Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How I Lost Weight in 2010 and What I Recommend - Part IV

Exercise Often and Rest. Here again you have to find something you like that works for you and stick to it. I have always loved walking, and in the past, I was able to lose weight well by walking half an hour every morning with a girlfriend. But both our schedules got too crazy and when I tried running, I discovered I had a degenerative meniscus in my right knee. I really damaged it further trying to run, to the point that I couldn't even walk for exercise anymore. Fortunately, I had already been spinning (stationary biking) during the week and cycling on the weekends and in the summer and that was a good low impact exercise that didn't bother my knee. I spin three times a week with a group from work at one of the local high school's fitness centers through a fitness program the district has set up. By paying money and by connecting with my fellow spinners, exercise becomes a financial and social priority as well as a physical one and so it helps me be consistent.

Having lost weight, I can now do my Walk Fit fitness DVDs (a walk at home program) again during holidays and weekends (because I can't ride my bike in the winter) and they don't bother my knee too much, so apparently it has either healed or the weight loss has lessened the impact. Part of my routine also includes strength training: core/ab work, squats, and arm exercises. I have to watch my arm exercises, because I have weak shoulders. I had rotator cuff surgery two years ago and if I'm not careful, I can re-injure myself. I did that a year ago and had to go back to physical therapy. So I started all over again, doing the exercises with no weights, then two-pound weights, and now I can do a long routine with three-pound weights. I hope to try four-pounds next session, but I always listen to my body.

My point to all of this is again, just like finding the right eating plan, you have to find the right exercise plan for you. Some people like working out alone (I don't) while others like exercising with a partner or in groups. Some types of exercise work well for some people (my boss was an Olympic swimmer and still works out that way) but not for others (I like swimming, but I never lose weight doing it). Having an exercise or a variety of exercises that are just fun for you is good, too. I'm planning to take up snowshoeing this winter because I know it will work out my butt, plus it just is a lot of fun (I've tried it several times in the past with borrowed snowshoes). I don't normally like being outside in the winter, except for skiing, which I can no longer afford to do, so this is a great way for me to get fresh air in winter, as well as exercise.

Lastly, get your rest. I can function fine on six to seven hours of sleep at night. I rarely can sleep more seven hours at a time anymore. But I can't function on less than six hours. And if I'm especially tired, I take a nap, even though I tend to be groggy and useless for the rest of the day. Not getting enough sleep puts your body into survival mode and it will hang on to calories and fat.

(To be continued tomorrow)


Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Miriam, if you are ever looking for a walking or workout partner at genealogy conferences, come find me.

Miriam said...

Joan, that would be a blast! :-) Thanks!