If you are just joining me at Scaling Back, I highly recommend you go to the beginning. A long-term weight loss goal should be your first consideration. After carefully considering a goal, we have talked about water, detox, hunger signals, and finally, FINALLY, we are going to get our bodies moving. The reason I didn’t start with movement in my series is simply because you can make better choices and do things that will help you lose weight, but don’t require you to sweat buckets. However, that being said, it is time to start moving your body!
The majority of my ‘extra’ weight was gained while living in Alaska. We rented a smaller home (the Cabin) for financial reasons. Between the cold, dark, winter and a very small space to move around in, I packed on a couple jean sizes my first winter. A stationary lifestyle is very hard on the body. Your joints need movement to stay lubricated and functioning well. Your muscle mass will actually deteriorate if you don’t move around. So movement is important, but it’s not the first and foremost in my weight loss plan. It comes into play when I have a few other ducks in a row. Now that I have them lined up, we begin moving the body.
A quick word of caution about moving former stationery bodies: its ganna hurt! Joints and muscles that aren’t used to moving around are going to complain once you do move them around! It’s part of the vicious cycle, so you are going to have to mentally prepare for it. Also, please know your body! Pushing past the body’s natural stop signs of overdoing it can cause serious problems. Your body should ache a bit with soreness, not be screaming in pain!!
1. Walking! I am NOT talking about hitting the track for a 3 mile power walk! If you have led a relatively stationary lifestyle, then aim for walking around the house. I have a natural circular track between my entry way, sitting room, kitchen. I walk that a few times a day, just to get moving. I am not trying to get my heart rate up, I am just trying to lubricate my joints and get my body moving.
(We moved and I no longer have that natural circuit to walk. What I do is simply pace the entire first floor of the house, take the stairs up or down, and walk that whole floor. It helps me get my steps in.)
2. Stairs. My current home has great stairs. Instead of sending a child to run errands on other floors, I make myself do it. I choose to be the one to bring the full laundry baskets down stairs. I try to be the one to haul them back up for folding. I choose to run up to my master bathroom for potty breaks…anything that gets me up and down the stairs during the day.
3. Leg lifts/curls. When standing at the sink doing dishes, I do leg curls and leg lifts. Instead of just standing there, I kick my feet and ankles up behind me (the curl) or I will pick my knees up like I am marching at the sink. These may seem like small things, but right now we are just taking baby steps to get our bodies moving.
4. Lunges. These can be done as you walk around your house, or from a standing position. Take this one easy, or don’t do this exercise if you have knee problems!
5. 10 Minute Solutions. These video workouts are designed to start you moving slowly and for short bursts of time. Begin by just doing one 10-minute segment at a time! Once upon a time, these were free to view on Netflix.
Remember, these are just baby steps in getting your body moving again after a long hiatus. It can be painful to get the body moving again. There were nights that I went to bed aching because I over did it, but the benefits to the body are worth the aches. Your body needs to move around, not just for the weight loss, but for the physical benefits of movement 🙂 Once those joints ‘rust’, it get pretty painful to break that off and force them to become fluid again!
I have not spent the big bucks for a step counter, but I would love one. So far, I have used the app Pacer. This app links to my fitness logging app and it also is very annoying in reminding me to move if I have been sitting for over an hour. It is annoying, seriously, but I helps me get moving! I do like the fact that I can set daily and weekly goals with this app. This is also the only app I have had, so far, that allow me to log my “gallon of water a day” challenge. This app is free!
When Pacer was giving me fits and draining my iPhone battery, I switched over to Steps. I love this app, however, it didn’t sync with my calorie tracking app. The app screen is clean with no frills. It does what it says it does: it tracks your steps! This app is free!
Since the drafting of this post, I have been gifted with a Fitbit One. So far, I love the accurate step tracking, the small size, and the app’s layout/integreation. I love watching my steps add up, my miles add up, my stairs add up, my caloric output add up, my sleep logged, and it’s quite fun to challenge my friends in a daily/weekly “step off”. The app is free, but the fob will cost you. Try to find one on eBay or used off Amazon first!
Walk to Run
Many of my friends have been quite happy with their Couch to 5K training app and program. I am not quite there yet, but I hope to be jogging soon.
Please, take your time with such a program and recognize when your body has had enough. You do need to rest a day in between the more strenuous workouts you perform.
Pain is going to be part of this process, especially if you are moving from a dormant lifestyle to an active one. Again, the ache should not be a screaming pain, but a sort of throbbing ache in whatever muscle group you choose to move. These are the ways in which I have battled my aching muscles and joints.
- hot bath: this will help those aching muscles and help you relax after your workout.
- Ibuprofin: I prefer small doses and I only use it when I just can’t sleep past the aching in my knees
- Stretch: you MUST stretch after you workout!
- Hot/Cold packs: joints that swell up from sudden work can be dealt with my alternating hot and cool packs on those joints.