[sticky entry] Sticky: A Welcome Letter

Oct. 11th, 2012 03:57 pm
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid
Welcome to Bite Sized Fitness.

This is a non-judgmental, supportive community for people who aren't in the habit of working out, but would like to. The focus is not on weight loss, but on health and general fitness levels, especially strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Feel free to introduce yourself and join right in on the discussion.
ngakmafaery: (Default)
[personal profile] ngakmafaery
...I do not have a lot of stamina etc. at times due to health, and last year I decided to stand at work and in front of the computer instead of sitting (which I have mentioned here before), and that resulted in much better core muscles-feeling and better legs fitness, but the arms stayed eh...the new tiny wonder drug that I discovered for them (which works for me and may or may not work for others) is simply to wave my arms over my head a few times a day...it occurred to me while I watched some zumba classes on youtube to get an idea if that would be something i would like, and I noticed a key component of it is that the arms do not just sit there doing nothing, but they wave around quite a bit...I figured that I can wave my arms around here and there a little, and it really has helped: it stretches the spine and sides and back, and even though I do it very little, pretty much only if I remember or feel perky, it has been a very good start for me in that it gives me quickish results, as in within a couple of days, and that gives me great inspiration, to actually FEEL that yes, waving my chubby little arms around while dancing by myself or standing in front of the computer DOES stretch things out for me in healthy ways...maybe this will help others too...
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
Some months ago I followed a link from a post, which led to another link which led... - you get the picture.  One of the articles I came across was about ways to improve core strength and balance.  There was a video of someone standing on one leg on a half cylinder to practice balance.  If I could remember where it was, I'd post the link.

I don't have half a cylinder, nor do I have brilliant balance, but I do have legs that can be used in different combinations of one or two.  So I decided I should practice standing on one leg for more than 3 seconds before having to put the other foot down. 

Trying to remember to do it can be a problem, so I've started to stand on one leg while cleaning my teeth.  The theory is that if I should be brushing my teeth for 2 minutes a time, that's a minute for each leg.  Not only does it help my balance, but it also stops me from skimping on brushing time.  I don't actually time myself while brushing, but I'm definitely improving and one leg is noticeably better than the other.  I have no idea whether it is actually helping any of my core muscles, but that will show with time.
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid

I found this linked on a blog I read. It's a series of stretches for the neck and shoulders, illustrated, most of them not involving equipment. When I do a lot of typing or stuffing of envelopes, I find these sorts of exercises helpful.

What other stretches/exercises do you find helpful in your day to day life?
to_love_a_rose: william wilberforce portrayed by ioan gruffudd in amazing grace, no text (amazing grace - william wilberforce)
[personal profile] to_love_a_rose
Naturally, after waking up feeling like a lump of dead weight and getting out of work an hour late, my body decides that 11:45 at night is a great time for some basic calisthenics.

Anyone else have trouble getting their fitness routine to adhere to a reasonable schedule or is it just me and my crazy backwards circadian rhythm?

Also, light work outs before bed: yay/nay? I'm inclined to follow my body's rhythms in most things (even when they are annoyingly out of step with the rest of society) but I'm open to opinions.
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid
TW for discussion of body size

Clutch Magazine has a short article on being a fat woman at the gym. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/10/starting-day-being-the-big-girl-at-the-gym/ It's a short article, but the take away I thought people would be interested in is here:

So what to do if you’re worried about being the “big girl” at the gym?

First of all, stop. With 60-prcent of American either overweight or obese, there’s a good chance that you won’t be the only fluffy person at the gym. So ditch that fear and get moving.

Next, although it may seem shallow, having cute and comfortable workout clothes can boost your confidence. Leave the giant t-shirt and old sweats at home, when you look good, you’ll be more inclined to hit the gym, especially after those endorphins kick in.

Finally, give yourself permission to go slow. If you’ve been out of the gym for a while, then you’ll have to let your body get used to moving again. Don’t overdo it. Don’t try to keep up with the woman on the next treadmill, and don’t get discouraged if you can’t do the things you did last time you worked out. Take it slow.

