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exercise for wieght loss

8/17 9:10:29

Question
Hi, it is nice to meet you. I am almost 50 yrs old and severley obese. I am some 60 lbs overweight. So is my daughter who is 24. We are both trying to do more exercise to loose weight.

Here is the problem. My husand, who is dibabetic was told he do 3 sets of 10 min exercises instead of doing the entire 30 min at one time. He also has had 6 back surgeries and 4 heart attacks. And thats only 1/2 the list!

Now my Dr(who is a PA) told me that you had to do the entire 30 min at one time to loose.

Which is it?

We are both really out of shape. And I know we both need to work on this. WE are trying to run but right now can't do more than a few feet at a time.

I just am confused at who I should belive? Can you help?

e-mail catlady02@usadatanet.net  

Answer
Those are challenging problems Joyce.  You are not alone in struggling with ways to begin exercise regimens while battling other physical hindrances such as your husband's.

I would say that the most important thing, by far, is to begin.  That is the first and most difficult step for people to take, and you have done it!

For your husband, the best thing to do is begin a regimen that he can sustain and enjoy.  That far outweighs any academic arguments over whether short workouts are inferior to long workouts.  In his case, any workout is a huge benefit if he is healthy enough for exercise, but only if he can sustain it over time (make sure his doctor gives him the green light and your doctor also for you).  I recommend he begin experimenting with activities he can do comfortably, and then add fun elements like an iPod as a reward.  Visiting a professional trainer to brainstorm ideas on activities involving light weights, recumbent apparatus, or pools might stimulate his thinking.  I think 10 minutes is fine for now, and he should work up to longer sessions over time.

As for you and your daughter, seize the moment and begin a life long exercise regimen today!  I usually recommend people start with nice evening walks together.  Then extend those with your daughter and increase the pace over time.  In national registry data on successful weight loss patients, the most practiced exercise among success stories is an hour of walking per day.

So, the bottom line is that you are doing the right thing in starting to answer these questions, and from a medical and health perpective, beginning this exercise is a great thing to do.  The key is find what you enjoy and can sustain over time, and don't be deterred by any of the controversial details.
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