We all talk about exercise, but few of us heavy people every get
around to doing it. I wonder why?
One of my own answers is that I am so out of shape that I can't do
enough to get motivated. I mean I start to job and stop about 100
yards later. It doesn't take long to think that everyone is laughing,
and this little amount of exercise will never help.
I thought is we are measuring the wrong thing. It isn't how far run
or how fast you ride your bike. When you are heavy and out of shape,
the first muscle to be exercised is the heart. I don't mean
emotional; I mean physical.
Get a heart monitor. I have the kind that straps around you chest and
comes with a watch for the readout. I like it a lot. The strap isn't
that long, so if you are a little too big you might want to find the
style that is a watch only. The media says that it isn't as accurate,
and I haven't tested it at all, but I think it would be better than
wrestling with a strap that's too small. The monitor I purchased was
about 40 dollars from Best Buy.
Once you have the heart monitor, you can start to exercise based on
your heart rate. Start to measure what matters. The goal is to keep
you heart rate in a higher than normal range. The standard formula of
220 - (your age) is questionable measure of your max heart rate, but
it is a goo spot to start. There are many theories about what zone is
best for different results. I picked 60 to 80% (roughly). Being
almost 40, my works out to be about 120 to 140.
I exercise as much as it takes to keep my heart rate above 120 and
when it reaches 140 or above, I take a deserved break. My monitor
comes with an alarm, so when I hear the beep for below 120, I take off
again. Being out of shape, I actually jog or walk uphill very little
before reaching 140. This isn't a problem anymore since I am working
on my heart rate and not my distance or speed.
The theory goes something like this. Get the heart in shape and it
will become more difficult to keep your heart rate up. In short,
distance and speed will come as the heart gets in better shape. If
there comes a time when you need a higher rate to get the results you
want, then just change the numbers and work to stay in the zone.
By doing exercise this way, I can stay motivated. I can exercise for
25 or 30 minutes between 120 and 140 without extreme distress.
I will let you know how this works out in the long run.