Returning to the gym can seem daunting, but stick with it, soon you’ll be a pro.

I personally dislike euphemisms for fat like "fluffy" or "big girl." And, of course, not everyone can find or afford cute workout clothing.

What do you think of these tips, though?

Personally, I like the reminder that most people in the USA are not slender and fit. And of course the reminder to start slow and keep at it is a good one.

Those of us who hit the gym, what do you like about it?

What discourages you?

What keeps you going?

What prevents you from going?

If you don't go to the gym, would you like to?

What would be your ideal gym?

What kind of clothing do you like to work out in?
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid
Well, it's Wednesday. If you work a Monday through Friday type job, today is either WHEW THANK GOODNESS THE WEEK IS HALFWAY OVER or else it's OH DRAMA BOO AUGH BOOO THE WEEK IS BARELY HALF OVER.

Either way, let's get a bit of positivity going.

Let's talk about ways that we enjoy moving our bodies.

I'll start.

I used to love bicycling. I'd ride my bike every where, feeling fast and free, zipping down country roads. I still love the idea of bicycling, but the pedaling motion hurts my knee, especially since I was in a (minor) car crash that involved my knee slamming into the dash board. Suggestions for knee exercises/ bicycling fixes for this are welcome!

I like to dance a lot and sometimes pop in a bellydance video and follow along. In fact, some friends and I used to gather in a living room and dance together. We were hilariously awful, but it was a lot of fun. Sometimes I just turn music on and dance.

I love to be in the water. I guess I could say I love swimming, but really, I'm not a fan of like doing laps or anything. I just like to be in the water.

How about you? What are some ways of moving your body that you find fun or rewarding?
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid
It's Tuesday, the week is still young.

What are you doing today to pursue your fitness goals?

What about trying one new thing, if you can? Walk an extra block, do some new stretches, look into a yoga move you've never done before.

Can you add five minutes into any current workout you do? Just five minutes.

Do you have a favorite move or routine that you do?

Is there anything you recommend to others?
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
[personal profile] holyschist
Hello, everyone!

Currently I'm doing Irish dance once a week (I'd like to do it more often, but body, finances, and schedules don't currently allow). I love it, but it is high-impact and not bitesized, and in order to cope with it I need to find a way to gradually ramp up and practice a little every day (right now I have to recover for almost a week between classes), which is where the bitesized bit comes in.

A few months in I developed shin splints, which have been chronically bothering me ever since. I took a whole month off while I was traveling and they still didn't really go away, although they've been better. The number one piece of advice for avoiding shin splints, "good supportive footwear," is not possible for Irish dance, although I have switched to dance sneakers instead of ghillies for softshoe (mainly for better arch support).

So that leaves stretching, primarily of the calf muscles.

Right now the stretches I have are

1) Putting one knee on a chair and the other leg out straight behind me, heel on the ground, until it stretches the calf.

2) Standing with my toes on a stair or other elevated thing and my heels hanging off (I don't have stairs: I need to go get a brick or something to do this regularly).

3) Heel-walking.

4) I need to get some medical tubing or something similar and just do resistance exercises.

Does anyone have other favorite calf stretches, or other stretches that are good for shin splints? I would also appreciate advice on how to remember to actually stretch every day (before work isn't happening. After work might).
lizcommotion: Person with prosthetic legs doing pilates (aimeepilates)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Awhile ago the Washington Post ran an article about 12 exercises you can do at your desk (or in an equally tight space). As far as bitesized fitness goes, they're not too bad, and you can fit them in between various activities. Also, a lot of them are similar to what's done in Sit and Be Fit, except these are the standing versions.

The exercises are things like doing the 90s dance move "raise the roof" while marching in place (which could easily be modified to sitting in a chair and marching while raising the roof for those with balance issues like myself), or lifting your knees in front of you while your arms go down (which could also be modified to be done while in a chair).

I apologize in advance that it is not very ereader-friendly, as they've filled the site with animations of the exercises. However, there is also a direct link to a printable pdf of all the exercises that has descriptions of each one. (That might work better with ereaders and text-to-speech technology, I don't know for sure. It is certainly less visually overstimulating.)

brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
[personal profile] brigid
It's so great how much activity this fledgeling community has already attracted! Thanks so much you guys.

