Do you exercise at home? I need advice.

Sometimes I feel like my body is just something that carries my mind around for me. My mind-body connection is tenuous.

I’ve decided that this is the year I’m going to get more active. I have a sedentary lifestyle – my work and my hobbies are very computer- and technology-based. Except for reading, which exercises my mind. So my mind is reasonably sharp, but my body is…less than sharp.

I’m fat. Most of the time I’m okay with it. Well, maybe ‘okay’ isn’t the right word. I don’t beat myself up about it too much. Not openly anyway. I believe in buying clothes that fit me as I am, not buying clothes I’ll shrink into someday. I believe in small improvements, not complete short-term overhauls I cannot possibly maintain.

But sometimes, I wish I didn’t have to eat to stay alive. That makes me so angry. The act of eating is – and should be – a pleasurable one. A life-sustaining act shouldn’t be filled with such guilt and shame and neurosis.

I know I need to move more. I’ve spent the last few weeks (months? years?) figuring out what I’d like to do to be able to introduce more activity into my life. Everything I want to do seems to have barriers: too expensive, not enough time, worry that I will look stupid in front of people who I wouldn’t give a shit about if I wasn’t feeling so vulnerable in front of them.

I can’t sit at my desk and listen to my ass grow bigger without trying to do something about it. I need this body for a long time.

So for now, I’ve decided to go with streaming fitness videos at home. I don’t want to buy a pile of DVDs, do them a few times and never use them again. I also figure I can start exercising in my bare feet at home – I haven’t had a good pair of running shoes in years. I’ve found a few sites online that I can join to access full-length workout videos in a number of genres. I’m also considering a Fitbit – I’ve heard good things about them, and seeing the stats of how much I move (or don’t move) in a day may encourage me to move a little more. That can’t be a bad thing.

Flora recently discovered my yoga mat and she likes to “ex-ter-cise” on it. (I love how she says exercise, and I never correct it.) She got it out to do some yoga (her latest issue of Chirp magazine came in and it featured simple yoga poses). She’s pretty good. I asked her if she’d do exercises with me, and she said she would. We’ll see if that happens or if it turns into me exercising and her doing colour commentary on my technique.

If you’re a fitness video junkie, which ones do you like? I like yoga and am intrigued by Pilates, but I know I need to do more traditional cardio stuff too.

Any advice is welcome. This stuff is so new to me, and maybe just a bit intimidating.

18 thoughts on “Do you exercise at home? I need advice.”

  1. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a correlation between all of my soc-med friends thinking they’re leading too sedentary a life? Endless hours on the computer much? 😉

    Myself, I hate fitness classes and those DVDs. I hate the classes because I am horribly uncoordinated and am hugely intimidated by the group. The home-based ones, I always worry that I’m not doing it “right” and I don’t like all the flailing around anyway. Yoga I love, and I really enjoyed yoga classes, too – but again, doing it at home without anyone to correct me, I figure I’m going to do it wrong.

    That’s why I love the FitBit idea. You can’t really do walking “wrong’ (although you read my post, so you know my physiotherapist apparently disagrees!) and you can fit it in to your life in little bits and pieces each day with no need for gear or sweat. I blanched at the cost originally, but I’d happily pay $60 to lose 10 lbs over the course of the next couple of months.

    (Sorry, you caught me with the enthusiasm of a new project — maybe I should revisit this comment in 10 weeks and see how I’m doing?)

    • They say smartphones are for on the go, but I think it really means you’re on the couch instead of at a desk. 🙂

      I generally feel the same way about classes – uncoordinated and out of sync with the group. I figure I’m either going to do it wrong in a class or at home, so I may as well do it wrong at home. I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone and do things that intimidate me so they won’t intimidate me anymore.

      I figure putting the videos and Fitbit together, I can come up with some sort of varied routine so my body and I don’t get bored. 🙂

  2. i like Jillian Michael’s videos- especially the 20 minute one (got mine on Amazon for $10). however, I strongly caution you about doing these videos in bare feet. I was doing that and pulled a calf muscle. Unless it’s yoga, wear shoes!

    The Fit bit route (Dani) is a great idea and more of a life style change.. which, ultimately, is what it is all about. a 20-30 minute walk every day breathing some fresh air is really the best thing you can do for your mind and body!

  3. Does you local library have workout videos? If there’s one I’m interested in, I’ll often request it from my local library to see if I like it. (Note: sometimes I have to wait several weeks to get it.) This has saved me from purchasing several videos whose hosts made me want to throw something heavy through my tv screen.

  4. I work out at home but I don’t do the videos. I actually weight train (free weights or body weight as resistance). I do cardio – walking or running, which is practically free save for the need to invest in a good pair of shoes. While I don’t think you need to run out and buy a whole bunch of weights, you should consider incorporating some weight-routine exercise to whatever cardio/aerobics you do. You’ll burn more calories and build muscle.

    I like SassyMonkey’s ideas of checking out what the library has on offer. That way you won’t get bored!

  5. Another resource for fitness routines to do at home and that won’t cost you anything is through the Nike Training Club (NTC) app. Tons of different routines and some as short as 15 minutes long. Good luck!

  6. I have a wii, so I do the wii fit exercises – they’re actually pretty good for somebody like me who hasn’t had a regular exercise regime happening for a while now. I also do leg and arm exercises I find on the internet (pinterest has some decent ones), and I walk. If I had an eyephone I would do couch-5k or some such nonsense, but I don’t so I just go outside and move. Good luck, it’s tough, but once you start it feels pretty ok.

    • Funny story about the Wii.

      When we bought the first Wii Fit game, I was 7ish months pregnant. I remember yelling at it when it chided me, “this isn’t all fat! I’m almost 8 months pregnant!”

      When it later chided Sean, he sold the Wii and bought an Xbox. Hasn’t looked back since.

      Maybe we should try the Kinect version and do it together. 🙂

      As for C25K, blech. Running so doesn’t appeal to me right now. But maybe that will change.

  7. I also have a desk job and travel a lot for work. I’ve always been a fan of the elliptical for my cardio because it’s so low impact. I’ve also gotten into streaming videos lately and found this to be a useful resource: I’ve found it key for when I’m traveling for work. I’m able to maintain my routine which is critical. Best of luck to you.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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