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LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
3/26/14 7:07 P

Walking is a great start. As someone else said, resistance bands are easy to use, and really inexpensive. Plus, they don't take up any room; I stick mine in my suitcase when I travel.

I would also recommend yoga. There are more and more studios that offer yoga for the non-yogi. My favorite studio offers "stiff guy" yoga and "big girl" yoga in addition to classes for every skill level. Yoga is great for balance, stretching, and peace of mind. Once you've gone to a few classes, it is easy enough to practice at home with a video, but those first classes are really worth it to make sure that you are doing the poses correctly.

If you have access to a pool, lap swimming is a great exercise that is easy on your joints, and that is both cardio and strength training. Most pools also offer water workout classes too, if lap swimming does not interest you.

Finally, I would recommend getting a Fitbit or other pedometer; Spark makes one as well. just wearing mine encourages me to make better choices--taking the long way home, parking the car further away from where I am going and walking. It is amazing how some simple choices can really add up.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,908
3/26/14 6:37 P

I agree that walking 3-4 times per week is a great start. Don't be afraid to experiment with different kinds of exercise to find things you like- because if you like it, you'll stick with it. Check out the videos on our site (click on Articles and Videos at the top of the page and go to Videos) which can give you both cardio and strength training variety. In general, I'd recommend starting with 2 full-body strength training sessions each week. In addition to the videos, check out SparkPeople's Workout Generator, which will create a strength program for you based on your fitness level and equipment available. Here's a link:

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Coach Jen

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
3/26/14 6:27 P

Start where you are. Get moving. At your skill level and sedentary lifestyle, just moving will make you improve.

Get up, and start walking. Aim for three times a week, at least 30 minutes, to start, or whatever you can do. Aim to go a little longer and a little farther each week.

Check out resistance bands; they're low impact, cheap, and versatile. There's even a great Sparkteam here for them. Strength training is important, but it doesn't have to be complicated!

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
3/26/14 5:18 P

Check out "Body by You" by Mark Lauren. It's a book that introduces you to bodyweight strength training and helps you set up a plan for going forward. One thing you do want to keep in mind is that you want to give the muscles you train 48-72 hours rest between sessions. This translates to a full body routine every other day or every two days (depending on goals, inclination, etc) or rotating between areas of the body on different days (ie alternating upper and lower body days). Best of luck!

3/26/14 5:01 P

I've decided that I finally need to do something to get in shape, but I have NO idea where to start. I'm not concerned about the food part of it (I know how to eat properly b/c I lost 20 pounds last year just by adjusting my food). What I don't know is how to be most effective with exercise. Here's a bit about me to take into consideration when I look for a plan:

* I'm 43 so I know I can't do all the hard core plans that 20 year olds do.
* I have bad knees so I can't do anything that twists the knees.
* I'm a full-on beginner - just a regular ol' couch potato, so it would have to be something that builds endurance
* I don't have a gym membership and can't afford one (also can't afford a trainer).

My ultimate goal is just to be healthy. Yes, I need to lose weight, but I really don't care about that part of it. I want a healthy heart and to feel good.

I don't know why I feel shell shocked with trying to figure out what to do. I think there's just SO much out there and it seems that it's not made for people that are true beginners. I get bored doing the same thing over and over so I thought I'd go to the library to get some videos to try. I figure I can do something for a week then get another one, but I'm afraid that I won't be effective when trying to work on all my muscles over time.

The weather is supposed to finally clear up a bit so I'm planning on going outside to walk 30 minutes each day, but what would you recommend for strength training? I work better when I have a plan to follow (XXX on Monday, XXX on Tuesday, etc) so I found YouTube not helpful either since it was just a large amount of exercises and no plan.

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