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  1. #1

    Default I feel so clueless about exercise! Help?

    OK, bear with me as I explain this a little bit.

    I've never really "had" to exercise in my life. Still technically don't need to. I'm 5'5, 110 pounds, and a size 2, so I'm not looking to lose weight. However, I want to a) tone my stomach and b) just feel healthier overall. Also, I suffer from chronic migraines, and I've heard that a regular exercise routine can help in preventing them.

    I get that TC might not be the best place to ask about this, but I felt like I'd be more with my type of people (heh) here rather than some sort of fitness forum. My goals are to tone and, more importantly, just increase my aerobic fitness. I can't even run on a treadmill without being completely out of breath really fast. Also, I've NEVER been in good aerobic shape, so I just have this overwhelming feeling of "where do I even start?" I don't even know how long I should be exercising, what I should be doing (bikes, stairs, treadmill?)... I'm so clueless, and I can't afford a personal trainer.

    I only have access to an crowded university gym. I live in NYC, so it's difficult for me to truly run outside (I know people do it, but I always hate when I'm walking and nearly run over by runners).

    What should I do? How long should I start with to build up my endurance? What types of machines should I use?

  2. #2
    Your time is gonna come. Oom's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar condition as you are. I'm a small dude just trying to feel healthier. I do some lifting, though I haven't done much aerobic exercising.

    I do hear that pilates can get fairly rigorous. Probably enough to whip you into shape and tone the muscle groups you would want toned.

    Sorry I couldn't have helped more.

  3. #3

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    No worries. Yeah, it's difficult when one doesn't really even know where to start. I've gone through phases where I'll go to the gym to go on a bike for a while, but I always walk away with a "am I doing this right? Is that all there is?" feeling.

    I unfortunately don't really have money for an additional class right now...

  4. #4
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    P90x... seriously. You can download it from torrents for free. You don't have to do as intense a program as they suggest, but there are enough workouts on the DVDs that you can create your own. Any one of their individual exercise sessions will get you into shape.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Use the city to your advantage--speed walk on your way to whereever, and run up and down some subway stairs (when it's not crowded, of course). Just get your heart rate up. Then do some pilates or crunches to tone your stomach.
    Something Witty

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    Junior Member Darwin's Avatar
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    How long you should be exercising for and what exercises you should be doing is very personal and obviously this is not the place for personalized exercise information.

    However, there is probably some useful general advice, some of which has already been given.

    One thing I will say is that you should start small, with less intense workouts and shorter periods of time. Gradually work your way up as your body becomes accustomed to it.

    Even simply walking where you might otherwise drive or take public transport can be helpful. Climb the stairs instead of taking the lift. Dance around when music is on.

    You will also need to consider the relationship between your exercise and your diet. There is a good website/computer program for balancing your diet with exercise:

    CalorieKing - Diet and weight loss. Calorie Counter and more

    (I use the Australian version of this program)

    The program is geared more towards those who want to lose weight, but it is more flexible. You can set it up to maintain your current weight, then you simply enter in the food you eat each day and the amount and type of exercise you do. The program will estimate your energy intake and expenditure, so you can see if you are exercising "too much" (or perhaps eating too little for the amount of exercise you want to do).
    ISTP (possibly ISFP)

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Liminality's Avatar
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    Try and find a club of some kind, like begginers flamenco dancing (challenging, but fun, you need good coordination skills)

    Or you could try getting a couple of 1.5-3Kg weights for your arms. Start off doing 10 lots of three different arm excersizes, 1-3 times daily, and gradually build up, adding say 5 at the end of every week, with this you could do 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, and ten of something else (I do leg lifts - lie verticaly on the floor, and raise both legs, together, straight, like (diagram: ) everything down: __ , body down, legs up: _| and repeat, swinging down, swinging up, and gradually build up.

    The cheapest is jogging, 30 mins is a good, but slightly challenging starting point (20 is easier, but it's unlikely you'll get great bursts of endorphins) depending on levels of fittness. The thing you must remember with jogging, is GO SLOW to begin with, go so slow it hardly feels like jogging, and isn't tiring you out, and STAY at that painfully slow speed throughout, and see how tired you get. ONLY vary this speed (untill you know how fast/slow to go) a little little bit each time you try and figure out your limits. A little pressure over a long period of time can leave you exhausted. If you're jogging for over 40 minutes, take water with you, and drink a fair chunk before you leave if you're not bringing it with you.

    Jogging is supposedly one of, if not the best form of excersize for the heart, and the great thing is you improve over time, and preetty much never stop improving, because it's excersizing your heart as well as external capability.

    Also, take care of your blood sugar (Have a banana a little bit before hand, and then something else after, like a hot chocolate, depending on energy levels), and if you've been struggling from an illness on and off, are majorly exhausted from school, just had a really bad period, it's probably better to just lie out infront of the tv, getting your stregnth back. There are few feelings quite ikebeing in the middle of a jog, and getting a blood sugar drop (takke this rom me, it's horrific).

    Another good thing for general health is to cut out fizzy drinks, crisps, and cheap chocolate and carbohydrate (ie chocolate bar/buiscuits, sugary breakfast cereal), ohh, and mood stimulants (ie frequently having strong coffee) from what you eat. Don't worry about it in a diet sort of way, you coould be hit by a truck tomorrow, a coke isn't gonna kill you; if you have the occasional chocolate bar when upset, eat grtuitously at a party, or are watching a movie, it's totally cool, just try to avoid having them daily, even better cut them out for the most part.

    Also also, lots of water, sleep and good food (cheap bran and wheat is WRONG, SICK AND everything evil *Had it forced on her, is scarred*) good for your intestines and bowels are a must. My mum was a nurse at a time and she said the nuber of old people with bowel cancer is rather scary, so take care of those insides!!!

    Went a little over board there, but there you are, an intestine saved is just one more good thing in this world.
    Come along Fool
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    It's not that it's bad, it's not that it's death
    It's just on the tip of your tongue, and you're so silent

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by theplacesyoullgo View Post
    OK, bear with me as I explain this a little bit.

    I've never really "had" to exercise in my life. Still technically don't need to. I'm 5'5, 110 pounds, and a size 2, so I'm not looking to lose weight. However, I want to a) tone my stomach and b) just feel healthier overall. Also, I suffer from chronic migraines, and I've heard that a regular exercise routine can help in preventing them.

    I get that TC might not be the best place to ask about this, but I felt like I'd be more with my type of people (heh) here rather than some sort of fitness forum. My goals are to tone and, more importantly, just increase my aerobic fitness. I can't even run on a treadmill without being completely out of breath really fast. Also, I've NEVER been in good aerobic shape, so I just have this overwhelming feeling of "where do I even start?" I don't even know how long I should be exercising, what I should be doing (bikes, stairs, treadmill?)... I'm so clueless, and I can't afford a personal trainer.

    I only have access to an crowded university gym. I live in NYC, so it's difficult for me to truly run outside (I know people do it, but I always hate when I'm walking and nearly run over by runners).

    What should I do? How long should I start with to build up my endurance? What types of machines should I use?
    Is your primary goal to improve your body composition (better abs, among other things) and feel better physically,

    OR

    to get into better shape for distance running per se?

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