Work out recommendations?

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Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:29 am

So, I'm trying to get in better shape, and after some trial and error I've found that thai-bo classes and fitness boxing are things that I enjoy. (I'm bad at it, but it's fun). The problem is my feet and ankles are sending increasingly intense distress signals and last time I tried to go with a "no pain no gain" attitude it...did not end so well.

I try to do some (very light) lifting, as I am a weakling and would like to be stronger, but I find it boring and it's  really hard to motivate myself to go do it, and besides it can't really replace the other activities in terms of cardio training. So what to do? I did a spinning class and hated it with every fiber of my being (also, strangely, it really made my feet hurt), and I'm reluctant to appear publicly in a bathing suit. I'm willing to consider it though, so does anyone have any tips on swimming? I know how to swim on a basic level but other than that I know nothing. Is it acually good training? Are there optimal ways of going about it?

Or does anyone have any other suggestions for someone whose lower extremities aren't very cooperative?
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:33 am

I'd recommend seeing a podiatrist if possible, and specifically bringing up concerns about foot/ankle pain while exercising. Not only will a better diagnosis of the problem help identify forms of exercise that won't give you these problems, but some of these kinds of conditions are actually at least somewhat treatable.

I've promised myself that once I've got the funds or proper insurance policies in place, I'm going back to my podiatrist; I know already that I have flat feet, and it's possible to make corrections, but meanwhile I can't run quite as often or as far as I'd like to (it's funny, I didn't like running for its own sake remotely this much until a surgery left me unable to walk on my left foot for almost a month) and I'm stuck with movements and exercises that don't put quite as much impact force on my feet lest I make the arches worse or develop stress fractures.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:53 am

I've been to the doctor, just didn't want to bore you with my medical history Wink I've got fascitis plantaris (basically an inflammation of your heel and the underside of your foot due to overexertion), and the problems with my ankles and lower legs are much the same: The muscles are overexerted rather easily and it results in pain and swelling.
I've got supports in my shoes that are supposed to help with the first condition, but they're not really fixing it and other than that the cure is sitting on your arse as much as possible to avoid stressing your feet plus losing weight. The latter two really don't go very well together, though.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:09 am

Oh. Yeah, that's no fun.

Well, swimming is probably a good bet if you do feel up to dealing with the body-image issues. Much like running, you can calibrate your pace to adjust for how much you want to push your muscles vs. how much you want to push your heart and lungs. You can burn a huge amount of calories swimming. So, yes, it's good training. Smile

Biking is also great cardiovascular exercise, though personally I hate bike-themed indoor exercise machines; I'd much rather be outside and get the constant change of scenery while I ride, plus the natural variety of slopes.

On the other hand, I've found that rowing machines are actually kind of neat. There's definitely a learning curve on developing good form with one, though, and some gyms don't have access to them.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:34 am

As an absent-minded person living in the big city I fear that biking outside would drastically reduce my life-span expectancy Smile

Rowing machines are a good idea, thanks! I'll check if my gym has one.

And I'll grumpily think about swimming.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by reboot on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:01 pm

For toning/strength, I really like barre classes. The ones I went to incorporated arms and abs as well. I stopped doing them because I was getting too bulky (I put on muscle crazy easy which would rock if I was a guy, not so much as a woman). I was also lucky that the classes I found was super welcoming to all ages and body types.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by Enail on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:50 pm

If you can, consult with a physiotherapist; pool activity seems to usually be pretty highly recommended for those sort of issues, but there might be other activities (or specific pool activities) that would be best for you. Also, rash guards! They're like t-shirts/shorts that you can wear while swimming! It's magic - they keep you warm (if you're like me and get cold easily), they keep you covered, and no one acts like it's weird to wear them. Or at least, not at the pool I go to.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by waxingjaney on Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:31 pm

Or you can just wear a wetsuit.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by Lemminkainen on Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:54 pm

If there's a climbing gym in your area, you might want to check it out. It's a really excellent strength workout, and it's much more challenging, fun, cardio-intensive, and interesting than lifting weights.

