Swimming is a great cardio--esp. if your feet are out of commission at the moment--and it's impossible to fall in the water!
I like Leslie Sansone dvds; they are 'walking' not running. Not much upper body but they let you adjust to your own level and intensity, and the steps are simple.
I endorse those who suggest you need strength training "building muscles" won't make you look 'muscle-bound' or muscular; it WILL help you gain control of your body and it can make everything else easier.
10/3/11 12:44 P
I'm rhythmically impaired so those dancey type cardio dvds are just not my bag. But I found step aerobics clicked with me. Yes, you have to do a routine (doing different step moves using the step block) but something about the step made keeping the beat much easier for me (being able to mentally say "up, down"). You could find step aerobics dvds at your local library (free!) and learn a few moves then make up your own routines to your own music. That's kind of what I did (I took a class that had some step in it, so I just copied the instructor's routine).
Biking really works for me, too. At first I was intimidated (my balance and coordination weren't that good) but once I practiced a bit I got comfortable. And you can get bike trainers that will turn a regular bike into a stationary bike so you could bike year round (trainers are a bit expensive at around $100, but it's something to think about).
I also highly recommend YOGA (and pilates, though I prefer yoga). My balance and coordination have definitely improved with my yoga practice. In fact, balancing poses are some of my favorites. Yoga will also strengthen and tone your muscles.
For yoga dvds, I recommend Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior. It may not seem like a beginner dvd but you can go as slowly as you need to and he does encourage folks by reminding them to work at their level (and the guy they have doing the modified moves is built like a football player, so seeing him doing the "easy" moves just reinforces the idea that even really fit folks may not be that flexible and it's perfectly fine).
Fitness Minutes: (137,964)
13,842 10/2/11 11:11 A
jump rope w/o a rope
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
7,159 10/2/11 3:25 A
Chair workouts and upper body workouts..
Have you been seen by a doctor or shoe specialist and observed for problems that make you trip and fall? You may need another shoe that gives your feet more support.. I watch people through my job, many people run the risk of going over on their ankles all the time because of skeleton problems and wrong shoes.. It is worth running past your doctor and getting answers..
10/1/11 11:49 P
Just an update -
Doc says I broke one toe and strained two ligaments in my foot, so I have to take it easy for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately this cuts a lot of cardio options out.
So... any suggestions? Maybe I could lay on my back & "run" in the air :)
10/1/11 8:59 A
Thanks to everyone for your input!
I'm not too concerned about improving my grace/balance, but if it happens to come along, then it would be an added bonus :) I'm more concerned about slimming down without building muscle. And seriously, I do not need more muscle mass in my legs. They are already way too big. I could wear one pants size smaller if it weren't for my ridiculously large thigh muscles.
I never actually got to the running part, at least I don't think so. It was more like walking, then jogging for about a minute, then going back to walking because I was too tired to keep going. I tripped over my own feet - literally - maybe it was the way that my feet land on the pavement, or maybe I found that one loose pebble on the ground that sent me airborne. I avoid curbs, trails and tracks because I know that it just leads to disaster for me.
I would like to be able to do Zumba, but I see so many DVDs out there because it's become so overwhelmingly popular, it's hard to tell if one version is better than the next. Also, there's the whole lack of coordination thing. I tried Billy Banks Tae Bo, and I could do most of the moves, but some of them I just can't quite get.
Any suggestions on good starter Yoga DVDs? I have heard that it's a great way to tone and balance at the same time, but again, there are so many out there.
9/29/11 9:40 P
I am tragically uncoordinated when it comes to choreographed dance-type fitness classes. I gave someone a black eye in a step aerobics class in college. Seriously, I stepped the wrong way and flung my hand right into their face, hitting them just right. Ever since then, the only group cardio class I feel comfortable in is group cycling/spinning. There isn't too much of the fast-change moves, and if I do screw up, I'm in my own little rectangle of space without the possibility of injuring someone else. Besides some prenatal yoga dvds, I haven't found any videos I'm coordinated enough to do.
About the running, I'm wondering if you are trying to go full out into running too soon, or going too fast. What are you tripping on? Are you doing trail runs? Is it curbs? Do you have a school track available to you, maybe try that? You might want to look into something like couch to 5k so you could ease into it more slowly and work on your form. I'm not the most graceful person, but I could work up to running. The only time I trip is when I'm exhausted and stop paying attention to my running form. After saying all that, there's nothing wrong with walking. It can be a great workout.
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
1,474 9/29/11 9:25 P
Yes, you do not have to run. So do you want to improve your grace/balance? Or just avoid hurting yourself? I second the suggestion of yoga or tai chi or maybe bellydance as all these are good for improving movement and balance and beginners classes are often oriented to people who may be challenged in balance and move slow enough. These won't meet your cardio needs but may open up a lot of other important benefits (speaking as a former clumsy person, all three of those activities helped me in the past). Another option is swimming or water aerobics. For home workouts, how about the home walking workouts for some mild cardio? That might depend on your fitness, but I've heard good things about them. I tried a couple on exercise tv and they seemed kind of like low impact aerobics but not very dancey. They are only a little like walking (I was skeptical about walking in place at home so I mention that, but they are step oriented just not complicated).
