been active my whole life but 70 years of wear and tear and three reconstructive joint surgeries led to a few challenges when it came to developing a physical fitness program. Fortunately for me I can walk, so I started with that but knew I had to do strength training to better take care of my family and slow the muscle loss that comes with age. I spent time looking through the Sparkpeople exercises to find which ones I can do and built a strength training program. I settled on a mix of floor exercises and dumbbell exercises because, since I had dumbbells, it would cost me nothing. Did I mention that I'm cheap?
I started with a few exercises and added more on as I became accustomed to the work. At the beginning three of the dumbbell exercises were done with only the weight of my hands in order to protect my shoulder's rotator cuffs. I settled on three days a week for strength training and it took months to get up to doing a full body workout on each of those days. My overriding approach to strength and cardio training was to DO SOMETHING. That approach isn't the perfect one but it was good enough.
I will grant you that this isn't a magic bullet. It takes time.
The way I look at it is that I have the rest of my life to do it. You may look at it differently. The thing I really like about this approach is that it's my program. I built it. You can too and then one day you can say you did it your way.
Enjoy the ride,