#1 Edited by MAST (736 posts) -

This is probably a weird place to ask this, but I've never really been into any serious kinds of exercise, so I don't really have any dedicated forum to frequent. Figured I'd begin here for advice, and see where it takes me.

First off, I think it's important to know a few things about me. Firstly, I'm overweight, lazy, and out of shape (obviously). I'm not morbidly obese by any means, but I'm 6'2 and 215 pounds which is mostly in my gut. So I could stand to lose some. Secondly, and most importantly, I just found out 6 months ago that I have a muscle disorder. Some type of metabolic myopathy (still haven't found out for sure what it is yet). Maybe something along the lines of McArdle's Disease, which is a type of Glycogen Storage Disease. This is very important to keep in mind, as I have a really hard time exercising without hurting myself. I've often tried to work out with weights, and almost every time it ends with me causing a muscle to swell up, and then an hour later my urine will come out almost black, and really foamy. Which means I'm having muscle death on account of my exercising due to my muscle disorder, and can lead to kidney damage, or even acute renal failure if I'm no careful and it happens too often.

So, having said all that, I'm trying to find some sort of light training program (preferably with no weights) that will give me cardio, and a stronger core, but that won't completely wreck my legs and feet (as those are usually the first few muscles to go on me, and get really swollen, and then the dark urine happens, which is real bad, etc, etc.). Running is kinda out. I can do walking, but it eventually leads to my calves/feet/thighs hurting if I do it for too long... I've been looking into Pilates. That seems like something that might fall into line with what I need. It's not a ton of being on my feet. It's not running (which I have a hard time with) or weight-lifting (which always seems to end up hurting me really bad), but I don't really know where to start since there are so many different types of Pilates exercises.

The most ideal scenario as far as where, and how I do whatever exercise would be with something on TV in my living room. I need to be TOLD what to do. If I'm left to my own I have a hard time making myself memorize exercises, and continue to do them. If I have someone telling me what to do every step of the way, I tend to stick with it. So I'm thinking a DVD I could put on the TV every day would be great.

Basically, I'm looking for any advice on how to exercise in a way that works with my muscle disorder, and doesn't cause it to flare up. It doesn't have to be Pilates. I'm open to any suggestions. The doctor just told me to keep it really light, but that I do NEED to do some exercise (especially cardio) even though I have this muscular problem. He said if I don't, I'll be a prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack sooner, rather than later, and I'm only 28. I'm young. I have a wife. Needless to say, I don't want that to happen.

Thanks in advance!

#2 Posted by runnah555 (148 posts) -

Don't knock it but Yoga is a much harder workout than you would think. I am in decent shape and I did a 1.5 hour yoga session and was sweating like a pig.

Or you could just load up a backpack with some weights and go for a hike.

#3 Posted by Muttinus_Rump (814 posts) -

Swimmiiing!

#4 Posted by MAST (736 posts) -

@Muttinus_Rump said:

Swimmiiing!

I actually thought of that, and I think it would be awesome. Except where I live, the only places to swim at that I know of are public swimming pools full of screaming kids. I don't think there are any workout places in my tiny town that have a pool. So I'm kinda outta luck.

#5 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I'd definitely recommend pilates to you in order to build a stronger core, I took a few classes last year after I injured my lower spine and it's incredibly helpful. I don't know that it'd be perfect for actually losing weight, but it's great for core and toning too. You could go walking a lot, I did that and lost a ton of weight (mind you I walk about ten miles each time). You could go cycling (be it on a stationary bike or actual road cycling). Swimming too, but you just said you couldn't.

#6 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3821 posts) -

@MAST said:

This is probably a weird place to ask this, but I've never really been into any serious kinds of exercise, so I don't really have any dedicated forum to frequent. Figured I'd begin here for advice, and see where it takes me.

First off, I think it's important to know a few things about me. Firstly, I'm overweight, lazy, and out of shape (obviously). I'm not morbidly obese by any means, but I'm 6'2 and 215 pounds which is mostly in my gut. So I could stand to lose some. Secondly, and most importantly, I just found out 6 months ago that I have a muscle disorder. Some type of metabolic myopathy (still haven't found out for sure what it is yet). Maybe something along the lines of McArdle's Disease, which is a type of Glycogen Storage Disease. This is very important to keep in mind, as I have a really hard time exercising without hurting myself. I've often tried to work out with weights, and almost every time it ends with me causing a muscle to swell up, and then an hour later my urine will come out almost black, and really foamy. Which means I'm having muscle death on account of my exercising due to my muscle disorder, and can lead to kidney damage, or even acute renal failure if I'm no careful and it happens too often.

So, having said all that, I'm trying to find some sort of light training program (preferably with no weights) that will give me cardio, and a stronger core, but that won't completely wreck my legs and feet (as those are usually the first few muscles to go on me, and get really swollen, and then the dark urine happens, which is real bad, etc, etc.). Running is kinda out. I can do walking, but it eventually leads to my calves/feet/thighs hurting if I do it for too long... I've been looking into Pilates. That seems like something that might fall into line with what I need. It's not a ton of being on my feet. It's not running (which I have a hard time with) or weight-lifting (which always seems to end up hurting me really bad), but I don't really know where to start since there are so many different types of Pilates exercises.

