Advice please

~915~~915~ Posts: 519Registered Users
I am starting to exercise seriously for the first time in a couple of years, under doctor's orders. I'm trying to find an appropriate routine. I have a tendency to develop muscles very quickly. I'm already losing about 1-2 lbs a week by fast walks (3 miles) or bike riding (8 miles or so) about three times a week combined with fewer carbs after noon. Here are the questions that I could use advice on.

1. Cardio is most important to me because I have hypertension and am at risk for diabetes. I' recently read that to prevent diabetes, you need to do cardio for an hour daily. I've also read that 20 min a day is best. I've also read that 30 mins three times a week is good. Which is the most truthful of these statements?

2. Since I'm on the workout wagon, I figure I may as well incorporate strength & stretch training, too. I love Pilates. I have a Pilates CRUNCH video that offers three 20 minute segments and I enjoy that. I don't like doing Pilates for one hour straight. How often should I do the Pilates video and are the twenty minute segments adequate?

3. Is it an absolute must that I lift weights or is Pilates enough? I've read that weight bearing exercise prevents osteoporosis, which runs in the family. I've never really explored weights because I tend to build muscle EXTREMELY quickly, so I think it's not necessary unless it's important for health reasons.

4. Is there anything missing from what I'm doing? Any wide open gaps?

Thank you. I'd really appreciate any feedback. I'm a fitness newbie.



  • ~915~~915~ Posts: 519Registered Users
    I should add that I have a gym membership, so I have all of the classes available to me. I just did a yoga class today.
  • superflycurlsuperflycurl Posts: 23Registered Users
    Hi, CC. Congrats on having already started on your fitness routine. Like you, I put on muscle easily. I've been known to look super buffed out at times when I haven't hit the gym in almost a year. What I like to do is focus on cardio and very light weights and lots of things like pilates and yoga which tend to add tone without bulk.

    What's your ethnic background? I ask because there's a lot of research that proves that people of an AFrican background have naturally denser bones than Caucasions and Asians and therefore are not at nearly as much risk of osteoporosis. Yoga is actually a strength exercise - you use your own body weight as resistance. You might want to add light weights too.

    I just recently started spinning and it is a FANTASTIC workout. You might also try a jump rope class if your gym has one, kickboxing, rebounding. You might need to be a bit wary of step as it can give a person really chunky thighs...
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    For your cardio question - it totally depends on who you ask. What it comes down to is, the more cardio you do the more calories you will burn. So one hour every day will burn a lot more calories than 20 minutes 3 times a week. Fo cardiovascular benefits, I think they recommend at least 30 minutes with your heart rate up to get the full benefit.

    As for preventing osteoporosis - someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that walking counts as "weightbearing" exercise. I don't remember where I heard that but I'm pretty sure it counts.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • ~915~~915~ Posts: 519Registered Users

    I heard that about walking, too. Can you prevent osteoporosis all over your body that way or do I have to do a weight bearig exercise for the upper body?

    Also, I'm definitely more interested in cardio exercise for strengthening the cardiovascular system than for weight, although that'll be a nice side benefit. I wear a size 8 now and sometimes a 6, and I don't want to be smaller than a 6 because the last time I was, people were telling me that I looked too bony and so forth. I don't think I'll ever be a fitness nut, per se, but I do want to be healthy and active.

    So, I should keep my cardio exercise over 30 minutes. I can do that; it's good to know. Thanks.
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    CC--For what it's worth, 30 minutes of cardio is quite sufficient. When I did an hour I was ripped from head to toe (and very thin). If that's what you are striving for, then by all means do an hour. I run for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week and I do pilates.

    Happy exercising! :D
  • ~915~~915~ Posts: 519Registered Users

    We're alike! Thanks for the feedback.

    I agree; I think if I was doing it for an hour, I wouldn't have any curves left. :lol: But, when you say that you run for 1/2 hour, does that include warm-up time? Because now that I think about it, my walks are 45 min, but I try to take the first and last five minutes slowly to warm up/down. I definitely sweat, although that could be related to the fact that I'm pushing the stroller at the same time.


    Yes, I'm half AA and half EA. It was the grandmother on the Caucasian side that had the osteoporosis and we think it's because she had ten children and one of her pregnancies was in Nazi Holland while she was on rations. She mentioned that that particular experience changed something in her body, as one might imagine. :( So, her osteoporosis could have been due more to environmental issues than genetic. All the same, everytime my mother and I speak, she goes on and on about whether I'm getting enough dairy and whether I remember to take a calcium supplement. I think it would be prudent to take precautions, although I think that my risk is decreased because I do eat low-fat dairy daily and I'm half AA.
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    You'll still have curves left; you'll just be thin. I'm just too lazy to spend that much time working out. The athlete in me is on retirement. I just workout for fun and general fitness now.

    I run for 30 minutes--no warm-ups. I just get out and run. When I start off, I'm slower in the beginning and then gradually increase my pace. I'm sure working out with a stroller, as you are doing, probably increases the intensity of your workout.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users

    I heard that about walking, too. Can you prevent osteoporosis all over your body that way or do I have to do a weight bearig exercise for the upper body?

    Sorry, I forgot to check back on this thread for a few days. To tell you the truth, I don't know if you would need to do additional upper body exercises. Sorry!
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    i teach a pilates class at 24 hour fitness...i do arm work just for a more balanced body. i do about 1 set of 15-20 reps of the following arms exercises:

    - arms out to the side bicep curls
    - tricep extensions or tricep kickbacks
    - lateral and/or front raises
    - overhead press
    - chest exercise (don't know the name of it)
    - one arms rows

    i tell the participants to use 3-5 lb weights...most enjoy the arm work.

    good luck w/ your workouts!

    as a side note do you like using dvd's? if so you might like fit to strip by carmen loctician had it and we watched it...i went out and bought's NOT the strip tease ones...i can't speak for those but fit to strip (i think it's the 2 video in the series) has some great exercises that don't require weights,'s very pilates oriented and is a good looking video...i got mine at the borders bookstore here.
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural

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