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TOPIC: Does anyone have an exercise program that does not consume your life
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Exercise is the key. I know what it's like being a busy mom. It takes perserverance in your routine to make it work. I like doing a variety of exercise videos. This suits my personal style the best. I don't need a gym or any type of group fitness to keep motivated. I figured if I want to look good, then I have to make the effort. It's not going to happen until I do something about it. When you get to this point of really wanting to make it work for you, then you'll find your success. Do this for you!! Trust me, the hardiest part of it all is taking that first giant leap & once you get into the groove you'll be so glad you did. Good luck!

Knoxville TN
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About a year ago Mr.'s father had triple bypass. That ordeal really caused him to re-assess his fitness, even though it wasn't that bad to begin with. (His only weaknesses were soft drinks and late-night snacks.) Since then he has taken on a diet/workout regimen that basically works like this: during the week, he keeps to a fairly strict low-fat diet, with lots of fruits, vegetables, water, and very little "junk." On the weekends, he eats like he normally would, going out with friends and family, having a few beers, etc. This diet is augmented by a workout routine that includes a cardio workout (30 minutes on a stationary bike) at least three times a week and other moderate exercise, including walking and light weight lifting. As a result, he lost 40 pounds over the past year and he hasn't felt so good in years. This is NOT a routine that consumes his life, and its benefits are real.

Frederick MD
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We are an older couple and frankly, the lack of fit folks in our age range is depressing. I would really like to see a thread on this issue. We get up early 4-5 days a week and I do stretches and free weights (I agree with an R&M -- a better investment than a gym membership and lots cheaper) while she treadmills. In the p.m., we reverse, I walk my ass off and she does the weights and crunches. We have a cheap bench. We use just 5 and 10 lb weights and lots of reps. We are not out to build muscle mass, just stay in shape so we can play! I do most of the cooking. We also avoid trans fats and eat a lot of fish (I think I can breathe underwater). We eat everything, but portion control is key. And getting a good breakfast. The folks who don't find themselves loading up on empty calories in the mid morning. Stress is the 3rd part of the equation. We have quiet times and try to keep balanced. We got addicted to Sudoku and like to work on the same one and compare notes. Anyway, this works for us -- no one ever said it would be easy, but the alternative is not something you want to dwell on. We have seen many folks who are wrecks at our ages. That is a perverse kind of inspiration. Oh yeah -- and it helps the sex life too! C&H

Charlotte NC
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Bow Flex. I am a walkiing advertisement

Hattiesburg MS
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Hi Hedonist, sounds like you are making great progress!

Mrs. Braco is to blame for our fitness... Two years ago last June she quit smoking (cold turkey). She put on some weight (caught up to me, that is) and decided we needed to do something about it. At first we tried Pilates, which did wonders for toning but didn't really do much in the way of weight-loss for us.

She did all the research, added what she learned in medical school, and basically created a fitness program for us from scratch.

We started off by buying some free weights... much cheaper than a gym membership or an exercise machine... and we began working out four days a week after I got home from work. Eventually we added a bench and a simple cable machine to do certain exercises, but the vast majority of our workouts are dumbbells and barbells, with some floor work left over from Pilates.

Cardio is also a part of the equation. Stationary bike and treadmill in the cold months, mountain biking, running and rollerblading in the warmer months. We usually do our cardio in the mornings, 5 days a week.

We also changed our eating routines. We now eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. (I take three "lunches" to work.) We are on a deficit calorie routine (between 1200 and 1700 calories per day), with breaks on the weekends, where we "refeed" and get the metabolism revving again. And the food is all home cooked and awesome. We cook for several meals at a time and prepare what we can in advance.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But the results have been extremely gratifying and motivational. We each lost approximately 45 lbs, and added about 10 lbs of toned muscle. People say we look younger, and frankly, our stamina and energy hasn't been this high since our 20's! ;-)

But rather than saying our fitness regimen "consumes our lives", we have simply firmly integrated it into our lives. It is an enjoyable part of our lives now, not an interruption or a distraction from something else we want to do. Frankly, what we gave up the most of was some TV time and all our consumption of Trans fats! And doing it together makes it just that much more "us time".

Anyway, keep up the good work. It will be worth it in the way you feel about yourself, the way others look at you, and the way your body performs.

Have fun!

R & M

Hagerstown MD
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Yes .. sex ...3 days a week ...it is the best cardio work out I've had in tears ..I'm using muscles I never thought I had ..and loving every minute of it

Check your heartrate after you had an orgasm it sure as HELLLLLLL beats the treadmill

I also walk everywhere because I do not drive

Lost 50 pounds ..20 more to go

Philadelphia PA
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DeLina, Thanks, lovely to see you, too! : )

As for walking, when I was walking in the mornings a few years ago, I had the WORST problems with my calves. No matter what kind of stretching I did, the lower part of my calves really, really hurt. It was a tough one to get past, but it eventually got better. Funny, cause I never thought of that particular region as being especially out of shape. I'm betting your butt will feel better soon- stick with it!

L., who likes yer butt ; )

Ithaca NY
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For me, I couldn't get motivated to exercise when it was about losing weight for looks. I'd start and stop over and over- it just didn't matter enough to me, I guess.

But as I'm approaching what I call the Age of Diabetes in my family, I've become very much more aware of the importance of being more in shape. Losing weight, yes, but also all the other health benefits of exercise.

I started a few years ago using the Firm tapes first thing in the morning- and trust me I am NOT a morning person! Getting up at 5:30 AM to work out was antithetical to my entire being, but I did it. After a while, I missed it when I didn't.

Now I go to a gym for cardio and circuit training. I fell off track a few months ago, but the kid insists we go every day so he can play basketball with his friends after school, and that's getting me going again.

I get motivated by how I feel, not how I look. My body and spirit just both feel better when I work out regularly, and it only takes 60-90 minutes out of my day. I think I'm worth that much.

L., a confirmed sweat-hater!

Ithaca NY
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Dear Hedo, You really do look fine but here are my two cents. I had to loose about 35lbs after my kids. I started by just walking, gardening(large vegetable garden) and mowing the lawn (push mower) I could do all this with my kids around. I did drop the weight and after a couple of years I started going to a gym. I know the feeling of trying to squeeze one more thing into your life, but you have to make the time (pretty much what polygirl said) I go 3 times a week and work hard for about 90mins. On my off days I try to be active with the same walking, mowing and gardening. I don't specifically diet, but watch and count. Like you, I have some low blood sugar issues and tend to be a grazer. Small frequent meals and snacks keeps me from bottoming out. I have also come to accept that certain parts of my body, like my baby belly are mine and I can only manipulate it just so much. Don't ever get down on yourself!! Good Luck! Barb

Owego NY
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At age 35, I decided to get back in shape by training for marathons. It was a great program because it required that you make year-long training plans and stick to them. When you commit to a certain # of hours per week for a period of a year, it becomes a part of your life and cannot be ignored. Since running necessarily produces periodic injury, I started training for triathlons a few years ago. The balance between swimming, biking, and running and the commitment thereto has further improved my fitness. One the most important benefits of a consistent fitness regimen is good sexual health (smile).

Memphis TN
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TOPIC: Does anyone have an exercise program that does not consume your life