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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:38 pm

No barre classes at my gym, but climbing does sound like a lot more fun than lifting. Sadly, it also sounds like a lot more money. And I'm not sure how gentle it is on your feet and ankles? It does sound awesome though, now you've planted the idea in my head Wink (And this is how levelling up ends up being so much more ressource consuming than one - naively - expected when starting out with "I'll just buy a sports bra and some shoes and go jogging a bit").

For now I think I'll look into "cardio friendly machinery that isn't a bike" and maybe swimming come January.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!


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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by InkAndComb on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:39 pm

Delayed message,but can I suggest hot house yoga? You get your heartrate up and, as someone who isn't in shape, it's basically a cardio with the heat and movements. I have shinsplints, so anything that has low impact are my favorite workouts.
I also suggest resistance bands, if the issues with your legs and ankles are that of needing to work on ankle muscles or flexibility in particular (though follow the advice of a physical therapist or trainer when using these).
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:06 pm

Next year I'm starting on Parkour. The gym looks like a giant playground of things to climb, jump over, jump in etc. I'm not much of one for repetitive motion for its own sake, either but this kind of thing is my very definition of fun.

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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:09 pm

I've looked at parkour too - like climbing it sounds really fun; hope you'll enjoy. And I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

My problem with options like that - apart from my bad feet - is that it's more time consuming than going to the gym around the corner, and that I really feel that my baseline fitness should be better before I throw myself into it. I've been doing a bit of paragliding and I'm definitely the slow kid in those classes. I may have been regardless, but being in better shape would at least have helped with the whole dragging myself + relatively heavy equipment up a mountainside aspect.

One day...
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by Stumbles on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:20 pm

I second yoga! I don't recommend Bikram Yoga because the founder is a shady, shady human. Yoga does wonders for you joints. Of course, talk with your doctor.

My favorite work out is pole and aerial silks. You collect lots of bruises and an occasional burn, but I wear them with pride.

Keep kicking butt!
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:24 am

Oh dear, I'm so bad at yoga. Like, "the hyperventilating human pretzel in the corner" bad.
But I have found one instructor at my gym who keeps the woo woo comments to a minimum - those drive me crazy; I'm at a gym, I'm not looking for spiritual enlightenment - so maybe it's worth getting into that more.
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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:09 pm

LadyIkaros wrote:I've looked at parkour too - like climbing it sounds really fun; hope you'll enjoy. And I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

My problem with options like that - apart from my bad feet - is that it's more time consuming than going to the gym around the corner, and that I really feel that my baseline fitness should be better before I throw myself into it. I've been doing a bit of paragliding and I'm definitely the slow kid in those classes. I may have been regardless, but being in better shape would at least have helped with the whole dragging myself + relatively heavy equipment up a mountainside aspect.

One day...

Its a bit of a trek compared to the closest gym, for sure. I just can't move heavy things or run/bike/step/etc in place for an hour. My mind screams for something non-monotonous. I think the big appeal is that the "academy" classes are two night a week, two hours a class for $75 a month. That's way cheap compared to one-off classes, martial arts lessons, aerial silk classes etc, which all tend to be $20-30 per hour.

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Re: Work out recommendations?

Post by InkAndComb on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:58 pm

Relaxation and balance are the main reasons I started yoga; I find it easier to hit that "runner's high" when I'm testing the boundaries of my flexibility versus...well, running and things like that, since I'm out of shape enough for high intensity workouts to be impossible to enjoy (not that I don't benefit, I just don't feel AWESOME afterwards vs tired).

I'd say finding a good instructor (like you mentioned) is key; if you can't groove to the yoga beat they're laying down it's going to feel silly and take you out of form (since it's mostly about proper breath and finding your limits, imho). Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions; the goal should never be the same sort of "pain" you feel during a workout that is too strenous, since flexibility is gradually cultivated and overdoing yourself leads to injuries.
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