M.F. asks from Cheshire, MA on August 16, 2008
Curves or a Gym?
I'm looking to start exersizing on a daily basis. I'm not a fan of walking a treadmill and I do have some knee issues and an abdominal hernia. My doctors says I need to do "something" but they don't really tell you what. Should I join a gym or Curves? or start at home? any ideas for simple exersizes I can do myself would be helpful. PS my daughter will be joining/starting too.
P.N. answers from Boston on August 17, 2008
Hi M. Like you I also have knee problems and abdominal he rnias.I love to walk but my knees dont .I bought a Gazelle Edge The one that Tony Litle Has And I just love it. Its fun and I saw results in just 2 weeks Good Luck
J.P. answers from Portland on August 17, 2008
I would try a water-based class. I too have knee problems and a hernia, and everything I try hurts one or both of my issues (I also have a heart condition...will the fun ever end!!? LOL!!!). Anyway, water aerobics is great, its varied and you can do some "free swimming" after the class, that is really fun to do with your daughter, for more great toning exercising. Its also a great way to get over the fears of being in a bathing suit which everyone hates. Good luck!!
A.M. answers from Boston on August 18, 2008
www.jazzercise.com better than anything else!!
J.G. answers from Boston on August 17, 2008
I had joined a Curves back when I was working and I loved it! It works as long as you go 3 or more times a week and eat right. It's easy and fun. If you get borded easy you might not like it though. It has you do the same circut of machines every time but honestly that's why I liked it. You just went in, did your 30 min and you were done. You didn't have to think about where to go or how to start. I went to the one in North Andover and the people were great. I highly recomend Curves.
J.B. answers from Hartford on August 18, 2008
I used to go to curves- I'm 7 months pregnant now and my hubby has been out of work on disability so extra funds to continue going have been low! But, I've always loved it! It's 30 minutes, there is no waiting for a machine. You go at your own pace, which is especially good if you have some health problems. I will never step foot into a gym again, because they're all the same (I've been to so many), they don't care about you. All they care about is getting their monthly dues (ridiculously expensive and not worth it at that!). It's especially good if you have a nice curves in your area. They're individually owned and I've been to a few. Some are focused on too many things OTHER than excersising such as tanning, or selling Avon, or purses, etc. They should be NOT crowded with other 'crap' and stick to what's important. But definitly go for curves- they're great.
A.M. answers from Hartford on August 16, 2008
Hi there, M.!
Okay, believe it or not, you have listed a variety of things here. So, I'm going to try my best to address each one as clearly as possible, but, they also overlap each other, so... here goes.
I have to admit, I'm a bit of a gym rat, myself. I used to workout at home, before kids. Then I joined a gym which didn't turn out so well and I returned to home exercise (I bought an aerobic step with levels and would watch my recorded soaps--guilty pleasure and reward for boring exercise--while I stepped). I began running outside and LOVED it, until it started snowing. I joined a different gym this time. That was back in 2002 and I love going to the gym every day. They have great child care and my girls enjoy playing in the "kids' club."
So, that is me. I'm sure that there are a number of options for you. I like to see the number of calories that I burn, so the treadmill is my addiction--with weights/crunches/stretching. I wouldn't be able to tolerate it, though, if it weren't for the mini TV screen in front of each machine. That is how I get my mind away from the boring routine of it. So, perhaps look for some way to occupy your mind while you do the exercise. (I realize that you mentioned not liking the treadmill--I didn't either until I got my mind on something else. Maybe an option?) Also, you mentioned knee problems. At a gym there are so many options for knee-friendly exercises: treadmill walking, cycling, elyptical, swimming, so on. Also, a trainer at the gym would be able to point you in the right direction. I have found that a gym provides pretty much everything that I, personally, need.
Don't know anything about your abdominal hernia, so I'm sorry, but I can't help you there.
Doctors are infamous for giving the "you need to exercise" directive, but don't know how to go beyond that. In 1999, I finally began going to a dietician who is also an exercise physiologist. I have been going to her ever since. My 2 daughters actually benefit from her directly, too. Whenever I have an exercise or nutritional question (for any of us), she is right there. It's great. I have always had trouble with my weight, but it is an amazing feeling to go into a doctor's office and say "this is what I'm doing and how I'm doing it." They never give me the exercise lecture--I'm already ahead of them. I would check with a trainer or someone else in the exercise/nutrition field to find out just what it is that you should be doing.
Lastly, if your daughter will be joining with you, you probably don't want a "traditional" gym. Is there a YMCA near you? I actually need to leave my gym (which I have been delaying) and join our local Y. My present gym is adult only and has no pool. The Y is family friendly and has everything that my gym has plus more--but old habits are hard to break.
Anyway, like your previous poster mentioned, calories that you burn while "playing" with your children are valid. I like knowing that my exercise is accounted for, so I'm particular about getting it in; that way everything else is in addition to the calories I have already burned. You could take the family on a "letter boxing" hike. If you google letter boxing, a lot of information will come up about it and you can find local trails. I have not done this myself, but have been told that it is a great family activity--endless options and opportunities--and is great exercise. Or, go for a walk around the neighborhood. Take lessons and learn a new sport with your daughter--tennis? golf? volleyball?
Here is the catch: the trick to sticking with ANY exercise routine is to do something that you like to do. As for me, I've always been an active and athletic person, but hated to run for the sake of running. I was a swimmer, played tennis, went to aerobics classes. Along the way, I found out that I have exercise-induced asthma. Suddenly, with the proper meds, I was a runner, too. So, you may not know yet what that "hook" will be until you try a variety of things--you may be surprised, like me. Try anything you can--again, a YMCA has a wide variety of options and one is very likely to be the answer for you. I would assume that there are other things like a YMCA that provide similar services for the family.
G.C. answers from Boston on August 18, 2008
Hi M., I don't know much about Curves, but I do go to the gym reguarly and I would suggest you talk to a personal trainer. Most gyms offer a free consult with a trainer, and you can tell him/her what your health problems are and they can design a work out plan suited to your needs.
C.H. answers from Boston on August 17, 2008
2 girlfriends and I did curves for a while, we really liked it. Im the type of person who needs structure for things like that, and they have the circuit so its the same thing everytime. they weigh you in and check your numbers once a month to see how youre progressing. It wasnt an overbearing workout, but felt good. I just got lazy, and was never a real work out person, so I stopped going, lol. They have reduced prices for teenagers too. Good luck...
K.M. answers from Providence on August 17, 2008
I have spinal issues and knee problems as well. I have found freedom in the pool. I go to a low-impact water aerobics class at the YMCA. There are other gyms that also have pools. World Gym in Seekonk just opened a new pool and Healthtrax has a pool. Each one should have low-impact classes that would be real easy on the knees. It has been a positive experience for me-especially knowing there are others with similar problems out there who are getting in the water to get the exercise they need. You can make some wonderful friendships.
The YMCA also has childcare programs, so you can take a class and not worry about where your children are. They are certified cildcare providers. If you are low-income, the YMCA also has financial aid programs which are based on your income and are easier on the wallet. I hope this helps. I am better for being in the water and doing much better physically and emotionally!