Fitness Minutes: (33,133)
9/29/11 7:19 P
I'm really uncoordinated and can't dance. I'v tried Zumba and Hip Hop Abs and just couldn't do them. I live in Wisconsin, so the weather doesn't always cooperate for long walks outside. I just discovered Leslie Sansone's walking DVD's and found a perfect fit. No fancy moves, just Leslie's positive attitude and a great cardio workout.
Fitness Minutes: (123,831)
9/29/11 6:42 P
I'm uncoordinated too, so most of my exercise is walking. I also do strength training with hand-held weights an exercise bands.
Fitness Minutes: (11,609)
9/29/11 2:27 P
As another clumsy and non-athletic person who quite recently has taken up fitness pursuits, I feel your pain.
I would actually recommend strength training despite the fact that you say you don't want to gain muscle. More muscle will make you more coordinated and less clumsy. It will also, somewhat paradoxally, make you more slender and toned. Your body will both look better and move better if you strength train regularly.
For cardio, I would recommend swimming or water aerobics. Water usually makes it easier to move around. I always feel less clumsy when I am in water.
Otherwise, I second yoga. Yoga makes everything better.
Edited by: XIUXIE at: 9/29/2011 (14:29)
9/29/11 10:51 A
I am one of those who lost over 100 pounds just by walking and cycling and a sensible diet, cutting out NOTHING, but practicing moderation. In fact, when I started outdoor walking with my dog almost 3 years ago, she lost almost 10 pounds with NO change to her diet. She wasn't heavy to begin with, and now she is a fit, healthy, sleek 13 year old mutt.
ARCHIMEDESII is also right about the Yoga, or Tai Chi. I am also an extremely clumsy person, and I wanted to try Tai Chi to help improve my balance. I couldn't find a class, so I tried Yoga. There are some excellent beginner Yoga DVD's, or check your cable system of satelite provider. Check your local library for DVD's, and keep your eyes open at yard sales/flea markets.
is an excellent on-line source. I WOULD suggest at least a class or two, just so you can make sure you are doing the poses correctly to prevent injury , but there are some great balance poses that are super simple. I'll do tree pose in the yard while waiting for the dog to 'go.'
Fitness Minutes: (301,468)
9/29/11 10:30 A
You don't have to be a runner to be fit. Walking is wonderful cardiovascular exercise. There are members who will tell you how they lost 100+ pounds just by walking and watching what they ate.
Now, one thing I would recommend is that you consider taking a yoga class. Why ? There are yoga poses that can help improve your balance. You may find that adding balance exercise can help you keep from tripping in future. And there are many simple balance exercises you could do. A simple one would be to stand up tall, now balancing on one leg, lift the other leg off the floor about 6 inches. How long can you stay balanced ? Tree pose in yoga is a great balance exercise.
If you don't want to do yoga, try pilates. Pilates poses are variations on yoga poses and they also have some good exercises that will help you strengthen your core and help your balance too.
Have you ever considered taking a dance class ? Check your gym schedule and see if they have Zumba. Zumba is a Latin dance based cardiovascular class. It's a lot of fun and a great workout that will also help you with coordination. And you don't have to be a dancer to do it. it's for everyone of all levels.
So, do think about adding some core and balance exercises your workout routine. Improving your balance will help you decrease the tripping.
9/29/11 9:08 A
You may want to try a spin class. You can control the intensity, so it doesn't matter how fit you are.
9/29/11 5:19 A
I tried the elliptical and it wore me out in about 2 minutes. I realized that I had to work my way up to that, because my body is just not ready for that challenge. :)
I'll have to check out JM -Thanks!
Fitness Minutes: (82)
5 9/28/11 10:40 P
Have you tried using the elliptical? Or what about holding on while running? Holding on isn't as effective but it might keep you from tripping.
As for workout DVDs, I personally have a hard time finding the motivation to stick with them, but Jillian Michaels 30 day shred is challenging but definitely a good workout.
9/28/11 9:46 P
Try as I might, I am just not a runner. I did a walk/jog with some coworkers, and tripped four times. I have tried the treadmill and it's just tragic - although probably amusing for the onlookers. I tried running again this morning and I was able to do a few sprints, but I spent most of the time walking. Then I found that I had somehow hurt my right foot and my right hip, and now I'm having trouble walking.
I have no idea how I constantly hurt myself, but it happens every time I try to run. The reason I wanted to get into running is that I need to slim down the middle of my body - from just below my rib cage to just above my knees. I have heard that running is a great way to slim down and tone up without building up too much muscle. I've got ferocious thigh and calf muscles, and I really don't want them to get any bigger.
So, it seems that running is a very, very bad idea for me. I'm looking for any suggestions on what else to try. I'd be most likely to stick with something that I can do indoors in the tiny space that I have in my living room, so if you know of some workout DVDs that will get me moving without breaking a hip, I would be willing to try it. Please be specific if you can, because I've tried a few workout DVDs and some of them started building up my muscle - which I really want to avoid.