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Must Get Serious about Getting Fit

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  • Must Get Serious about Getting Fit

    Last winter I was pretty fit (for a woman in her 60's) but then I fractured my ankle, was on crutches and hired people to take care of horses and the farm. My bad. I did not let them go when I got back on 2 feet and now I am so out of shape I have jelly for muscles and no lung capacity. I am paying people to ride my horses. BAD, LHU!

    What to do?

    Have people been successful with "Couch To 5k"?
    If I sign up to use a gym, what do I look for? Certain machines? A fitness trainer? Classes for old ladies? Is Curves really "better" than a co-ed gym?

    Do I want to do specific exercises to get my riding muscles back? My lower back is shot, so I am not really sure what exercises I can do.

    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

  • #2
    If you are comfortable running, couch to 5k is very good. Takes you slow and you can repeat days if needed. Lots of intervals at the beginning of the program.

    Curves is not going to get you "horse fit" IMO. And for the little bit of workout you get, it isn't cheap.

    If you are not a fan of the cold weather and running, go for the gym with a mixture of treadmills and classes. You can do the couch to 5k on a treadmill, though I don't think it is as effective, but it does motivate you. I personally love the muscle pump classes, a mixture of cardio and weights that you can adjust to your physical limitations. A personal trainer can be good to teach you want to you do you and how to do it correctly at the gym, but can get expensive on a regular basis. That is why I like the classes, you learn what you can do on your own and add that to cardio on the treadmill.


    • #3
      I just finished my fourth week of Couch to 5K... I love the program. I hate running and had absolutely horrendous cardio--always out of breath. But the C25K really does ease you in gently, and being able to run while listening to Pandora and having the C25K voice bark orders at me when I feel like slacking is more motivating than just trying to do it on my own. Plus, I like that I can share my runs on Facebook; I am sure that none of my friends actually look at them or care any more than I ever paid attention to any of the runs shared by my friends who run, but the idea of making it public makes me want to do better and not slack. I also had myself fitted for good running shoes, and bought some fun cute running clothes for cheap at Marshalls, because having something cute and comfortable to wear makes me more willing to get out there and do it (especially since I did my first couple runs in riding tights!). Especially with a bad back, though, you really do want to go to a good independent running store and get fitted for the right shoes, because they make a huge difference. I was getting knee pain at first but it got infinitely better once I got my running shoes--they're awesome.

      I also have a gym membership that's about to expire in a month. I got suckered into it by a hard sales pitch; I'm bad at saying no. I didn't take much advantage of it before, but now that I'm running I go more often to use the treadmill, and I also take classes there. At the gym, you can also meet with a trainer to discuss your goals, specific muscle groups you want to work on, limitations (like your back), etc., and come up with a plan to work on. I have a basic strength routine that I am supposed to work on at the gym when I don't go to classes. I don't plan to renew, because I don't have the money for it and it's too far away, but I wish I had taken more advantage of it before.

      I really love yoga and started going regularly to a yoga studio; that is great for general strength and balance. So is pilates.
      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

      Graphite/Pastel Portraits


      • #4
        So what is couch to 5k? I need something like that but.....I currently am having disc problems that I am afraid will make it hard to do that.

        Maybe when it finally ruptures or whatever it does, I can run easier again. How about yoga? Does that impact your back a lot? I need something now, because I too am well on the way to Jello World.


        • #5
          I'm 52 and started working out using Jillian Micheal's Ripped in 30 Days. I certainly didn't plan this, but my daughter was using JM's 30 Day Shred and was getting great results with weight loss and fitness so I naively thought, why not? I went to the store to buy 30 Day Shred and they were out, but had the Ripped in 30 video so I purchased it, still naive about what I was getting myself into.

          Oh. My. Gosh. I was dying initially even using the "easier" modifications and then I realized I was accomplishing each move better. That was for week one.....which my husband and I did for two weeks. We scared to go to week two with more complex moves.

          Yesterday we kicked it up a notch into week two (our week three in real time) and felt like we came close to death all over again. Today was a bit better. And I have to say that we have noticed a big improvement in what we can do and the overall toning going on. It's worth the effort.

          What I really like about this program is it's a half hour out of your day, it works multiple muscle groups at any given time (which is why it's only a half hour), and there's an emphasis on correct form even for the modifications. That said, I'll be honest and tell you that I've yelled at the tv more than once.

          I have learned that in going up a level it's best to have some ibuprofen on hand while I get used to new exercises but I digress.

          My riding feels so much better....posture, steadier, etc. It's a big part of what drives me each morning to go through this program....that and the Dubarry boots I've promised myself when I get to my goal weight. Excellent motivators.

          I'm also using myfitnesspal.com to stay with a healthy diet, etc. It's a good way to monitor calories and exercise.


          • Original Poster

            Sarah and Sam, You are my hero. C25k and a gym membership AND Yoga!

            Do you feel really fit already?

            And I love your suggestions about going out to buy cute clothes. MUST have cute clothes. One cannot embark on a conditioning program in paint stained jeans.

