Because my energy was so low, getting out of the house and getting to the gym usually felt like too much for me. I ended up wanting to invest all of my energy into the actual work out, not the preparation and travel time for the work out.
Therefore, I did most of my work outs at home. The following sheet was in daily view for me, on the inside flap of the front cover of my healthy living/food record binder:
I think that I did the “hiking” and the “walking” about twice during the entire time period that I was losing weight, so that plan did not work for me. I did go swimming, but never once did I go swimming twice in one week. It took me a lot of time to get ready and get out to the pool.
However, I did stick fairly regularly (unless I was sick or so exhausted that I could barely move) to the home work outs; biking and dancing.
I purchased a recumbent exercise bike. In high school and college, I was a runner, but I was unable to run during this time due to my severe plantar fasciitis. I enjoyed using my home exercise bike quite a bit while I was losing weight. I still have it, and I still use it, although not as frequently as I used to. It has back support, which is nice. Even though I don’t personally have any back problems, many people do. So, if you have foot or back problems, and are interested in purchasing a comfortable home exercise bike, I highly recommend a recumbent model. (Standard disclaimer: Of course, if you have any serious health issues, check with your doctor prior to starting any physical exercise program.)
My bike is the Schwinn 205P model. I bought it on Craigs List for just $100. It fit in my bedroom, and my bedroom is not enormous.
It is no longer available for purchase new, as it is an older model, but there are some used versions available for purchase.
Here is a picture of my bike:
In terms of dancing, I started out with a fun, free-style dance at home. I picked music I loved, rocked out to it in my living room, and really worked up a sweat! I started with just around 10 minutes at a time, and worked up to around 20-30 minutes at a time. This method of exercising had several advantages: I could speed up or slow down the pace as I wanted to; it never got boring; it was convenient and I could do it any time I was home (except, of course, after 10pm or before 8am, out of consideration for the neighbors). If you choose this work out, a good goal (which is actually one of Matthew McConaughey’s primary goals for his own work outs) should be to break a really good sweat. Another good goal is to keep moving the entire time, and to involve your entire body in the movements.
In addition to the free dancing, I soon discovered a CORE Fitness video called Salsa Blast. It really is a blast! I cannot recommend this video highly enough; it is fun and effective. The instructors are charismatic and upbeat. If I knew them in real life, I’d go out dancing with them in a heartbeat! This video is currently available for purchase from Amazon:
According to one helpful review, you should buy some preparation videos first, to teach you the moves. I did not know that. I jumped right in, and loved it! However, this is a challenging video, and I did start small (5-10 minutes at a time) and worked up gradually from there.
My neighbor took me to Zumba classes with her about a year ago, and I had fun, but I definitely prefer this video. I used this video twice per week for about 6 months, and I had almost no belly fat by the time that the 6 months was over!
In addition to bike work outs once or twice per week, and often free-dance workouts once or twice per week, I was set in terms of exercise.
My exercise program went from the “Rock the Week” list (at the top of this post) to something like this:
Recumbent Bike work-out, 15-25 minutes, twice per week.
Free-Dance work-out, 15-30 minutes, once or twice per week.
CORE Fitness Video, 20-35 minutes, twice per week.
If your exercise program is not working for you, don’t stop exercising! Change your plan. Change it over and over again until you find a program that you really enjoy and that you are sticking with. The “Rock the Week” plan was my very first weight-loss exercise plan, and it went through several revisions to reach the bike/dance/video plan outlined above, which is quite different!
My exercise plan continues to change and evolve as my needs, perspective, energy levels, and body continue to change. My original plan was for one unhealthy individual. Now that I am much healthier and have a lot more energy than I used to, I do go for hours-long hikes or dance for 45-60 minutes. Hurray for change! 🙂