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Confused by all the different types of exercise - how do you know what to do to be all round fit?

(17 Posts)
Trickymoments Mon 17-Oct-16 21:20:07

I have rheumatoid arthritis & my consultant has encouraged me to exercise as much as I can to keep myself fit. He said he's happy for me to try anything and just see how it feels. I have never been sporty & don't really enjoy the gym although I do have a membership that is currently being wasted.

I do like Pilates but that's not going to get me aerobically fit. I am scared to run in case it makes my joints worse but when I have run outdoors in the past I loved the feeling of being out in the fresh air.

I need to increase my cv fitness as well as strengthening my muscles to protect my joints. Again though I'm scared to lift weights as I have such a weak back.

Not doing anything makes me feel worse about myself & my body but
I really don't know what to do, I just know I have to do something to help myself!

Does anyone have any advice please?

weegierama Mon 17-Oct-16 21:37:08

As a fairly recent concert to swimming I really do think it ticks all the boxes.

museumum Mon 17-Oct-16 21:41:00

If you like running then try power walking or fast hiking if you have local hills.
Seems like cycling would be ideal - mountain biking if you can.

Trickymoments Mon 17-Oct-16 21:42:05

Thanks weegierama, I have thought about swimming but I can only really do breaststroke and I've heard that that's bad for hips and back?

carmenta Mon 17-Oct-16 21:44:56

If you haven't really been sporty or a gym goer in the past then you probably want to start with something that actually has a point in addition to just exercise that you'll enjoy, otherwise it's really hard to stick to it. Walking somewhere beautiful, or something with a group that's fun, etc. What do you like doing?

Tomorrowisanewday Mon 17-Oct-16 21:45:06

I know you say you don't want to do weights, but you'd be surprised how much you can do, and the effect it will have. I have MS and it's made such a difference for me. One of the instructors at your gym will be happy to go through a routine with you, I'm sure smile

Lolimax Mon 17-Oct-16 21:46:07

I loathe the gym. I've got a lot fitter recently through an increasing combination of Zumba, Latino Fit (Zumba on speed), swimming, walking (6km twice a week), and more recently spin. At 46 I've never been so fit and do 7 hours a week. I like the classes as its social and I've made friends doing so.
I think swimming and a class could be a good start.

AgainPlease Mon 17-Oct-16 21:47:11

With rheumatoid arthritis I'd recommend pilates (which I know you already said you are doing), swimming like PP mentioned and I'd also recommend aqua aerobics smile

lljkk Mon 17-Oct-16 21:48:53

U sound perfect 4 some kind of water aerobics. might b free w/ membership.

Trickymoments Mon 17-Oct-16 21:49:21

Carmenta I do like walking but I have 2 young kids who don't! I am going to start us going on a family walk every Sunday as I think it will be a nice ting to do and good for us all but I guess I need to do more than that.

Tomorrow thanks, that sounds positive. My only worry with weights is hurting my back. Do you do weights at the gym or at home?

Toffeelatteplease Mon 17-Oct-16 21:52:39

Weights shouldn't be bad for your back if you are lifting properly and at the right weight for you.

If you have a bad back, check it isn't that you stomach muscles aren't strong. Pilates is really good for stomach muscles. Although I find I don't have the stomach muscles for it straight off.

In all honesty it depends how determined you are and how much money you have. If you can throw money at the problem I would do some personal training sessions either inside a gym environment or outside. This allows you to work with someone who knows what they are doing while you learn what it is you like, what good form looks like and how your body works. Yes the gym is scary but If you have a gym membership already the cheaper option (and the one I did) was to get a gym induction. But it pays to do a bit of research first, I went in realistic about the amount of time I could commit, up front about where I knew I was weak and where I was concerned about injuring. Ask questions like where should I be feeling this am I doing it right. And I went back for the free reviews. A program should feel hard challenging but doable (if not straightaway then eventually). My gym has the instructor info up on the wall, my instructor is experience in rehabilitation and post injury, mainly in think though he is just a really good listener

in my limited experience Weights are mostly for toning and strengthening (maintaining if you are losing weight) muscles as is Pilates. Cardiovascular is anything that raises your heart rate and you want to aim for a mixture of both. Again anything you are doing should feel hard but not impossible.

I used the wii fit for several months. Then swam for my first week in the gym because that was what i felt comfortable with. Then i booked a gym induction, and i gymed swimming and tai chi for the first 3 or 4 months. Eventually I found tai chi way too easy and moved onto other classes. Now I love Body conditioning and a weight lighting class (and still swim. ) They are the type of class if you'd asked me about I'd have laughed in your face a year ago ( I still look stupid when I zumba but I do it sometI messaged anyway). so well worth keeping an open mind on what you might enjoy as you confidence grows and try everything!

Tomorrowisanewday Mon 17-Oct-16 21:54:24

I started off with one of the instructors at the gym showing me correct technique, then doing routines by myself at the gym but stopping for advice if i wasnt confident. Now i have a wee set of weights at home and can augment what I'm doing at the gym with workouts at home

Toffeelatteplease Mon 17-Oct-16 22:00:04

Swimming is really good all round fitness doing a combo of strengthen and cardio. However it is very easy to cheat on swimming, eg I can swim until the cows come home but still avoid actually strengthening my shockingly poor stomach muscles which actually is of little benefit to my back either.

Actually the Wii fit is surprisingly good for getting muscles going from scratch (been recommended by physio for DS and was very effective) and for getting to know how your body actually works. Bonus it can be done in private in your own home (and it's actually rather fun)

JoJoSM2 Mon 17-Oct-16 22:01:15

Sounds like going to the gym will be brill for you. If you don't fancy machines or free weights, start with a group class. Things like kettle bell or body pump classes are great for weight training. You could ask a member of staff if you aren't sure about on what's on offer. For cv, if not keen on jogging, you could start with marching or Nordic walking, cycling, swimming, skipping... or find a sport or activity you enjoy- badminton, netball etc. You could also excercise at home - there any many videos that you could follow. Again, getting a kettle bell and following a video would be good. You can also do body weight strength training - push-ups, squats, planks, lounges etc.
I think the doctor's point was for you to get going...

enolagayits0815 Wed 19-Oct-16 18:35:21

I swim and use the exercise bikes, rowing machines, cross trainer and some weights machines to work my ample glutinous maximus and tone up my thighs, triceps and biceps plus upper back and abdomen. I go four times a week and do about an hour each in the gym and pool.

enolagayits0815 Thu 20-Oct-16 02:42:17


MuggaTea Mon 24-Oct-16 13:08:15

do your kids like pokemon? My DN love going for pokemon hunts, and my DB likes getting them to walk.

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