I'm hot, sweaty, and my muscles are sore. It's been way too long.
Now that I've got your attention, anyone want to share what sort of exercise regime, formal or informal, works for them?
I'm more out of shape, overweight for my body type and health requirements, and generally pathetic than I've ever been in my life. Having a kid, learning to cook (oh, look, chocolate pie!), and being too afraid of hurting myself has taken me from being fairly active--strength training and running on alternating days, playing indoor soccer year-round, walking everywhere, plus lots of hiking on some fairly challenging terrain--to just kind of...sitting. Personally, I've found that sitting and eating is the best combination. In the meantime, I've discovered that my metabolism is somehow not what it was when I was 18. I have no muscle, lots of flab, and find myself out of breath at anything more than a walk.
I never thought I'd get to this. For most of my life, just doing the things I loved kept me in reasonable shape. Now I've been under doctor's orders not to do those things for eight years, and I don't know what to do with myself. I don't want to be one of those women who obsesses over diets and the latest fitness fads. I just want to be me, healthy.
This isn't an anti-weight, must-get-skinny thing. My body shape is such that I wasn't model-style skinny even when I stopped eating altogether, and I'm not going to starve myself (again) to get rid of my butt. This is a matter of not being healthy, then looking at my parents and realizing what's in store for me if I don't get my act together before it gets even more difficult. I borrowed my parents' Bowflex, since I'm the only one who ever used it anyway, and used that today. Now I need some sort of low-impact cardio. Any recommendations? I really wish I could go back to playing soccer.
What are the specific things that you'd like to do that you can't do? You mentioned walking everywhere before - is that not something that you could go back to? Also, what about yoga? I'm a bit biased here, because I'm a yoga nut, but I think that yoga can be a great fitness entry point for those who are not feeling especially fit.
I lived in Pittsburgh at the time I walked everywhere; I'm now in rural(ish) West Virginia. The only thing I can walk to is an alpaca farm. My son and I do take walks--he loves those pacpacs--but it's more of a rambling, let's-look-under-every-stone sort of walk than anything purposeful. What I really miss is soccer. I hated running and made myself do it anyway, but I loved soccer. I liked ju-jitsu, too, when it wasn't with a group of drooling guys. I thought about yoga, but it always seemed more calming than the sort of thing that would get your heartrate up. I'll look into it a bit more, though.
Oh, and since I didn't exactly answer the question, my exercise regime consists of walking everywhere, because we don't have a car and doing yoga (classes 1 or 2 times a week and home practice almost every night for 15-20 min.).
There's a lot of different types of yoga. Check out ashtanga - the ujjayi breathing really gets your blood flowing. Also, the nice thing about yoga is that you can always build to a more intense workout while working with where you're at. Many nights I've gotten onto my mat feeling really tired thinking that I'll just do some lazy poses and ended up doing backbends or sun salutations.
I have a Nicki Doane video for Ashtanga, and I can never finish it. And it's just the beginners positions, too! 25 minutes into it, I'm panting and dripping sweat. I can sometimes make it to 40 minutes, but never the full hour. And unfortunately, I don't do it often enough to really improve.
Other than that, I have found that repetition is a killer. I like to do something different whenever I workout, to keep my interest up, otherwise I tend to start skipping.
I'm not sure what your limitations are, but I also do yoga, and definitely sweat a fair amount. Given how rural you are, you could try cycling. I live in a city, but ride to work and do longer rides on weekends when I can. I've also seen people get really into swimming as an entry point back into exercise. That one's harder for me because of the logistics of getting to/from the water without a car, but it's awesome when I can do it.