Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Hi Fun and Fit: I was hoping you could give me a place to start. I have not really exercised in 7 years (since I have been married) and I have put on A LOT of weight (probably over 100 pounds). I really need to get it off as I was told I am pre pre-diabetic. My doctor said I have time to change this course and I want to. I joined the YMCA and plan on starting a Zumba class because I love to dance.
Do you have any recommendations on anything I should purchase to help me? I keep seeing Emily wearing a wristwatch type thing (in her blog, Family & Life in Las Vegas). Would this be beneficial to have? Also, before I met my husband and while in college I exercised. I remember I never had a time limit goal but I placed a calorie burn goal. Should I go back to doing that? It probably has really been 10 years since I started a workout routine and back then I hired a trainer but I don’t have that in our budget. Any advice would help. Thanks for any help you can give me Cassie, Fenton, MO
Kymberly: Great questions! Do the activities you enjoy as those are the ones you will stick with. The main equipment I suggest is the right pair of shoes. Get what’s comfortable, workout-specific, and durable. The most expensive shoes are usually over-engineered. We are not fans of the rocker type shoes for indoor workouts. For now, do not worry about the heart rate monitor (what you saw Emily wearing in her posts).
My approach for beginning exercisers has always been to simply get out there and exercise as often as you can, as long as you can, as hard as you can. I am not big on counting burned calories since getting consistent, reliable feedback can be frustrating and demotivating when starting out. Nor do I necessarily suggest a time limit unless it’s for short bursts–pushing yourself hard for X seconds or minutes. More important at this stage is to create workout habits.
Alexandra: Since you already know you enjoy dancing, and you’ve found a class and joined a gym, I think the only remaining thing to do is make a specific plan. Mark it in your calendar. And list it as an appointment, not a class. People tend to keep appointments!
We wish you were in Santa Barbara, as we absolutely LOVE students like you: motivated, great attitude, and wishing to lead a healthy life. Here are our mega-amazing tips, and we hope you write them down:
- Find movement you enjoy
- Do a little more than the day before
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone, including your “former” self
- Be realistic and work toward your goal in increments
- Keep in contact with your doctor
- Be a tortoise, not a hare. It took 7 years to put the weight on so if it takes 3 years to lose it, you’re still ahead.
I could make a long list and frighten the hoo-ha out of you, but that about covers it. Of course, the unspoken question is your food intake. You will probably want to assess that too: what type of food and how much are you eating?
Kymberly: Experience compels us to say that the fewer RULES, REQUIREMENTS, and “SHOULDS” that you place between you and working out, the happier and more successful you will be in reaching your goals. Just move, move more, move a lot. Then come back for more fine-tuning advice.
We hope some of our previous posts will be helpful:
All Sizes Welcome
Be Your Body’s Best Friend
The “Best” Cardio Workout
Alexandra: Once you’ve established a routine for your dance/ cardio class, consider adding strength training. You’ll lose weight faster that way. If that advice sounds overwhelming, come back to this part later.
Hope this all helps. Keep us posted on your progress. Or move to Santa Barbara and take our classes!
Readers Who Have Been Where Cassie Is: What is your advice?