            Back in the 90's we had jogging suits. Can I still wear them? I must have 3 - 4 still lying around somewhere.

            Oh Goodie! I get to go shopping before I even start running. Must keep my priorities straight. (Does it matter that I live in the country and I will be jogging on dirt roads? )
            "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

            Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post
              Sarah and Sam, You are my hero. C25k and a gym membership AND Yoga!

              Do you feel really fit already?

              And I love your suggestions about going out to buy cute clothes. MUST have cute clothes. One cannot embark on a conditioning program in paint stained jeans.

              Back in the 90's we had jogging suits. Can I still wear them? I must have 3 - 4 still lying around somewhere.

              Oh Goodie! I get to go shopping before I even start running. Must keep my priorities straight. (Does it matter that I live in the country and I will be jogging on dirt roads? )
              LOL, thanks! It's more that I had to dabble to find out what worked for me. (: The gym led me to trying yoga classes there, which led me to going to an actual yoga studio, which I think has definitely made an improvement on my flexibility and balance... and I was really resistant to doing anything cardio-related until my otherwise young and healthy father passed away from a heart attack, and I realized that maybe I should at least balance my 90% cream cheese-based diet with some sort of cardio, hence the running now. I do definitely feel better overall, both mood and physically, when I make myself exercise. Also, investing in anything--the running shoes, the gym membership, pre-paid yoga classes--makes me more inclined to stick with it when I want to wimp out. (:

              Also, dirt roads are the best to run on! And it's not as much about whether you're actually in public, it's more about being able to look in the mirror and say, "Hey, I look like a real runner!" vs. "Shite, I look like Death in sweatpants and clunky sneakers!"
              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

              Graphite/Pastel Portraits


              • #8
                Whatever you do don't push it too hard. I had one of those accidents that left me with a rod and screws in my ankle. After 3 years I still stuggle with sustainability as my ankle always starts bothering me after a couple of weeeks.

                Good luck!


                • #9
                  Ugh, I need to do something as well. Is the JM routine on DVD? Where can I get it?

                  I get really pissed because I've always been the person that everyone calls "Skinny!" - yeah, I have a small build, but I'm not what I would call skinny. I was always on the light side, 110-115. Well, I'm 25, will be 26 in December, and while I'm still "skinny" according to everyone who sees me, I am up to 136 lbs and NOTHING is toned...my ass looks like somebody hit me with a bag of nickles, and my thighs rub together like loose jello bowls.

                  What pisses me off is when I want to work out or eat healthy, everyone makes the snide remark "Oh you can afford to gain it, you're SKINNY!" Well, gee, thanks, but I really don't want to keep gaining at a rate of 11 lbs a year adn not do something about it...eventually it all adds up and it harder to get off, and harder to get motivated. In fact, when people make comments like that, in UNmotivates me to get healthy and in shape.

                  Just because I look "skinny" doesn't mean what I have under the clothes is pretty nekkid!
                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                  • #10
                    I do a group strength class - semi-personal training- at a gym. It's pretty reasonable and the guy who runs it is good with broken, middle age (when did I get there?!) peeps. Last winter I did the non-weight bearing version. Modified just for me.

                    I'm strange, I don't mind working out with guys, even though I'm pretty squishy. The gym was a dive, but in a homey, comfortable sort of way. They just built a shiny new one (that doesn't leak ) and it would be intimidating if I didn't already have a group to work out with.

                    The best motivation I've had is my b%^& of a mother going on about how fat I am & that I need to do weight watchers. I've done it & it did nothing for me, except annoy me.

                    I second the worry about your ankle. I try and do a couple days of cardio, and when I'm sound, 3 days a week of 30 min on an elliptical + 1.5 miles walk/run is pretty effective at knocking of pounds. The problem is I haven't stayed sound for more than 2 months at a time for the last 2 years because my screwed up ankle (sans hardware) keeps falling out from under me. Vet wrap has become my friend. Cut the roll in half and it's easier to use.
                    Visit my Spoonflower shop


                    • #11
                      Such a timely post turkey post. I am in the worst shape I have ever been in. No strength, no wind, very, very sad.

                      Really, any program works if you do it. For me, the doing is the problem. If it is something that is worked into my life, such as walking everywhere when I lived in the city/went to school, or working in the barn when I was younger & did it both at home & for work, I am fine. When I have to make the decision to get my arse up and do it on my own, I am just so bad. I almost always choosie to sit.

                      Last edited by Hippolyta; Nov. 26, 2012, 12:16 AM.


                      • #12
                        SuckerforHorses, I know how you feel. I was pushing 130# and people laugh and say how skinny I am. Yes, but when I gained about 7 pounds in 3 weeks and it all goes to the same area I don't feel very pleased! And who wants to keep gaining 7 pounds here and there? My big tip for weght control is to watch the carbs like pasta and bread and sugary stuff. I lost about 8 pounds without being a nut about it. Thanksgiving did me no favors. Bottom line is what you put in your mouth.

