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Exercise/fitness help please for complete novice

(3 Posts)
OhWesternWind Wed 16-Jan-13 12:52:57

Right, I will be very honest and say I've not really done any exercise apart from walking/gardening since I was at school which is blush over twenty years ago. I have some problems with my balance/feet, but otherwise I'm generally healthy. But not at all fit. I'm not overweight but I have flabby bits round my midriff and bum which I would love to get rid of. I want to get fitter so that I can run a bit and keep up with the children and my bf who is very fit. I am thinking of cycling but as I work f-t I think I will wait until the weather is better and evenings are lighter before I start on this one. Plus I need to buy a bike.

My big question is, where do I start? Should I join a gym? Exercise classes and if so what's suitable for a complete beginner? Should I do something to "prepare" for going public with exercise so I don't look like a total lazy article? And how do I keep motivated? I am very fired up about this all in theory but not sure how it will all work in practice. And - what do I wear?

Thanks for any/all advice. I'm really serious about doing this but have no idea where to start and don't want to end up making a complete fool of myself.

omletta Wed 16-Jan-13 20:33:26

Try the 30 day shred. Gillian Michaels.

It's 20 mins, every day for 30 days, with three levels so you can gradually increase the difficultly (you can also d this by adding heavier weights). It is really effective and at the end of the 30 days if you join a gym you will feel more confident.

Have a look on utube before you buy.

Motivation is a tougher one - I am motivated by results, but they don't happen quickly. I remember someone posting on MN that the treated The Shred like brushing their teeth, like there was no choice.
Over time excercise becomes addictive, and enjoyable.

Good luck.

Sleepwhenidie Sat 19-Jan-13 10:24:15

Shred is a great dvd to do at home and it will definitely get you to a level of fitness where you could join in a class no problem, but I wouldn't let being a complete beginner put you off starting classes or a gym straight away, there are always one or two beginners everywhere, many more at this time of year! Just make sure you have an instructor who knows you are new to it all so they can keep an eye on your technique and make sure you aren't overdoing it.

Ideally your training should include some cardio to work heart/lungs and burn fat and also some resistance training, ie weights, but this can be done purely with body weight exercises (eg push ups, planks, squats, lunges), a body pump class would also cover this if you prefer a class to the gym. Lots of people, women in particular, don't do enough resistance training but it is very important for maintaining bone health and metabolism as we age.

IMO the real key to maintaining motivation and routine is finding something you really enjoy. For me its kickboxing and I also go to the gym and run/ swim, but regard the weight training etc as ways of improving my kickboxing iyswim. So think about any sport you could picture yourself enjoying and give it a go, you may discover a passion or talent!

Running - try couch to 5k programme, on a treadmill before it gets warmer?
Dance- zumba or ballet?
Team sports, netball?
Martial arts/boxing

If you join a gym could you afford a few sessions with a personal trainer? This would be ideal but if not make sure you use the gym staff as much as possible for showing you machines/exercises, drafting a programme for you.

Good luck, it definitely does become addictive over time, especially if you find your "thing"!grin

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