We're all getting our legs under us still.

I do want to make a couple reminders here.

1) Any mention of weight loss/gain should be behind a cut. Many people find mention of weight loss/weight gain triggering. Diet talk also isn't really appropriate for this community, but if you have questions about something specific (maybe upping protein or trying supplements?) please put it behind a cut.

2) We are here to support each other with the understanding that not everyone is at the same level of ability or has the same resources. If someone has specific questions about what they should do (IE, "should I stretch" or "what are some good stretching exercises" or "should I do cardio" or "how often should I do cardio") please jump in with your feedback. However, if people are talking about, say, walking or biking, please don't jump in with admonishments that they need to do more stretching/cardio/etc. We're here to support each other, not judge each other. And as helpful as your suggestions are meant to be, it can be really hard sometimes to separate "you should stretch/do cardio/etc because it's best practice in an ideal world" from "you should stretch/ do cardio/etc because you're a bad person who's lazy and bad if you don't." Part of participating in this community is to take care of ourselves, and of each other... both physically (through increasing fitness levels/activity) and emotionally/mentally (by helping each other and supporting each other and finding ways to feel awesome about our bodies and moving them).

There's been some really great interactions and posts and comments already, with some totally awesome suggestions and links to resources. I'm going to start compiling those as I can. Thanks so much for everything you all have already done. I'm really looking forward to this community growing and becoming a really solid resource and I have you all to thank for that.

Let's remember that we're in this together, ok? And we're here for each other. And we rock.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to post OR to DM me.

Thanks for joining, and thanks for reading.
aximili: (MLP: Dash Helpful)
[personal profile] aximili
I hadn't been going to the gym for a while because I was doing a study abroad in South America (though I topped that off with an eight-day trek in Peru, so I guess that was exercise.)
Potential trigger: Discussion of weight loss due to illness )
Yesterday, I started with an hour on the elliptical! I was really not feeling into it, but about twenty minutes through that feeling went away. By the time I was done with the hour I felt really good and almost wanted to try other things, but decided for the first day back since the summer I probably shouldn't.
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I have found fitness videos to be really helpful in my quest for better fitness. Right now I can't drive, so it's hard for me to go to regular exercise classes or the gym and work out there. I still sort of feel like I'm working out "with someone" though, because there's people on the video. Plus, it's not as though I have to come up with a routine for myself from scratch.

Here are a few videos/TV programmes I've found helpful.
  • Gaiam has a series of videos called things like Wellness Solutions for Back Pain or Wellness Solutions for Fibromyalgia. The health info can be kind of triggery for some (hello, "have a happy attitude and you'll feel so much better"), but they do each have a 30 minute yoga section at the end of them led by Rodney Yee, who is all kinds of awesome. I am a fan of the back pain one when I can do standing exercises or when my back is hurting. The Fibro one is good when I can't stand, because most exercises are seated.
  • Rodney Yee/Gaiam also has a yoga video called Healing Yoga, which has 8-10 minute sections of yoga that are supposed to help certain problems. So Yoga for stress, headache, back pain, etc. I like it because they're shorter than most yoga videos, and the headache one is basically  meditation and then relaxation poses. However, they are all standing exercises.
  • Sit and Be Fit is a PBS program aimed at seniors and PWD. There are stretches, strength training exercises, vestibular exercises (i.e. balance), and if you're lucky your PBS station won't air it at 7:30 AM. The great thing is that they're all done in the chair, except for one section where they are done either in the chair or standing (i.e. both options are presented, you pick). My muscles usually feel it after I do one of these. You can also buy taped episodes and just watch them whenever, and sometimes the library will have some.
  • If you're looking for cardiovascular videos, there's one that I consider "advanced" or "do 5-10 minutes of and work up to the whole 45", but I'm in love with it because it shows people of various sizes working out. trigger warning: discusses size and bicycling in what I hope is a positive way, also is about a slightly higher-intensity workout video )
Does anyone know of any other good videos?
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