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Ok since my marriage is over I thought Id start on somekind of hobby and figured since my videogame and beer lifestyle is starting to take its toll on my health that I'd start swimming and working out a little.


Not interested to be some body builder but wouldnt mind bulking up a little (I'm rather skinny now). And basically just get a healthier body.


I'm just wondering what advice people have for it? What excerises to do, how to eat correctly and so on???


Thanks in adv!

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A personal trainer - even one or two sessions - would probably be best to help you figure out a plan according to your specific goals. If you can find one who is also a licensed nutritionist, even better.


If you are looking for strength/tone over bulk, generally you do lighter weights, more repetitions. Some people focus on only one part of body (ie chest/arms) but really your best bet is to have an overall body workout plan - arms, chest, back, legs, core. This will create more muscle, and a much more balanced look. Nothing looks funnier to me than someone who has a huge upper body and skinny chicken legs (as a cyclist...I always look at legs first!).


Swimming is a wonderful aerobic workout, and low impact. Try taking some adult stroke classes to refine your stroke if you can, and join a masters swimming club which will tailor to your ability but get you working hard. And fun way to meet some new people.


As for nutrition - go for more natural foods and less processed ones. Cut down on refined sugars, white flours. Go for vegetables, fruits, lean meats (chicken, lean cuts of beef, etc), and whole grains (including oatmeals, whole grain breads/pastas)...healthy carbs are essential for energy to workout so don't cut them out. After workouts replenish with a whey protein shake which will feed those muscles.


Get adequate recovery between workouts...and between the same body part. Every few weeks/couple months, try and take a week off from gym, and start changing the workouts to shock your body as it gets used to the same exercises. For example, I took this last week off from the gym and a couple days away from my bike (I ride about 5-6 days a week for training) to give my body a rest, but went canoeing which still used muscles but gave a break and changed it up...I stareted back on bike yesterday/today and will be going back to gym tomorrow with a new workout plan/new exercises from last time). Try to start doing the cardio 3 times a week to start, and increase it over time to 4-5/6 times working the time up from whatever you can do at first (swimming is tough at first!) and increase time. Also, change it up now and then and crosstrain. If you swim all the time, you will get burned out and bored, so some days swap a run, bike ride, or climbing or something for one of the swim workouts.


Most of it is attitude. Look at it is a new LIFESTYLE, one that you can do forever. In a very short time you WILL feel better both in attitude, and how you FEEL, which is great motivation. Also, don't deprive yourself totally - if you love ice cream, heck have ice cream now and then, just keep the servings smaller. And, you can still have beer now and then too! Make sure you get REST too, not just sleep, but days off now and then to recover (you get strong between working out as your body repairs!) and it helps mentally too.


Set some goals - ie, maybe you would like to do a triathlon at some point, or swim in team at a triathlon that divides the sections up. Maybe you want to go shirtless at the beach next year and not worry about the belly. And so on. Little goals help a lot. My motivations are to be competitive (I race bikes) but also just to feel confident in my body, and to be able to eat yummy things (riding and working out burns enough calories so I can treat myself!), as well as to just be STRONG, and healthy. That to me provides enough motivation to keep at it, and it just FEELS good to workout and eat well!

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Great information from RayKay..


I found that going to the gym was a little intimidating at first. If it is the first time for you to work out definitely utilize a trainer to help get you in the swing of things. Also if there is a small gym in your area you may feel more comfortable starting there than one of the giant chains that has hundreds of pieces of equipment.


There is a wealth of information out there in mags, internet and such. The first couple of weeks will be tough. Once you get past being sore will start to feel guilty if you miss your workout day at the gym. Everyone is different but it took me about 3 months before I really started seeing some gains.


I do all of my working out for me but it is nice when someone that hasn't seen you for a while compliments you on your efforts.


It's a great confidence builder, you will feel much better.


Oh yeah, try not to stare to hard at the hotties that are working out and DON"T get caught up into checking yourself out in the mirros. You see guys that do this and it is prtty pathetic. Use the mirrors to monitor your form but do all you flexing at home....

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Anyone who can work out/ get to the gym 6 times a week is my HERO. The motivation/ dedication you must have RayKay! lol


You sound a bit like me, confused. Meaning, I love beer and video games too! I can't stick to a workout regimen, it's boring to me. If you can get yourself into an organized sport like baseball, hockey, or whatever sport you enjoy (except golf .. I worked at a golf club and about half of the people I saw come through there were actually in shape). I just find that it's easier to stick to something when it's actually fun.


Like RayKay, I used to cycle a lot. I did it more because I found it invigorating, less because of the affects it would have on my butt. But even years later, I still have definition in my legs. It is a fabulous workout and gets you up and outside, breathing fresh air. It feels great!

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Oh yeah, try not to stare to hard at the hotties that are working out and DON"T get caught up into checking yourself out in the mirros. You see guys that do this and it is prtty pathetic. Use the mirrors to monitor your form but do all you flexing at home....


