Exercise Gurus Please Help

Updated on July 27, 2010
A.S. asks from Lone Tree, IA
17 answers

I was on bed rest with my recent pregnancy and gained a more than desirable amount of weight and my muscles have become far weaker than I would like (it was totally worth it though!). I had a C-section and I have recovered well from that. I am ready to lose the baby weight and gain some strength and just have a healthier lifestyle in general. Joining a gym would be a waste of money because I would not have very many opportunities to actually go there. Can anyone recommend good exercise equipment or program? I was thinking either a stationary bike, elliptical machine or treadmill (but I cannot afford the super expensive fancy schmancy varieties). I do walk about the area with my girls in a double stroller (talk about a work out...that thing is a beast and hard to control) but living in the midwest, it often storms and restricts outside activities. I do not like the dance exercise programs so those are out. So if anyone could give me some advice I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Hello. I had the same issue. I had 2 pregancies with bed rest. I blossomed from 125 lbs to 205! I have found that walking or stationary bike do not get my heart rate up high enough or provide enough of a workout for me. I am not a runner (I am a dance and aerobics teacher). But, after I had my first child I began jogging with the jogging stoller. I built up from 25 minutes to 55 minutes and now run either outside with stroller or on the treadmill 4-5 times a week. The treadmill is a treat for me b/c I can DVR shows I want to watch. You have to find something you enjoy. But, I would say treadmill offers the most variety in terms of slower/faster/incline/no incline. I never thought I'd get back in shape ~ but weight watchers and running did the trick. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I'd recommend Fit Yummy Mummy. Google it or you tube Holly rigsby. I swear by her program. The workouts are 15 minutes. totally doable with the busy mom lifestyle. The ebook was $40 so very affordable. It begins with body weight exercise then after that you increase intensity with dumbells (no lighter than 10 or 15 lbs) and an exercise ball (got one for $8 at Wal Mart) Ever hear of freecycle? I am on the mailing list for it. Dumbells and a stability ball are very likely to be on there. You just sign up it's a yahoo group and then you can post wanted ads. There are medicine ball exercises too, but most of them can be modified to be done with a dumbell. If not then just subsitute the exercise. Any questions or just need an online workout buddy and I'd love to help. I could benefit from the extra support too. GL!

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answers from Rapid City on

Our local YMCA offers up to 2.5 hours of free child care EACH DAY with your membership. You must be using the Y facilities during that time, of course, but that allows plenty of time for a great workout and shower. If you can find a place like that, it would be well worth your investment in the monthly rate, and you'd have a variety of options for excersize (swimming, gym equipment, raquetball, aerobics classes, etc.). I believe it would also be more beneficial than buying an in home piece of equipment that you may not like, may break easily if you can't afford a quality piece, and that you may tire of that type of workout.

That being said, a great home video workout is P90X. You can buy it online and it is a series of workouts that offer variety to keep your routine changing. It offers great results, and is very challenging. If you cannot afford the whole package, you can often find the DVDs individually on ebay. So pick one up there and see if you like it!

One other consideration, is there a local mall you could walk with your children in the stroller?? I know our local mall opens early for "mall walkers", and offers an indoor place to get your workout in, so that you can still walk despite the weather. Good luck and hang in there!



answers from Minneapolis on

I am very happy with "The Ten Minute Pilate Solution" DVD with Lara Hudson. If you have Netflix you can download it instantlly.



answers from Dallas on

There are lots of options. You might want to try various videos until you find something you like. Yoga or Pilates is a good all over Strength and stamina builder (Rodney Yee and Baron Baptiste are do great Yoga Videos). P90X is a great program, but not exactly a beginner program although I think their website has other programs available. The Firm produces lots of different Exercise videos and you could try different ones to find something you like. If you have Cable - Fit TV also has Fitness shows you can try. Find something that works for you. If you like it you are more likely stick with it. Also, look into getting some light weights/dumbbells - building muscle will help increase your metabolism.



answers from Duluth on

Go check out www.t-tapp.com

They are easy quick workouts that you integrate into your everyday life. There is also a try before you buy section where you can try some of the exercises out first so you can really see what it is all about.



answers from Minneapolis on

I recommend Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred video. It has three 20 minute workouts. It’s a mix of cardio, strength (you’ll need hand weights), and abs. I have a 2 ½ year old and a 6 month old, so I don’t have a lot of time to exercise. I started doing the video before I went back to work (when I had more time) and it was starting to help. I started up again last week now that my youngest is sleeping through the night and I’m getting more sleep! I’ve done the workout 5 times and I can already tell that my endurance is getting much better and I’m getting stronger. Check out the reviews on Amazon, everyone loves this video.



answers from Appleton on

I have a Total Gym and love it. They are not that expensive and really do it all.



answers from Minneapolis on

HI Amy-
You can do this with simple weights- hand held, walking and get some videos of pilates and yoga if you really want to go the inexpensive way. The library has videos you can use too. You need strength exercises along with aerobics- do you have Wii fit??
Ellipticals are more gental on joints long term than running on treadmills if you want to invest in equipment.
If you're looking for structure on helping with all around-- sparkspeople.com

Set your goals that are achievable with your time and it can happen.

