Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey – Week 14
It’s time once again to reflect on the past week. Recently, we have looked at milestones, how to stay motivated, the smart use of free foods, some tactics for dining out, surviving the holidays while dieting, the benefits of a 5% weight loss, diabetes, the importance of exercise and last week starting an exercise routine. Hopefully, you have found my sharing this journey with you beneficial. It has been a blessing for me as I have learned a lot about myself in addition to the new skills that will help me to continue to be successful on my WW Freestyle journey. Last week, I decided it was time to start exercising. This week I am looking at beginner exercises that are low and no impact that I will not only be able to do but also enjoy doing. So if you are ready to get up and get moving join me as I continue to put my plan into action.
Now that I’ve made the commitment to exercise, I needed to learn what the best ones would be for my fitness level. Because obese individuals are carrying more weight, activities they participate in have the potential to place a significant amount of stress on their ankles, knees, hips and lower back, obesity can make starting that exercise program challenging, but not impossible. If you’re like me, odds are that your body is used to a sedentary lifestyle. I know from past experience that my body will adapt to exercise as long as I give it a chance to do so.
Beginners should not jump right into intense workouts that might leave you sore and unable to continue working out. According to Stacie Schmidt of the American College of Sports Medicine, we should focus primarily on activities that are low impact. Start with low-intensity cardiovascular exercises and build up to longer and more strenuous activity as your body gets stronger. There are a number of non or low-impact cardio exercises that you can start out with such as walking, cycling, swimming, and water aerobics. Since starting my weight loss journey I’ve been working on making exercise a part of my regular routine and have been walking and moving more.
Having trouble getting started? To help get motivated you can register for a fun event. A community walk/run is a great motivator and goal. I have my eye on doing the annual Cooper River Bridge Run in the not so distant future. This is a combined 10K event. I plan to register for the walk/run category which you can walk at your own pace within the 3-hour time limit. Hopefully, I will see you among the walkers there.
But first things first, this week I will be working on being consistent with my cardio training that I started last week and have a long-term goal of building up to five workouts a week that last at least 30 minutes each. For now, the 30 minutes doesn’t need to be completed all in one session. I still receive the same benefits and burn the same number of calories with three separate 10-minute sessions as with a single 30-minute workout.
Once you are able to increase your workouts, be sure to start each by taking five minutes at the beginning to warm up and then end each with another five minutes at the end to gradually decrease the intensity and allow your body to safely return to resting levels.
Week Two of Exercising
For long-term weight loss, weight training is a must. In addition to the retention of muscle, weight training helps keep you motivated as strengthening the muscles can result in less joint pain and less difficulty in moving around. Get in two strength training workouts per week.
If you can start out on weight-training machines, they allow you to exercise without much impact to your joints. However, I do not have access to these machines so needed to find out how to do a full-body routine without the use of one.
My Beginner Exercise Routine:
- 10 – 20 Stationary Lunges – By focusing your weight on your heel as you press up, the stationary lunge allows you to target the glutes and teach them to work as they should.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step back with your left foot. You should maintain the same distance between your feet width wise that you established when your feet were next to each other. This is the Start Position. From this position lower yourself until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Your back knee should not touch the floor. This is the Finish Position. It is important to keep your torso upright (perpendicular to the floor) and lower your hips and shoulders straight down. Avoid rocking forward. The majority of your weight should be on your front heel as you press directly into the floor with your front foot to return to the Start Position. Repeat 10 times and then switch feet positions and repeat 10 times with the other foot.
- 20 Bodyweight Squats – The squat is the foundation of all lower-body exercises. It can determine how well you walk, run, jump, or lunge.
How to do it: Find a spot on the floor about 10 feet in front of you and look at it. Cross your arms and keep your elbows elevated so your arms are parallel to the floor during your squat. Crossing your arms in front of your chest shifts the weight to your hips instead of your knees. Keeping your entire foot pressed into the floor, push through the outside of each foot as you lower into your squat. When you have lowered down into the bodyweight squat, your kneecaps should hover over the tops of your feet. Your torso should lean forward slightly, creating a 30 to 45-degree angle with your thighs. Make your glutes work their hardest by finding the squat’s “sweet spot” at the bottom of the movement. When you start to rise from the bottom of your squat, actively push your knees out. Your thighs should stay in line with your feet. Remember to keep your chest lifted throughout the bodyweight squat. Don’t round your back.
- 20 Upper Body Pushes – Pushups are an exercise powerhouse, working your entire upper body and your core too. However, don’t expect to be able to do them right away. If you can’t do them on the floor do upper body pushes using a counter, chair (make sure its stationary), bench, bed, or even a wall. Anything at a comfortable height will do.
How to do it: You should position yourself on this surface with your hands at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be set in a way that feels right and comfortable to you. Think of your body as one giant straight line – from the top of your head down through your heels and push yourself up and down while maintaining that straight line.
- 10 – 20 Walking Lunges – Doing lunges is a great way to develop thigh muscles and strengthen the hips. These exercises strengthen the core muscles with their up and down motion.
How to do it: Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot. Drive through the heel of your lead and extend both knees to raise yourself back up. Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.
- 10 – 20 One Arm Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows – This exercise is widely considered to be one of the best muscle building exercises for the back and shoulders. Using one arm at a time allows you to really focus your efforts on the lats, traps, and other back muscles targeted by the exercise.
How to do it: Grab a dumbbell or filled gallon jug in one hand and stand in a staggered stance with one foot forward. Place your free hand on your knee and bend at your hips and knees. Lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbell hang at arm’s length from your shoulder. Without moving your torso, pull the weight to the side of your torso. Keep your elbow close to your side. Pause and squeeze at the top of the movement. Don’t let your back round or body lose alignment and keep the shoulder down and away from the ear. Lower the dumbbell slowly until your arm is fully extended again. Repeat 10 times. Then, switch to the other side and repeat 10 times.
- 3 Ten-Second Planks – Holding the muscle-blasting pose for just 10-seconds can be incredible for your core.
How to do it: You can plank at many different angles. You can use a wall, chair, table, bed until you can do a full plank on the floor. Get in the pushup/upper body push position, only put your forearms on the surface instead of your hands. Bend the arms to form 90-degree angles. Your elbows should line up with your shoulders. Toes on the ground. Once again think of your body as one giant straight line. Look down, keep a neutral neck and spine. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals while maintaining the straight line. Hold that position for 10-seconds. When your form begins to suffer, stop. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
The beauty of weight training is that it can be easily modified to every person’s needs and adjusted as you become stronger and more familiar with the techniques.
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
Another week of appointments, waiting rooms, and visiting with family. I was glad that I did accomplish my goal of three 10 minute walks in this week. Plus, I spent one-afternoon gardening and even worked up a sweat Sunday while cleaning the house. I was proud that I was able to accomplish what I wanted to do this week.
Soon it was Sunday afternoon once again and after last weeks birthday party and cookout plus the eating on the go again this week, I got on the scale for my weekly weigh-in hoping that the changes I made would pay off. When I stepped on I saw that this week I had lost two pounds this week. After last week’s upset of no loss, because I wasn’t more disciplined or prepared for eating while on the go, I was thrilled. I can do this both at home and away with a little preparation and strategizing. Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
Where are you?
Where are you on your journey? Do you have a beginner exercise that would you recommend I incorporate into my routine?
Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.