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Getting Into Fitness For The First Time...
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So I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 years ago (at age 18) and up until that point, I suffered from extreme fatigue and abdominal pain. Needless to say, I wasn't very active throughout my childhood/teen years. I am not overweight, just a little chubby..the real issue is my lack of muscle definition and next to no core strength. I have been making huge efforts to increase my daily activity, riding my bike whenever possible, etc. but I am quite lost when it comes to working out. I don't know my physical limits, as they have never really been tested and this is quite distressing for me when I am exercising. Is this good pain? Should I stop? etc.

I cannot afford to hire a personal trainer.

Does anyone out there have any tips for me to get started? What are the best (and most low-impact) exercises to build core strength? Any examples of beginner workout routines (activity/reps)?

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

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Ads by Google:

Here's your to-do list:

Dust off that library card

We all pay tax dollars to support our local libraries, and they are LOADED with tons of books for you to check out (literally and figuratively). Go there and pick up 3-4 books that pertain to beginner routines. Many of them have fully illustrated pictures for you to follow.

Stretch

There is no doubt that the above books will show you stretching techniques. Follow them to a "T" and stretch before and after each one of your routines.

Take is Slow

If you are just starting out, you want to perfect your form first (don't go for the most weights as that could lead to an injury)

Rest

You don't build muscles IN the gym you break down the muscle fibers. You actually grow muscle by resting. Make sure you take a day off between weights and get a good night's rest.

Cardio

On the days that you're not lifting weights, incorporate minor cardio. Once again, take it slow from the start. You just need something to get that heart rate up.

Enough from me. Get on that bike that you're talking about and hit the library. Turn of the TV, text messages and the social media for a few hours and absorb the information in the books. The rest will all fall into place.

Take it from me, the POST-Celiac diagnosis days are when your potential skyrockets.

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Good for you for getting back into it! :)

Gladiator is right, I've been gluten-free for 2 years (hey, I just realized that tomorrow is my 2-year gluten-free annivesrary! Hooray! :D ) and have gained a lot more muscle now that I can absorb the nutrients from my food.

My favourite no-impact work-out is swimming. It's a good cardio and total-body work-out and is easy on the joints because there is no impact (as opposed to jogging outside or on a treadmill). My favourite impact cardios are the elliptical (not as good for the knees) and the bike (good for the quads, which protects the knees!).

Just generally increasing your activity levels with biking, walking, etc. is a very good start. You don't want to push yourself too hard too fast or you could injure yourself or get discouraged. I would suggest starting very small training goals (i.e. if you can bike a certain # of kms in a certain time frame, try and go further, or try to increase your time). This way you can see when you're making progress, which is a good motivator and also helps you keep raising the bar slowly, as your fitness improves.

Core strength is really important, but is built in unexpected ways, other than just doing sit-ups/crunches. For example, skating (rollerblading or ice skating) builds abs because you need to tighten your core to keep your balance, plus gives you cardio. Swim strokes can work your core as well as your whole body.

Try not to worry too much about numbers on the scale, or the appearance of muscle in the mirror at first, and just focus on developing a lifestyle of being active. The results will come, you'll feel better, and hopefully have fun doing it :) Once you are ready for a weight circuit, low weight and high reps works better for toning and muscle definition and high weight with low reps is more for building "bulk", or bigger muscles (and is also less healthy, especially for beginners). Keep coming back here if you come up with more questions or just need a little push!

Good luck,

Jillian

So I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 years ago (at age 18) and up until that point, I suffered from extreme fatigue and abdominal pain. Needless to say, I wasn't very active throughout my childhood/teen years. I am not overweight, just a little chubby..the real issue is my lack of muscle definition and next to no core strength. I have been making huge efforts to increase my daily activity, riding my bike whenever possible, etc. but I am quite lost when it comes to working out. I don't know my physical limits, as they have never really been tested and this is quite distressing for me when I am exercising. Is this good pain? Should I stop? etc.

I cannot afford to hire a personal trainer.

Does anyone out there have any tips for me to get started? What are the best (and most low-impact) exercises to build core strength? Any examples of beginner workout routines (activity/reps)?

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

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and have gained a lot more muscle now that I can absorb the nutrients from my food.

Aren't the post-Celiac-diagnosis days the bomb? I almost feel fortunate to be able to pack on so much muscle. But, then again, that's what we were missing in the past.

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Thank you both so much, I really appreciate the support. I find it somewhat difficult to talk to non-celiacs about my issues surrounding fitness...most people don't understand.

I will definitely be stopping by the library in the next couple of days and I have also started some pilates exercises fairly recently!

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I have also started some pilates exercises fairly recently!

That is good news as well. Make sure you keep the pilates well rounded. (Mat + chair + reformer)

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I just came across this thread... I myself am just getting back into working out (I was a runner when I was a teenager (please note I didn't say I was a very fast runner!!)... how are things going??

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Hello all, checking in again...

So I have started small, kept some reasonable goals in hopes of some success. I have been doing major stretching everyday, targeting as many muscles as possible. I have also been doing 10 push ups and sit ups a day. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I wasn't kidding when I said I was starting from square 1.

I am worried about increasing anything I am doing due to chronic pain in my back/shoulders/neck. This pain has not started as a result of my workout attempts, it's been with me for a long time. Should I push through the pain? Could this be a case of things getting worse before they steadily improve?

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Pushing through pain is generally a bad idea unless it is the lactic acid burn/fatigue from something like sprinting or doing a rep on tired muscles. Injury pain means stop. Typically, there's some sort of inflammation or damage. When in doubt, back off.

Can you get a PT referral? Or see if there is someone who offers sliding scales if $$ is an issue? A therapist could show you variations that lessen the stresses and potential pain triggers.

A hint of discomfort is generally okay, but that depends on the injury, the cause... You could also try working in heat beforehand and ice afterwards to see if they help. Also, some impact is very good for your bones, so keep in a dose of walking and/or weights.

But, in the end, the trick is to do things you enjoy enough to keep doing them often.

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