Starting exercise tomorrow! Any advice?

Hi everybody,

Today I stumbled across a gym special and decided to join! (30 days for 30 dollars). I have gained back most of the weight i lost and i definitely want to get back into shape the healthy way, this is very important to me! so for the next 30 days i will be focusing a lot on working out. i usually walk/jog outside on my regular path, but i am DEFINITELY a newbie in the gym setting. Can somebody give me some advice...what to do, what not to do, which classes to take!? i'm signed up for spin at 6am...i have done it before and really liked it...but feeling super ambitious and up for anything. i would seriously LOVE to hear some work out routines...i am big on routines and would absolutely enjoy waking up early to arrive at the gym with some idea of what i want to do. i know i can simply ask a trainer there, but i seriously always find my best advice here!!

I like to run as much as I can squeeze into my schedule, allowing for weather. I'm not a big gym fan. My wife likes it a lot.

I love to run also but I have found myself in a complete running rut! Took too many days off and can’t seem to get myself to get back into it. Need a change of scenery for this month (which happens to be rainy here in jersey). Hopefully the gym will kick my butt for 30 days and then running will come easy again from there. Finally finishing up a very tough semester and feel like I have lots of steam to blow!!! The stress has been hard but numbers have been beautiful so I am thankful for that!

Spin type classes are fun for me but my glucose level goes all over the place with the intervals in the workout. I start high, move down quick and sometimes I have to adjust based on how tough the workout is. I check in the middle of my cycles just to make sure my numbers stay in range. So my advice listen to your body during the workout. Have fun during the workouts and build your self up.

Spinning and running are great, but for alternative cardio, see if they have some sort of dance class! Those are definitely the most fun way to work up a sweat.
Also, weight/strength training is very important. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest, which will really help with getting back into shape! Just make sure you don't lift everyday--your muscles won't have a chance to grow if you overwork them.
Good luck!

Talk to the trainers at your gym. They can give you good advice and you don't have to use their services or pay for the personal training to get it.

I'm also in an exercise rut. I used to be in a running rut, but messed up my knee and stopped for a short time, then got plantar fascitis and that got me out of that rut for a *long* time. The fascitis wasn't caused by running (it was caused by jumping rope in flip-flops on a wood floor - so don't do that :) That was several years ago, and I'm all healed up, and do go for a 5K run occasionally now.

But instead of running I've gotten into the new rut of putting on headphones and rowing 5000 meters on a good rowing machine (Concept 2 rowing machines - almost all gyms have them). It takes me about 20 minutes, and my BG doesn't drop (though this may vary depending on conditioning and what time of the day you exercise). Best of all it's a full-body low-impact exercise, with both aerobic and strength conditioning, and you can keep doing it until you're 80. I eventually bought a used Concept 2 for my home and dropped my gym membership, and I use it three times a week without fail.

I think rowing in *excellent* exercise. If you row hard (5K in 20 minutes) you will burn calories at the rate of 1000 calories per hour - similar to the Insanity and P90X and Crossfit programs - in fact Crossfit makes heavy use of the rowing machine.

The only drawback to the rowing machine (also called an ergometer) is that you're stuck inside in one place - I certainly would prefer to be running outside or rowing in a real boat. But to make up for that, in my experience listening to good music is essential (it would be essential to me for indoor cycling or treadmill too).

Sometimes a rut is good with T1 since it can make things more predictable, though the fact that I was jumping rope in flip-flops shows that I sometimes forget that!

There is a host of information on exercise and nutrition on the internet, if you do your research carefully and make informed decisions, you can save time and money.

PX90 is worth a look in my opinion, so could be worth giving it a google.

I would aim for 45-60mins HITT training 3-4 times a week

Spinning, sprints, bike, circuits, treadmill, swimming.

Get a heart rate monitor, work out your zones and ensuring you stay in your fat burning zone for at least 45 minutes when you train the above.

Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise, if you are serious about weight loss, work out your basic metabolic rate and ensure you are running a calorie deficit off around 300-500 calories a day. Also keep a food diary and weigh yourself regularly (I have a attached a template for you)

You burn less calories exercising than people think, don't fall into the trap of going "Oh I did 30 minutes on the bike, I can eat that pizza I want now" besides the benefits to cardio vascular health this will do nothing for your weight loss and can actually make things worse.

For example, I know guys who train everyday for hours at a time and still look like crap, because their diets are terrible and they use there time spent in the gym to legitimize eating whatever they want, you can't train away a bad diet regardless of how hard you try.

This site is good for keeping track of what you eat and what you should be eating.

Stop snacking, limit (or remove) sugars, carbs etc, you want plenty of lean meat (or protein alternatives if you are veggie) plenty of vegetables, fish, salad. Get a real picture of what is going into your body daily and make appropriate changes that can be maintained, this is the key to long term weight loss.

Tracking and having data is also motivating I find.

Aim to drink 3-5 litres of water a day, keeps you full, keeps your sharp (and on the toilet ha) and also helps with fat burning, your complexion will also look amazing :)

If you want to tone up you can lift weights a couple of times a week, free weights are best, don't need to train for more than 45 minutes. Start with compound exercise, lifts, pulls, curls, rows, toss in some press ups crunches, dips etc. 10-12 reps of each exercise start with 90 seconds rest between sets, move down to 60 seconds after a few weeks.

Form is vitally important so get a trainer to show you proper form for a selection of exercises, learn to breath properly and so on..

However, if there is an exercise you want to try, youtube it, there are great videos on there showing every exercise imaginable, often with better form and information that the majority of personal trainers in the gym.

Sleep is important aim for 8 hours a night, take time off for recovery.