B. J

About me: 49 yo wellness coach doing a nationwide online biggest loser for $ at challengevictor.com, perfusionist, mom with almost 9 yo twin girls.



answers from Minneapolis on

I worked out with Gilad Total Body Sculpt for 1/2 hour each day (I tivo'd it so I could do it at my convenience) for a couple months and was really happy with the results. Also... Weight Watchers is wonderful!



answers from Chicago on

You could also get a few resistance bands or tubing. The ones with handles will typically last longer and are easier to use. Just google 'resistance band exercises' and you'll get a ton of exercises.

A good book that has great info (and costs about $25) us the Womens' Health Big Book of Exercises. It will have strength training exercises for every part of the body, including ones that don't require a gym.


answers from Cincinnati on

P90X all the way! So many people I know have used it and LOVED the results they got! My sister, for example, has always been very healthy. She's always excercised & has been very tone. She's always had a pesky time with certain areas. No matter what she did, it didn't help. Until P90X. Now she looks better than ever! I attached a link to the webside so you can check it out. It's a little pricey (although, not as much as buying a new treadmill or anything) but man does it work! Good luck! (If you area really wanting to go the exercise machine route, maybe consider shopping on Craigslist. You can find GREAT deals on there. :)




answers from Green Bay on

It is sooo important for you to get your muscle back. In a study, people who used Cinch products lost fat, and kept ALL muscle or gained muscle. Cinch products have a natural amino acid in them called leucine and it helps repair/build muscle. On most weight loss plans, you lose water, fat, AND MUSCLE! And muscle = metabolism.

Check out www.cinchplan.com/K.

Start by lifting some 1 lb weights while watching the kids or TV. (soup cans) and then increase the weight. A cheap exercise bike is better than no bike - go for it! :)




answers from Cincinnati on

I love my ellipitical machine. It burns calories twice a fast as a treadmill and three times faster than a bike. however worked out everyday at the gym before I got pregnant so I knew I would use it. its not worth the money if you only use it once or twice a week. I would recomend buying one at walmart if you decide to get one because they have some for resonable pricing.



answers from Chicago on

Exercise equipment is one of those things that people buy, intending to use and they RARELY do! Mostly they become really expensive clothing racks!

I would suggest getting workout videos. Really, ANY workout video is going to help you...moving is moving! Sure there are fancy kinds of workouts so I suggest finding one that hits your interest. Do you like martial arts? Try a Tae Bo type of tape. Do you want to relax? Try a yoga video. You want to get stronger? Try Pilates. Our library has lots of workout videos and you can check them out for free so maybe yours does too. No need to spend a lot of money getting in shape! I would suggest a yoga mat. I would do the same workout for a month and then switch it up. Your body will adapt in a month so it's important to change.

The secret to working out is to SCHEDULE it into your day. If you don't, you never will. Write it in your calendar as if it was an appointment...in fact, it is! Start with 2 days a week (Tuesday, Thursday) and then when you feel good do 3 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). If you can only do 30 minutes, do 30 minutes! It's something!

The best thing to do is to take a class. But if you can't do that or you need childcare then the next best option is workout videos (in my opinion).



answers from Scranton on

my husband is a personal trainer so i know a little bit. i have an eliptical and i love it. the bikes dont seem to work as well and tredmills are hard on the ankles.you can get an eliptical at walmart for under $100. he also tells me to eat a lot as in little meals every 3 hours. healthy stuff of course. ;ots of fruits veggies and whole grains. no white flour as our body process it as sugar and it turns to fat. if you read the ingrediants and it says enriched wheat flour its the same as white flour. i like arnolds german dark wheat bread. also lots of water. soda is bad. even the diet. the diet is worse for your health than regular. i have ms and if i drink or eat anything with artifishal sweetners it makes my ms flare up, my doctor even says its bad for people without ms. can cause headaches migrains cancer... but anyway hope i helped. also when doing cardio you dont start buring fat untill after 20 mins so you want to do 30 mins a time like 2 or 3 days a week. and he says p90x is great.



answers from Des Moines on

I bought a treadmill a couple months ago and it gets A LOT of use! We didn't have a ton to spend either...we got a Gold's Gym treadmill from Walmart for under $400. And it works just great! It's no different from the more expensive treadmills out there. And, being in the midwest also, I use it all winter and whenever it rains. Or, go to you local library and rent some workout dvds and see which ones you like. I enjoy any Jillian Michael's dvds. It's one hell of a workout!

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