Your First Exercise Experience Was What?

I was talking to a friend the other day who struggles mightily with her weight. She has finally lost enough weight that she is able to move without being in constant pain. She is ready to do some exercise. She asked me what I recommended. I suggested walking or water exercising. She’s going to think about what she feels comfortable with. I’m excited for her and hope that she will be able to discover the love of exercise as I have.

I still remember the first day I woke up early after committing to an exercise and weight loss regime. I put on my ugly homemade jumper and little white Ked tennis shoes and headed out into the dark neighborhood. After only ten minutes I was completely out of breath and huffing and puffing. I was sweaty and exhausted and I felt like I had just climbed Mt. Everest.

And to me I had. I had done something that I previously thought only fit, thin people did. I had exercised and I was proud of myself.

And the best part? I kept it up and continue it to this day.

I was wondering what the first exercise experience felt like to you? Were you exhausted or elated? And did you keep it up consistently, or have you taken breaks along the way?Ā  Diane

That’s not my street but I wish it were!

24 thoughts on “Your First Exercise Experience Was What?

  1. Libby says:

    Walking!! I huffed and puffed down my little road! It sure wasnt pretty but I did it! again and again! I recently ran my first half marathon! I also love swimming and doing pilates! I get excitied just thinking about ways to be active and would love to do some hiking this Fall. Exercise changes everything and it all started with a little walk!

  2. Vickie says:

    I am back to the beginning again after being released to start back on the elliptical while wearing my boot/cast.

    Not fun. Feels like I am totally out of shape. I have kept up with free weights and Pilates, but was not allowed cardio all these many months.

    One thing I think most people do not understand is there is going to be a lot of suckage when they start. It is just as you wrote – hard. We all have to start somewhere and just keep at it. It only gets easier if we work at it.

    it is hard to understand that for someone who has never exercised. It is hard on the ego for those who used to be in shape and let things slide.

    The only answer is to just start where we are and keep plugging away.

    Many, many of us who are now in successful maintenance and fit, started out walking to the mailbox and back, many times a day. I started (originally) by “running” in place on the resting station cushioned platforms at curves for 15 minutes.

    Marching in place with high knees and arms swinging in front of the TV can be a very good answer for someone too embarrassed to leave the house.

  3. sandi says:

    The Firm Vol. 3 with Sandahl Bergman. I was younger and not at all overweight comparted to now! And I was quickly hooked at being STRONG and got many more of their vids over the years. After having children I stopped though….

  4. nan @ lbddiaries says:

    Gilad’s Bodies in Motion – a friend had video taped the show from off her television back in the 80’s. My mom and I worked out to him every morning. She was in shape; I thought Gilad was going to kill me. Then I fell back in love with Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies 1 & 2. You might recommend to your friend something I had to do recently – Chair Aerobics. It will kick your bootie but protect your joints until you feel confident enough to begin walking or can find a swimming pool.

  5. Trish @I_am_Succeeding says:

    Exhausted? Yes…at first. I have in the past done a number of things as far as exercise. Walking though I feel is the easiest to do…nothing really needed other than a good pair of sneakers.

    I enjoy plenty of other things…again in the past…that I will do again in the future.


    Yes I do look forward to those and many more. I am beginning to get impatient though waiting on getting the green light from the do though! =)

  6. Mairi Brown says:

    I’ve always belonged to a gym but I tend to workout sporadically because it bored the life out of me. I also can’t walk without a destination or goal. Walking in a circle or on a treadmill for 30 minutes doesn’t work for me. However, I recently went back to my old dance studio and discovered an amazing Zumba class that meets 3 times a week. I love the class and go as often as I can. That’s what I would suggest to your friend, find something you enjoy because you will have a better shot at sticking with it.

  7. C says:

    When I started out I was doing the Wii fit. I loved the step arobics because I could do it in the privacy of my living room and while watching tv. It really did get my heart going. Since then I have joined a gym, done water arobics, broke out my bike, learned to rollerblade, taken zumba classes, done hot yoga, and started C25K. Love finding new things to do that make my body feel alive!

  8. From Polyester to Spandex says:

    I am 14 months into my weight loss journey and have lost 120 pounds so far. I tried exercising when I first started and did a few random days of walking laps on the sidewalk around my office and doing the Biggest Loser on the Wii. Once I was close to the 100 pounds lost mark, I joined a gym and faced my greatest fear, which was working out in a crowded, co-ed gym…Now, I LOVE going to the gym, and crave it on days that I don’t go! I NEVER thought I would ever enjoy exercise, but I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite things to do now!

    • Janel says:

      I am having trouble getting motivated and in a routine. I buy the right foods, count fat and calories, have a gym membership don’t use it how do you get and stay motivated?

