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the right exercise program?
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the right exercise program?

I'm a mid 30's overweight female who needs motivation or the right exercise routine to assist in losing weight.  My dr has prescribed the medication meridia to assist me in losing weight but I need to start an exercise program.  I do belong to a gym called curves although I haven't gone in a long while.  I find that it's better for maintenance or toning it's not a hard enough training for weight loss.  My dr had at one point in the past recommended swimming but I remember reading somewhere that again that's not a good exercise for weight loss. Motivation is also a big factor.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I recommend you start exercising again, but do it very gradually... don't jump into a heavy work-out regimen too quickly, or you'll injure yourself and/or get discouraged by the difficulty.

I recently got back in shape after having surgery that kept me out of the gym for almost a year.

I started with 20 minutes of light cardio - on the bike, stairclimber, or elliptical (I hate treadmills but that's an option too)... I then did 30 minutes of light weights for all the essential muscle groups:

I did 2 of the 6 exercises below per day, 4 set of each for about 15 reps per set:

bench press for chest,
shoulder press for shoulders,
curls and reverse curls for upper arms,
upright rows/lat pull-downs for back,
leg press/extension for legs,
crunches/leg lifts for abs.

I did this six days a week, alternating which cardio machine I used and which 2 weight exercises I did.

Well I've come a long way in just a few months - I'm up to 45 minutes of hard cardio per day, with another half hour of weights afterwards... each week I add a few pounds to each exercise... maybe 5 pounds for bench and legs... only 2 or 3 for curls and reverse curls.

In terms of diet: I don't buy into the hype of low-carb/Atkins/South beach or any of that.  I simply eat LESS than what I used to... I've discovered a good, simple way to do this: take whatever it is you usually eat and cut the portions in half. I've also cut out beer and really bad foods altogether...

This has worked wonders for me: I look a lot better, I feel great... I'm even sleeping better!

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure why you wouldn't consider swimming.  Actually water areorbics and swimming are excellent calorie burners.  The other benefit is that it is easy on joints.  It's also good for the upper body as well as the legs.

The number one reason people quit exercising is some sort of injury, it's too intense to enjoy, or boredom.

The previous comment is right on.  Start slow.  Don't overdo it.  And I would recommend a low impact aerobic machine if a bit overweight.

I had to start running again 4 months after a heart procedure to cure an arrythmia.  I bought a good treadmill that I could adjust the cushion and that had numerous workouts pre-programed.  It worked great for the knees, I could regulate intensity very easily, and the different workouts kept me from boredom.

As far as curves is concerned I think it's good.  My wife goes, but it's not long enough nor intense enough for calorie burn.  I would supplement curves by an added 30 minute fast walk.  That's what my wife does (only she jogs).

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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure why you wouldn't consider swimming.  Actually water areorbics and swimming are excellent calorie burners.  The other benefit is that it is easy on joints.  It's also good for the upper body as well as the legs.

The number one reason people quit exercising is some sort of injury, it's too intense to enjoy, or boredom.

The previous comment is right on.  Start slow.  Don't overdo it.  And I would recommend a low impact aerobic machine if a bit overweight.

I had to start running again 4 months after a heart procedure to cure an arrythmia.  I bought a good treadmill that I could adjust the cushion and that had numerous workouts pre-programed.  It worked great for the knees, I could regulate intensity very easily, and the different workouts kept me from boredom.

As far as curves is concerned I think it's good.  My wife goes, but it's not long enough nor intense enough for calorie burn.  I would supplement curves by an added 30 minute fast walk.  That's what my wife does (only she jogs).

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Avatar_n_tn
You are mid 30s and I am mid 40s, you are a decade ahead of me.  I totaly agree with other commentators, and I add, forget about what you read somewhere, swimming, aqua aerobic or any water sport is safe and rewarding, add some suna and steam room into it if you like, you should be fine.  If you are over weight as I am then water sport is a safeguard for possible injuries or pains and aches that you may pick up from other activities.  I jogg and cycle to my local gym and I have a history of arthritis and heart problem etc in the family.  I ache severely after long joggs, steam room and swimming is my refuge/ pain relief cure to all these.
Best of luck with the start of your exercise
You can do it trust me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Check out www.exercisefriends.com.  You can look for someone in your area with the same work out goals as yourself.  The object of the website is to find people to work out with, make friends, and motivate each other.  

I exercise 30-60 minutes most days.  Building muscle is just as important as cardio b/c muscle burns fat more efficiently.  I try to work with weights about three times a week.  You body will also increase it's metablolism through exercise and will actually stay increased for a couple of hours after you've worked out.

Be careful how much you cut down on your food intake.  Your body will think it's starving if you don't eat enough and will slow down your metabolism in order to preserve body fat.  Eat small meals/snacks about every 3 hours (every 4 for men).  This will help keep your metablolism up.  When eating out you definitely want to cut the portions in half.  You can ask for a doggie bag when the waiter brings the food and put half of it in there right away.  That way you can still clean your plate.:)

One other thing I changed is switching from mainstream foods and ingredients and replacing it with all natural, organic foods and ingredients.  I will never be able to give up things like pasta...ever.  Now I go to Whole Foods (a fantastic healthy, all natural grocery store) and buy things there.  Most mainstream foods are full of trans fat and preservatives and other bad stuff that your body has trouble processing.  Natural, organic versions will be much easier on the body.  It will also make you feel so much better.  I don't get sleepy after eating anymore, I don't feel bad, and I have more energy.
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