                        I keep in shape by walking the dogs, doing horse chores, messing around with some hand weights (been bad lately about that). I want to take some yoga classes. Finding the time is hardest. The gym thing would be a waste of money for me, so I would recommend classes of some sort (yoga, Pilates, etc.), the couch to 5K if your ankle can handle it, or swimming. Mabe you can find some strenght training class to take. The hospital I work at offers them as well as various other classes (Zumba, yoga, pilates, core strengthening) and they are affordable, but never at times that work for me.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                          Ugh, I need to do something as well. Is the JM routine on DVD? Where can I get it?
                          I found a variety of the JM routines on DVD at Walmart and for only $10 each. I came home with exercise mats (we have hard floors), Ripped in 30 Days DVD, her yoga DVD, and her DVD for buns and thighs. So far we've tackled the Ripped in 30 Days. My plan is once I adjust to the second week exercise for a few days that I'm going to add additional exercise to kick up the metabolism even more and get fitter faster though I haven't decided whether to go with Yoga or Buns/Thighs....perhaps I'll alternate.

                          The Dubarry boots are calling my name, but must be earned first. My husband decided he wants a trip to Disney World for his reward when he loses 50 pounds.


                          • #14
                            IMO, when you're starting out with exercising, the most important thing is to find something you enjoy doing versus chasing results. Results take time, and if you're not having fun you're less likely to do it. It's much better to do a workout that you find enjoyable and burns a few hundred calories than to do a bigger burn workout that you don't enjoy and are less likely to do.

                            Curves is fine for a workout. The machines are hydraulic so if you push/pull harder, you will intensify the workout. One workout can burn close to 200-400 calories in 30 minutes. How do I know? I don't know if all Curves have it, but my location has this little key fob thing that you can scan in with. You scan in to each machine and it keeps tracks of your reps and your exertion and computes your calories burned. It also keeps track of which machines you did well on, which machines you did poorly on and your range of motion on each machine used.

                            I'm also a big fan of Zumba. It's fun and works your entire body. You do not need dance experience and you can modify the movements to account for physical limitations. The oldest lady in my Zumba class is 82 and once we modified the movements for her, she is able to keep up with the songs. Granted, she's not doing every step just like the instructor is, but at 82 I think she's doing awesome!


                            • #15
                              I second C25k, a riding friend and I started to increase our fitness for the sake of cross country this season, we are both mommies with young kids and are carving out time for ourselves. We run 3 days a week and walk 3 days. We are doing December Pilates *cringe* for core stability. We did our first 5k thanksgiving morning Good Luck OP
                              If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


                              • #16
                                I have been using Gorilla Workout on my iPad -- and by no means do I perform every task. Lunges, for example, are O.U.T. due to knee injuries. However, at age 52, I have finally finally been able to do push-ups! They are far from the world's best push-ups (get chin to floor and then back up? No), but I'm doing them. Gorilla requires no gym and almost no equipment. If you don't have something, like a chin-up bar, you can substitute something that uses hand weights.

                                Do check with your doctor/physical therapist, and listen to your body.


                                • #17
                                  I am 57 and have been working with a trainer once a week doing pilates for 8 years now. It had immediate benefits for riding, core strength and flexibility, and has kept me in pretty good shape. It is wonderful for anyone who tends to have back problems.


                                  • #18
                                    I used C25K to get myself back into the workout routine this summer. It starts out easy (too easy I thought - until the next day I was sore!) and is very gradual, your body adapts almost without you realizing it! After a month I started to feel some "bounce" come back in my legs, that was very cool. I added 2 sets of push ups & crunches after the run, and started to feel at least baseline fit. IMO it is a great start, from doing nothing, to getting into regular exercise again!

                                    Now I'm eyeing up the Jillian DVD's others are mentioning - I have the Yoga one and it is awesome. I think I may try the Ripped in 30 mins too. I've found it's easier to convince myself to do a 20-30 min workout than it is an hour one.

                                    Good luck everyone!


                                    • #19
                                      Timely thread. I now have time to workout and ride too! YAY! But I really can't afford a gym membership. I have the couch to 5k loaded on my iphone and thought about doing that. I've also been looking at yoga apps. I did quite a bit of Ashtanga yoga with an instructor a few years ago, but I need reminders.

                                      This thread is motivating! Perhaps I can run and not kill myself. I kind of gave up running unless chased after my 4th knee surgery. But really, that's more of an excuse. I just don't like running. However, it's cheap!

                                      I have been walking about 10 miles a day for the last two weeks since moving and loaded an app to track miles, pace, steps, etc. But haven't tried it out yet. My goal is to walk at least 30 brisk miles a week and thus far, the dogs are being VERY helpful in getting me to that goal!
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        For those who have done the couch to 5K program, have you had problems with shin splints? I am doing a similar program and have had a terrible time with shin splints....I've been trying to run on and off for the past year now but the shin splints... I asked a running coach/friend who had some suggestions and they have worked but he also said it might be related to riding-- he knows someone else who has shin splint problems who rides... I've wondered this before but has anyone else had this problem?

                                        thanks!!! I'm not trying to hijack this post-- I promise!