Warning: Please consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Always stretch, warm up, and cool down properly every time you exercise.
I don't belong to a gym, I can't afford to. The commercials look great though, all those beautiful people with their long lean muscles and workout clothes that match getting into even better shape as they run on a treadmill or take pilates.
There is nothing wrong with joining a gym to lose weight. For some people it's much better to take a class or work one on one with a trainer rather than try it on your own. There's even gender specific gyms for those who want to focus on working out without feeling self-conscious if someone is looking them over. For me, the solo route is a monetary necessity.
Walking is great. It's both aerobic and strengthening, probably helps coordination and flexibility too. It burns calories and best of all, it's free! Sometimes it's unsafe depending on climate or the neighborhood you live in.
There's a solution: mall walking!
Most malls will open their doors early for people who want to get their exercise by walking circuits around the mall. The stores aren't open but the walkways are. Some places like coffee shops or fast food outlets will open their doors around the same time to cash in on walkers in need of a snack boost. It's free and air conditioned; perfect year round and safe because most malls have security. And yes, a lot of them are competent security guards who work hard.
If that doesn't appeal to you, what about a walk at home program? Some cable networks carry Exercise or Fit TV, some with optional on demand channels so you can work out whenever you want at your own pace. Or there's workouts on DVD covering everything from walking workouts to routines that focus on specific body parts.
That's kind of my favorite option. You can work out in safety and privacy if you're like me and feel like a clumsy dork around others when you work out.
And yes, it works. Through diet and exercise I've lost twenty six pounds so far and I hope to be below two hundred by Christmas.
If walking gets too easy for you, change it up. Try doing bicep curls as you walk or walk up and down the escalators before and after each lap.
Keep yourself motivated and on track with a walking mix on your personal listening device, whatever that may be. Choose songs you like that motivate you. Here are a few examples that are in no way meant as any endorsement:
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk
"We Will Rock You" by Queen
"Milkshake" by Kellis
"Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats (Don't laugh, it's fun)
"Get This Party Started" by Pink
Add your own. Mix and match. Start slow with fifteen minutes and build to thirty, maybe more if you feel comfortable and have time. Sometimes I don't have a big stretch of time so I work out in fifteen minute increments. Exercise is especially important as a diabetic. Not only to lose weight and get in shape but for every minute you are active (according to the registered dietitian) you lower your blood sugar one point.
Disclaimer: This is my personal experience and my own opinions. I'm not trying to treat or diagnose anything and the opinions I express are my own. This is all conjecture. I'm learning as I go so forgive any inaccuracies. This is a way for me to cope and focus my emotions into something positive. If you read this and recognize yourself in anything I've written about, please, talk to your doctor. Read some books. And never be afraid to scream, cry, or yes, laugh about being a diabetic. I'm going to.