Be meticulous and consistent in what you eat as well as how you train and you will see excellent results, I dropped 9kg last month, and increased lean muscle mass, most of it was fat, knocked 11% off my body fat in about 5-6 weeks.

It's not easy, but it can be done.

I also recommend a habit tracker, I find the key to making new things habitual and into long term life style changes is doing them consistently over 45 days.

If I want to change something I log it in a habit tracking app and ensure I do it for 45 days, after that it has become part of my life (much like brushing my teeth or testing my blood sugar) simple psychology but it works!

All the best, drop me a PM if you want any links or a basic work out programme to get you going.


P.S Just read my first post back, just want to say obviously you don't have to do all this at once as I imagine one would find that over whelming, but just take a long term view and make changes and incorporate things in to your life style as and when you are ready.

Also I probably should not be advising someone to be too OCD about what they eat and what their measurements are with the prevalence of eating disorders around for girls of your age either.

To conclude I would just say set your goals, eat well and for weight loss and train smart and consistently!

Hope this helps.

Wow! Great suggestions! I would add that for food tracking, I like the interface on the Lose It! app (my phone wouldn't find it w/o the exclaimation point)more than myfitnesspal as it was very easy to use. I think myfitnesspal had more comprehensive nutrition info but the interface wasn't as quick for me to use. I haven't used either of them for a bit.

I agree with everybody too that strength training of some sort is very important. I'm sort of taking it easy after running a lot all summer but keeping at pushups/ crunches.

I also think that you will get the best results thinking more generally of exercising to get fit, rather than lose weight? If you set a fitness goal of faster 3 mile pace or doing 2x as many pushups (of whatever kind, counter pushups, floor pushups, one-handed if you are already ripped!) as you are doing, I think it'll lead you to the result more than being focused on weight loss!

A really compact and simple ab routine I like to mix in, that seems to provide pretty quick results is here: I like to mix this in before runs and it will tighten up my abs in about a week!

My friend has had great results from P90X and the video is funny bottles of Malibu rum on top of the fridge in the "before" pics, etc.

thanks everyone!!!

That sounds like a great plan, and I bet you're really fit after doing this for a while, but I'm afraid I'de burn out pretty quickly trying to do three or four hours a week of exercise. That's part of the big appeal of rowing machine to me - 20 minutes 3 times a week, total 60 minutes exercise per week. THAT I've been able to keep at for many years. Good advice about learning good form.

Ha well I am single at the moment, so I am either at work, at the gym or with my head in the fridge ha. If I had more going on, I doubt very much I would be doing that much :)

I tend to go through cycles of intense exercise then doing absolutely sod all, have been at this since October and am enjoying it, as I am not hitting it as hard as I used to. Hope it can be sustained in the long term.

I find rowing an absolute killer, it really does tire you out, especially if you have poor technique. Have been thinking about buying a 2nd hand concept rower or a stationary bike for home.

Wow what a transformation your friend made, inspiring stuff!

A great achievement.

I have found that changing things up really helps me stay motivated. I ran exclusively for years but it didn't keep me in shape as much as I thought it would. Now, I alternate between running, walking, elliptical, weights, etc. I Don't really have any set routine, but I do whatever I can at any particular moment. For example, when it's really cold out, I hit the gym more. During spring and summer, I take advantage of the nice weather and go outside more often. Long hikes are also fun. I try to do some isometric/weights at least three times a week.

Bottom line - as long as you make a conscientious effort to stay active, I don't really think it matters what you do.

As for working out in a gym setting -- just watch the people around you and follow their lead. Some gyms will even set you up with a personal training session. It's not something you need to do on a regular basis, but maybe one or two sessions would help you figure out how to structure your workouts.

The important thing with exercise is to do things that you like and won’t get bored with. I burnout on the machines quite quickly. Try to take different classes with different instructors. Balance aerobic classes with some stretching classes like Pilates or Yoga. The problem with most gyms is you start out strong and then after a few months you back off. So make a schedule and stick to it.

AR, I like your point about exercising to get fit rather than lose weight. As someone who has never been happy with my weight, shifting my goal to building strength rather than losing weight (though I hope to do this too!) has been grounding and has helped with my confidence. Doing Pilates a few times a week has improved my core strength a lot. Although I can't see my abs yet, I can feel them working and know that in the long run, building muscle will improve my insulin sensitivity and hopefully allow me to cut back on insulin which, in turn, should make weight loss easier.

probably motivation is the worse thing. I see you are aiming for variety and that is one of the tools to keep yourself interested in exercising. I haven't read your personal page so I don't know if you are new PWD, but if you or anyone else reading this, might want to check how well your body handles long exercise stints. You might find that one day of intensive exercise doesn't faze you but on another your BG goes too low.

Don't do more than about 15 reps on any one machine, especially at the beginning of any new exercise routine. You might feel like you can do more, but then the next day you could be soooo sore. Pulled muscles are no fun.

I have been doing exercise with weights for the past few years. I think its a great way of getting strength, getting your body into shape (even though it was the low-carbing that caused the weight loss). The added muscle mass does a lot for you- helps metabolism and also I think I read that it might help insulin-wise. In any case, though, what really worked for me is that at my gym there is a trainer who personally works with each person, creating a program specially for them; updates the weights and reps each time I come to the gym,and watches that its not too hard,and i'm doing things correctly. I do recommend working with someone who can direct you, if possible.

I use the Concept 2 rowing machine too. I found the proper technique on UTube. The trainers also helped me. Rowing isn't as popular as other machines, so the machine isn't as likely to be in use. It is more fun than the stationary bike or treadmill in my opinion.

I have neuropathy. I have no problem using the rowing machine. It causes no increase in burning pain, like the treadmill does. Your feet are strapped in.