Most of you out there have heard the expression, “physician, heal thyself.” This is what came to my mind one day about two years ago when I was sitting and thinking about my situation. No, I am not a physician; but I am someone who has worked years ago as a nutritionist, so I am familiar with what I should and should not eat. I also worked as a Physical Therapist during the time I was a CNA.(certified nursing assistant). As you can see, I have been in the health care field a lot. At least 75% of my life has been in the health field until I became ill. So, I am aware of all the problems obesity can cause.
Many problems arose in my life, and my health went down before I made the choice to adopt a workout routine. One of those was blood clots, and I could not do anything for over a year because they were in my arm and neck. I was totally immobile. That coupled with the fact that I was a worrier, caused me to spend more of my time snacking. In return for that I gained one hundred pounds. It became harder and harder for me to do anything for myself, since I had other health problems popping up. This was devastating to me since I had been thin all my life. Then to reach over 200 pounds at the age of 60 was very hard to handle.
That day I decided that it was time for me to get serious. I had tried in the past to walk but found it too hard to do. In the winter it was too cold for me to breathe. I was on oxygen. In the summer it was too hot for me too breathe. I was not about to go to a gym dragging my oxygen behind me. Even tho I had to start using oxygen, I maintained enough of my respiration to be able to exercise as long as I did not try to do it without the oxygen.
I actually started my exercise routine with Leslie Sansone on Exercise TV. As I built up my stamina I bought a couple of her videos and started using them. Exercise TV is a great way to began at a low level. Leslie has teamed up with the American Heart Association. She worked with them to create exercises that anyone could do. If you can walk, you can do these. If you are not familiar with these, go to exercise TV on your television. You have to have digital cable to do this. If not, then just order her videos off of Amazon. They cost as little as 6.95. Not too much when your life is at stake.
Working with the AHA, Leslie created a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 mile routine that are now out on video. I am not trying to advertise for anyone. She is just the only one that I have found that does not have a hard routine that is full of things that I could not do. Her routine is geared toward people like me. People who have arthritis and are not young anymore but need to get their heart rate up in order to lose weight. There are only 5 steps in this routine. Walking or power walking, side steps, knee lifts, and kick backs.(hamstring curl). While doing these you will also be using your hands and arms. You can start out slow as I did and build up faster as your legs get stronger; and they will. All of these routines are geared with the steps set up to where, if you keep up with the beat of the music, when it is over you will have done a mile or whatever you set out to do. After 2 yrs., I am up to 6 miles a day. Every day, and that is 42 miles a wk..
You are probably thinking, why would anyone want to do 42 miles a wk.? I would not have believed it if anyone would have told me in the beginning. But, first of all, I have lost a total of 52 inches since I started. Now, you have to remember; I have a serious arthritis. There are some days that I do not keep up as I should, so on those days I am not really getting in the 6 miles. But that is what is so nice about this. You can go at your own pace. You are in the comfort of your own home. You are dressed as comfortable as you want to be.
Let me talk a little about the muscle toning or training part of these exercises. I started out with 2lb.weights, then went to 5 lbs.. If you prefer, there is a weight resistant band that comes with one of the videos I bought. I enjoy it more than the weights. Again, totally up to you. I usually only use the weights during one or two miles out of the six. That is why I am losing inches all over my body instead of pounds. I want to mention that you have to be careful not to get discouraged if you do not see the pounds falling off, You are working hard but not losing but a pound here and there. According to my doctor, I am building muscle. Turning a lot of the fat into muscle. I gained all over whereas I have a friend who only gained in her stomach. I don’t know which one of us looks the worse. Her with her skinny legs and arms or me with my big old legs and pop eye arms. I was also told that what it took me a year to gain, would take me 2 years to lose.
I have talked about what my routine is, how often I do it and where. If it sounds so easy, believe me when I tell you, it is easy to get started. But it is not so easy to keep up if you are a person who has pain issues. You will need to medicate about 30 minutes before. This is the advice my arthritis doctor gave me. The benefits I have gotten from these exercises far out weigh the pain I endure in order to do them. The crunching and popping in my knees has gone. And the sharp pains in my ankles have stopped. When you exercise you will strengthen the muscles around the joints. Nothing can fix your arthritis but if you strengthen the muscles around the joints you will have a lot less pain. I also have strengthened my lungs and because of a heart problem, I am proud that I have strengthened my heart, also. Another plus to all this exercise is your sleeping will improve dramatically. I was taking sleeping pills when I began. My doctor suggested I try to cut down and see what happened. Sure enough , I have not had a sleeping pill in over a year and a half. And a big plus is that you will find that you have more energy as time goes by.
As a lady of 62 yrs. old who has many health issues, including the use of oxygen, I would like to encourage you to get into a workout routine. Whether you are overweight or not. Just as it helped me to stop needing sleeping pills, it is also a great fix for anxiety or even nervous headaches.
I would like to tell you that I have been eating right but I haven’t. I can tell you that I do watch my portion sizes and I do not go back for seconds. I believe if I would put myself on a strict diet, I believe I would lose faster. But I feel like I am doing what I can for me right now. Maybe you can do better than me in that area.
I am living to win my life back. I have accomplished that, but will not stop my routine. I feel that is what is going to help me stay healthy and live a better life. Good luck.