Ah, the gym rats and bunnies.


Yes I should of said that when you are working out with a new exercise at least, the mirrors are good to ensure proper form (ie you are not "swinging" or leting your arms drift to far apart, and you are lowering/raising evenly) however I do agree, don't stand in between sets in front of the mirrors flexing muscles.... find the guys who do this are generally the ones with huge upper bodies and chicken legs for some reason


I second the looking around for a good smaller gym though. I find a lot of the chains are all about being "trendy and dressed up" and basically "meat markets". They can be intimidating both in machinery, the people there and the staff at times. Check out the gyms at local colleges/universities too, often lots of great equipment but cheaper fees, and even cheaper trainers (ones going through school). The gym I work out is in my apartment building, and since it is downtown, is attended mostly by professionals who work nearby, or by people who live in the apartments around...not that "trendy" feel. Just people who are looking to get in a great workout and are there for working out, and mean business..not cruising for picking someone up. The staff there are also GREAT - they know EVERYONE by name which is amazing, and often will come by and provide FREE helpful tips on your form for example. There are a few people whom are also fitness competitors who will often offer advice. So small gyms are often way better for that.

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Just to get better aqcuainted with exercises , supplements, and mealsconducive to good health and body image.....do yourself a favor and pick up a fitness magazine at the store. If you really want to get into fitness and read about diets supplenmets and work-out regiments...I would say get an issue of " Muscle & Fitness" yes the guys in there are huge...butthat doesnt mean you have to be. It will just be used as an educational tool that will help you find your own pace. Go on link removed I was able to get a subscription for $4 for the year. But go out and buy your first issue as it would take 4-6 weeks to get the first issue.

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You don't necessarily need a gym at all. You can buy equipment and work out at home. That's what I do because otherwise I make excuses and find ways to avoid leaving the house to go to the gym. If I have the equipment at home, in front of my face, there is no way out. I also hate the whole social game/meat market aspect of the gym.


The key is to eat a well balanced diet, and combine both cardio and weight training to burn fat and build muscle. If you live a healthy lifestyle overall- you can afford to eat some treats once in a while and it won't effect you. It's all about training your metabolism.


Check out this program. I think it's ons of the more solid ones out there- I lost 35 pounds on it, and it's realtively easy (does require hard work- but not complicated): link removed



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Gotta be careful about the home equipment though.....they make great clothes hangers...not to mention costly


If you have the dedication that's fine. I have to have the atmosphere to work out. If I try to at home my TV, videogames and beer get in the way


Well I know what you mean- but what I did to stay dedicated was took a pic on my 35-pounds-heavier-fat-self in a bathing suit and put it right on the fridge, so I'd have to see it daily. I also do my workouts first thing in the morning before anything else....so that I can't make excuses. I keep all the equipment in one room- I get it on sale- it's not all that expensive....I blast the music and I'm ready to go.



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Lets not lose sight...fist he must tak th first step. Any exercise is better than none. Start running or doing some sort of exercise to begin with so you can find a groove. if you start trying to do some sort of heavy duty routine right fomr the start....you will hurt yourself, find it to difficult.. and will probably quit. i will try and post a god routine for the beginner which is meant to just gt you in the gym for the first month ...then take it from there. Just a not .......the Body for Life routine that was mentioned earlier by someone else is excellent. I say that as someone who has been working out since I was 17 years old..now 28. Lik anything else it requires dedication ...but it really is good.

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As someone who is also on the skinny side and lead a rather sedentary lifestyle, I highly recommend a personal trainer. They will set you up with a program that's right for *you* and *your* goals.


Also, there are some issues with starting to work out if you aren't in shape.


The first is motivation. Unfortunately, people tend to be motivated by the 'end result' and not the actual activity. After a while, working out becomes enjoyable, but until that time, it's way too easy to fall out of it and make excuses. Having a personal traininer that you are paying for kind of keeps you going and also will provide feedback on your improvement.


Second, a major problem with first starting is over-exerting yourself. It's very easy to hurt yourself when you first start and, when that happens, it'll take you out for a couple of weeks and by the time you feel better, poof, the motivation is gone. A personal trainer will work with you and make sure that you get your 'core strength', allowing you to improve over time.


Finally, having a personal trainer makes me (and this is my own issue) feel much more comfortable in a gym. I can focus on them and listen to them and not be staring aimlessly around at all the machines and looking like a dufus. They show me the proper way to do exercises and it's nice to have someone to talk to.


So.. even though it costs some money, the improvements you get with a month or two of personal training sessions will *more* than pay for itself.


The Body for Life program is also good. My gf did it while she was quitting smoking and, though she acted like a raving maniac half the time she lost weight while quitting smoking at the same time. Which is good. If you don't smoke though, stay away from the ones that are quitting... they tend to be a little nutty until the get all the nicotine out of their systems... hehe

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