I agree that you wouldn't want to wait to start strength training. That should be part of your exercise routine from the beginning. 3 days of cardio and 2 days of strength each week is a great schedule. Just be sure to start slow. You can get a full body strength workout in about 15 minutes, so each workout doesn't have to be really long to see results.
Hope that helps,
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Why not do cardio and strength training at the same time? Bodyweight HIIT training offers the ability to do both without a gym membership, or any weights. I can easily get my heart rate up and get a full body workout doing HIIT at home. (Google beginner HIIT workouts at home) for lots of ideas and videos. The main thing is to concentrate on doing exercises that work the entire body, and to throw in some exercises that get your heart rate up for 15-30 minutes in a circuit. I do 3-5 different core full body exercises, one after the other in a circuit, with short breaks in between up to 30 minutes. I like to do exercises that force me to balance too. As we age and as we lose muscle mass, we also lose our balance. Falling is very common for old people.
You should always include strength training, cardio exercise and an appropriate amount of protein to your healthy diet to maintain your muscle mass. Your muscles are your most calorie hungry organs in the body. The more muscle you lose as you age, or from really restricted calorie diets, and for many people from simply being sedentary, the slower your metabolism becomes and the harder it is to maintain a healthy weight (especially as we age). Did you know that physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30? Your BMR can go down over 200 calories a day from the loss of muscle as we age. For some people, that 200-300 calories is almost a full meal every day. Why would you want to lose muscle knowing that? I certainly don't want to get fatter as I age and have to eat less. That makes little sense.
Just the process of stressing your muscles during training, forces the body to repair the muscle tissue when you're done. Repeating this process over and over 2-3x a week, keeps the metabolic activity in your body going constantly. Eating healthy food and resting between workouts gives your body the nutrients and time to recover. Exercise and using your muscles is more than just a way to feel better, it is essential for good health as we age.
"Would 3 days cardio and 2 days strength. Would this be sufficient to lose weight?" You cannot out exercise a poor diet. Yes, those are good things to do, but weight loss is more about nutrition than cardio/strength.
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Losing weight is more about your diet than exercise. Exercise is just plain good for us and will certainly help your weight loss efforts. I don't know what you were doing before you joined Spark and if it wasn't a lot, personally I'd start slow. Just start with some walking and then up the pace. Strength training is very good for us. Of course, all this is predicated on your having your doctor's OK to start exercising.
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I was hoping to do walking/ jogging until I got a little more in shape. Then add a strength dvd. I was hoping to exercise 5 days a week. The research I seem to be reading is that I shouldn't wait to start the strength. Would 3 days cardio and 2 days strength. Would this be sufficient to lose weight? Thanks!