Getting Ready for Exercise

As Jenny mentioned in the The Hiatus Ends post, my long term goal for this year is to loose the same amount of weight in 6 months that it took all year for me to loose in 2011. So today I wanted to do a little research on exercise to find out what Weight Watchers had to say about it compared to what I already know.

I’m no stranger to being active.

Granted, we might not immediately recognize each other on the street after being apart for so many years, but we used to know each other quite well. When you grow up in a small town in Texas and you’re one of the largest boys in your grade, you can pretty well count on being a part of the football team. Around here that means that even as early as sixth grade you’re looking at anywhere from 5-10 hours of weightlifting every week on top of 5-15 hours of weekly practice during the school year with closer 4-6 hours of practice and lifting every day during the summer. (Three-a-days, how I hated thee…)

I’ve been active before, and I know I can do it again.

I know that right now I’m much more out of shape today than I was 12 years ago, and I have no misconceptions of being able to do anywhere close to that level of activity right now. So when I did my research today I knew that I wanted to start off with something light to get back into the habit and then ramp it up until I find my challenge and comfort zones.

The following is what I found for people who are just getting started with exercise and Activity Points. Their initial plan for getting you active is to shoot for 14 Activity Points per week.

From the Weight Watchers Website:

What this means
A Weekly Activity PointsPlus goal of 14 means doing low-to-moderate intensity activity for about 30 minutes per day, or increasing your high-intensity activity. You don’t have to buy any equipment or join a gym if you don’t want to, because walking or riding your bike also count toward your Weekly Activity PointsPlus goal. You could already be doing more than you think!

More about intensity
“Intensity” is relative; the same activity may require more effort from someone new to exercise than from someone who exercises regularly. Here are some guidelines to help you determine your level of intensity:

Your intensity level is low if you can talk and sing, your breathing is regular and you’re not sweating.

Your intensity level is moderate if you can talk but can’t sing; your breathing is frequent and deep, and you begin sweating after 10 minutes.

Your intensity level is high if you can talk briefly but can’t sing, your breathing is rapid and deep, and you begin sweating after 3-5 minutes.

Bear in mind that most of us exercise at a moderate intensity level most of the time. Be careful not to overestimate your intensity level. As you can see below, there is quite a big difference in PointsPlus values you earn between moderate and high-intensity activity.

Below that they had a list of various exercises for you to consider for getting started which included things like Walking, Bicycling, Yoga, and Pilates. One of the options they listed was an Elliptical Machine workout for beginners. I’m not a huge fan of the elliptical, but we do own one. Since we’re still in the middle of winter and it’s often cold enough outside that I’d rather not do things out there, the elliptical is probably my best option for getting started.

My current record on the elliptical is about 15 minutes. For being such a “simple”, low-impact machine that sucker can wear you out quick when you’re not used to it or to exercise in general. The beginner’s plan is 20 minutes long, and I’m confident that I can hold out for another 5 minutes on there.

If I can’t, big deal. I’ll do what I can and build on that.

The plan starts out doing this just three days out of the week, and then increasing either the length of the workout or adding in additional days as you go along.

I know me, though. If I do this every other day, then I’m going to get my days mixed up, miss a workout or two, and then quit. However, I also know that doing the same exact exercise every single day isn’t as beneficial to you as rotating every other day. So, I’m not going to jump on that elliptical every day, but I am going to try getting some exercise in each day. It might be something simple and easy for the off-days like taking the dogs for a walk, or I might go for push-ups and crunches, hit the gym, go for a swim, or take Jenny on a bowling date. Maybe I’ll actually buy that bicycle I’ve been thinking about for the last few years and take that for spin.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gaye Robison
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 12:30:43

    Full steam ahead, or at least full start.

    Reply

  2. Elizabeth McLatchy
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 16:59:46

    Today’s a great day for it. Beautiful weather. Forget the elliptical, chase a dog or two. Remember to change the mental from I have to, to I get to. (That reminder’s for me, not you!)

    Reply

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