  9. Janis says:

    My cardiologist told me to, pretty much. It wasn’t a weight thing, but he asked me if I was active or walked at all, and when I hesitated to answer he gave me The Face, and I said, “Okay, okay.”

    I started walking on my lunch hour at work. Don’t have to fit it into my schedule otherwise, don’t need special shoes or clothing, don’t need to drive someplace and park. Just get up and walk. That was 1997. Now, I look forward to it as a break in the middle of the day that gets me up from the desk and gets my blood moving, and where I get my thoughts to myself. I have to do it even on the weekends or else I get fidgety. It is a dyed-in-the-wool habit at this point.

    I still don’t think of it as “exercising” or “working out,” and I will never conceive of myself as an “athlete.” I just walk.

  10. Sarah says:

    I always did a bit of walking – even just a 20 minute walk at lunch and I still keep that up today.

    When I first started to lose weight, I used the exercise bike, for 20 minutes at a time about 3 times a week. Then I got into exercise DVDs. The first one I ever did was Fiona Philips Bodyshape Workout, which I followed up with a Charlie Brooker one, some Rosemary Conley ones and some Davina ones!

  11. Lisa says:

    When I finally decided it was time to lose weight, I chose swimming. It was an activity I always liked as a kid (and was on a swim team as a teen) and I knew I’d stick with it. Of course it wasn’t EASY. First, I had to get in a swim suit and walk to the pool. That sucked but I had to get over it. Second, it was hard. I could barely make it to the end of the lane. I had to rest a lot. But I was proud and felt good about myself for doing it. And I kept at it!

  12. Jean says:

    I’ve workout off and on for quite a few years. Only now, have I come to realize that I don’t have to separate my spirituality with my goals. By saying that, I guess I mean… I can ask for strength when I feel like I (just by myself) can’t go on.

    When I first started exercising, OH DEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I would not make it back home. Now, I walk, but I’ve yet to keep it up consistently. So, your post was right on time for me, b/c I’ve already declared that Monday’s time to really embrace a LIFE change and dig in. I’ve got my eating in order… now I need to move. OH, I also appreciate you stating to start where you are (in different words). I’ve always dreamed of jogging for exercise, but I can’t do it just yet. Still, walking is better than nothing at all.

    Thanks for continuing to inspire. *smiles*

  13. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    I don’t know what I would consider my first exercise experience to be! I’ve always been rather active, but not fit, if that makes sense. One of my favorite NSVs was when my husband and I went hiking up Lantern Hill for the first time after I’d lost significant weight and I was able to march right up to the top without stopping or getting seriously out of breath šŸ™‚

  14. Laura Jane says:

    Oh wow, I vaguely remember my first exercise experience. I was in college and found a friend to go with me to the college’s workout center as I was too scared to go alone. It was the first time I’d been on a elliptical, and I really liked it. My heart rate got up there, but it didn’t feel as bad as running. Unfortunately, I haven’t been so consistent.

  15. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    I think your suggestions are great – walking or swimming to start although some my not want to put on the swimsuit, it can help those with joint issues from being overweight.

    I was in sports as a kid even though I was overweight. By the time I started a regimented exercise program in the gym, I had lost my weight already – it was still tough though even though I had been active before that…

  16. La. says:

    I started with home videos and then the gym. The gym still makes me uncomfortable sometimes, but it is a sure fire way to get a good workout in.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I too started walking to lose weight. Walking outdoors is still my favorite thing to do. I started with a half a mile and I’m now up to four miles. I now do interval jogging when I walk. Start off small and don’t overdo it. This has been my main form of exercise and I’m now down 90 pounds. I hope your friend sticks with it!

  18. jeanette says:

    Oh Diane, I started off moving 10 minutes a day. I would step from side to side over a rope on my living room floor. Then I added jumping over the rope to eventually walking 20 minutes a day. I continues to add more time and speed until I was power walking miles a day. Over the next 2 years I was able to learn to run and finished my first 5k. I stuck with running and never loved it the way I love power walking so I went back to that and now I power walk 2-4 miles a day. I can flat out haul in walking now, and I sometimes think back to when all I was able to do is step over a rope for 10 minutes!
    A first step is all it takes.

  19. Megan Davis says:

    I don’t particularly remember my first exercise experience, as a few have said above, I have always been active, walking, playing sports in school. Part of that is an active childhood and a part of that was me being stubborn and refusing to let my weight decide whether I could/would participate in something. I was never the best player/sports person. But hey at least I gave it a shot.

    Personally I like using the bike and would recommend that to your friend. If she is shy about getting out of the house she can grab a stationary one to set up in her living room. She can just jump on when everyone is watching T.V, and before you know it you’ve done half an hour of exercise. I wish her the best of luck, I have several friends that I am trying to get to that stage. Slowly does it.

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