Choosing a Workout- For the Lazy and Unmotivated (and Other Couch Potatoes)
I’ve never loved exercise. Throughout my 20 year Air Force career, I always had to do something. During the “bike test” years, I didn’t have problems passing the fitness test, but still needed to exercise to keep my weight down. Sometimes friends at the gym would say, “Enjoy your workout.” My standard reply? “That’s not a requirement. I don’t have to enjoy it, I just have to do it.” Over the years I had a home treadmill, a NordicTrack, and a Life Cycle. I had a mountain bike in Germany. I have walked, pedaled and skied thousands of miles over the years.
Walking with Leslie Sansone
One year I was having an impossible time getting up off the couch. I really did not want to do anything. I had seen an infomercial with Leslie Sansone, and it was ultimately Leslie that got me up and moving.
I think I first ordered a few of Leslie’s one- and two-mile walk videos from Amazon, used. Some of her earliest videos were just Leslie, filmed in her home living room. I continued to collect Leslie’s videos, both used and new, including 4-mile walks and sets with one, two, and three mile walks. My first set, Walk Away the Pounds, was my favorite. This set came with two weighted balls to be used intermittently during the walks.
5 Minute Walk from Leslie's Channel
The tapes with three-, four-, and even five-mile walks are designed for you to walk as many miles as you choose. Aside from Leslie indicating the end of each mile, there is usually a visual on the screen as well. Not only can you choose to walk less than the maximum miles, but you can scan through to a particular mile. So, if you want a two-mile walk, you could scan to mile number three, and do the three- and four-mile walks.
The walk tapes and DVDs provide warm up and cool down, and average about 12 to 15 minutes per mile. That’s what got me off the couch. Even on my absolute most lazy days, I always figured, ‘I can do 15 minutes, especially at low intensity.’ So that’s what I did. For the first time ever, I was exercising every day, at least a one-mile walk with Leslie. On Friday afternoons, I usually just did a mile, but most other days, I did at least two or three miles.
Leslie’s walks are so easy! There is walking in place, then side steps, knee lifts, and front kicks. All are as gentle as you need them to be. Leslie usually walks with a group, having different walkers demonstrate different levels of effort. For example, you can really crouch into the side steps for a greater thigh burn.
Most of the sets have some theme or gimmick. My favorite is the with the weighted balls. At intervals during the walks, the balls are used for things like overhead presses, side lifts and butterflies. Some of Leslie’s walkers walk with no weights, others demonstrate maximum effort with the balls, and everything in between. Walk Away the Pounds
One Mile Happy Walk
Another walking set uses a waist band with handles bungeed to the band. These are used to engage the core, and punch forward at intervals. Yet another set includes an easy kickboxing walk, and a yoga walk. Some of the videos and DVDs include floor sequences for abdominal strengthening and other typical exercises. Leslie has jogging video, but that was not to my liking at all. It was quite vigorous. She also has several videos geared for over 40, and for seniors. I have collected some of these and made tapes for my mom and aunts.
Leslie now has a YouTube channel with over 100 videos and over 500,000 subscribers. Videos include walks pitched as heart healthy walks, walks to reduce blood sugar, and walks for teens.
From Wake Up and Walk Weekly Series
Pilates for Dummies
I got curious during the big Pilates craze along with everyone else. My first foray was with a . This turned out to be a good choice for me. I was also unintentionally smart about it too. I watched the video multiple times, taking notes and making an outline. Then when I did the workout, I was armed with my outline, and I’d stop the video between exercises, as I found I had difficulty keeping up. I continued working at my own pace, often using my outline without the video. Pilates for Dummies DVD
I decided I wanted some variety, and would graduate to the Windsor Pilates. I ordered the set. The first time I tried it, I thought I was good. Most of the routine was familiar, and I was keeping up pretty well. Unfortunately, a day or so later I was sore, with an ache in my neck! I guess I’m just a Dummies gal.
Downward Dog Yoga Pose
One year I signed up for a Yoga class at the YMCA. I loved it! It was a little stressful, rushing away from work on Fridays to make it to my relaxing Yoga class on time! Later I added a second class on Wednesday afternoons. I stuck with it almost a year, but then the Air Force moved me.
Many advocates of Yoga say it is more balanced and safer than Pilates. I can’t stress enough to be safe. Only go for the stretch from which you can retrieve yourself without using your back muscles. My yoga instructor was young and fit, and seemed to be under the impression that if you couldn’t achieve the full pose, it was because a lack of flexibility. I was plenty flexible, but I could feel past a certain point into the pose, that I had lost abdominal control, and would be putting my back muscle at risk to raise back up. So I limited myself.
The Dummies folks have thankfully produced a Yoga beginner and intermediate tutorial.
Yoga for Dummies
Rebounding aka Bouncing
The mini trampoline is a good option for things like light jogging for those of us with knee problems, and other aches and pains that make pounding the pavement particularly unappealing. I had a couple of videos. I also used some of my Leslie Sansone moves.
Proponents of bouncing tell us that it promotes health on a cellular level, impacting every cell in the body. It is also good for lymphatic circulation. As little as 5 minutes a day is beneficial.
Benefits of Rebounding
© 2010 rmcrayne