The most ideal scenario as far as where, and how I do whatever exercise would be with something on TV in my living room. I need to be TOLD what to do. If I'm left to my own I have a hard time making myself memorize exercises, and continue to do them. If I have someone telling me what to do every step of the way, I tend to stick with it. So I'm thinking a DVD I could put on the TV every day would be great.

Basically, I'm looking for any advice on how to exercise in a way that works with my muscle disorder, and doesn't cause it to flare up. It doesn't have to be Pilates. I'm open to any suggestions. The doctor just told me to keep it really light, but that I do NEED to do some exercise (especially cardio) even though I have this muscular problem. He said if I don't, I'll be a prime candidate for a stroke or heart attack sooner, rather than later, and I'm only 28. I'm young. I have a wife. Needless to say, I don't want that to happen.

Thanks in advance!

You must have a very narrow build. When I graduated high school, I was 6'2 and 205 and had very little body fat. 215 doesn't sound that bad.

#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

@MAST said:

@Muttinus_Rump said:

Swimmiiing!

I actually thought of that, and I think it would be awesome. Except where I live, the only places to swim at that I know of are public swimming pools full of screaming kids. I don't think there are any workout places in my tiny town that have a pool. So I'm kinda outta luck.

Are those facilities open during hours that kids are either still in school or too early for them to be out and about?

#8 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

Go swimming, there has to be a pool with a deep end where stupid kids aren't allowed to play.

If not....I dunno, get an exercise bike but keep the resistance very low so that you can pedal fast and get the heart pumping but it won't be strenuous on your leg muscles.

#9 Posted by MAST (736 posts) -

@Wrighteous86: Yeah. I'm a rail. Any extra weight just all went to my stomach. I'm still pretty lean everywhere else. I just need get toned.

#10 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (740 posts) -

Cycling?

I bought an exercise bike for around £100, helped me lose about 70lb and kept it off. I don't know if that's practical for you but it definitely helped me.

#11 Posted by mlarrabee (3031 posts) -

@MAST: Is there a YMCA nearby?

I'm no exercise guru, but I'd say swimming would be the way to go. Maybe take shorter, daily walks. Losing weight is just using more Calories than you take in, and that can be done gently, so if you're sore you're going pushing yourself too hard into muscle damage.

And, of course, examine your diet. A brother-in-law recently lost 30+ pounds (so far) by completely abandoning soda and just reducing his intake of simple sugars. He damaged his spine when he was younger and he's a programmer, so he doesn't get much exercise -he can't feel his feet, after all. Since he couldn't change his exercise patterns he changed his diet, and it's working.

#12 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2030 posts) -

Okay, I'm not an 'aficionado' but I'll try my best.

Forget weights, because you clearly said you want to lose weight and get cardio/core and I'm not seeing anything about building muscle mass. I'd recommend more complex core exercises using rollers/sliders (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubEQsrF3dH4 for cheap at-home workouts) to build up to from crunches/sit-ups or however you are working your core. Yoga and pilates are definitely a good idea, too, since they are more about total body flexibility and strength rather than focusing on specific muscle groups - though they can be used in that way. Ab rollouts are very difficult, but I think you should at least attempt them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vfTLXQUZeI. It shows a build up towards a full standing rollout, but working at the increased angle is perfectly fine for a lower intensity work out. In fact, since I've linked him so many times, try looking through this guy's fitness blog http://rosstraining.com/blog/. While a lot of this is geared towards weightlifting and power, many of his concepts can be applied to much lighter workloads (for instance, the sandbag workouts). Plus, he runs a whole series of at-home fitness/on the cheap fitness so you don't have to break your bank with a personal trainer. Oh, and doing rotaries/obliques without weights should be right up your alley.

Eating correctly can be the harder part for some, and I suggest looking at what you eat over the course of a week and re-working that. Cut out soda, eat carrot chips instead of potato chips, and try and ease back on grains and things with high fructose. Cutting carbs by a few percentage points every few weeks can help as well. If you work out and then go and eat a fucking whole pizza and chug a 2-liter of Pepsi, you're going to regress every week.

Remember, if you are in overwhelming pain then stop. Don't over exert yourself because you feel you need to, because you're not doing high intensity training or anything - I don't think you should work to muscle failure. Then again, I'm not a physician or a trainer so don't take this as gospel.

#13 Posted by MAST (736 posts) -

@SirOptimusPrime: Cool. Thanks for the advice! I'll give some of that a try!

#14 Edited by tunaburn (1891 posts) -

I own an mma gym here in az. we have a workout for the people that arent in shape. i could send you a routine if youd like. but this stuff only works if you stick to it. all workouts i mean. if you do one of the routines which takes about 30 minutes and do it 5 days a week youll start noticing real improvement in about month. weight loss is slow. expect to lose only a pound a week realistically. and you also have to watch out for eating to much.

once you workout you will get hungry. you cant start eating a ton. eat a normal nice amount of food.

if you really want to go big into this then cut out a lot from your diet. soda and any other sugary stuff. and bread is fattening.

#15 Posted by DarthOrange (3878 posts) -

Belt fighting only uses upper body strength and there is no hitting below the waist so your legs will be fine. Just put an ad up on Craigslist that you are looking for someone to spar with.

#16 Edited by TheHBK (5554 posts) -

Eating, that is half the battle, fuck knowing. You need to give up the complex carbs to start off. Basically meaning pasta and bread. And limit the others like rice, beans and the wrap tortillas. Multigrain bread sometimes. Now, try to get the green veggies in, broccoli, lettuce, bell peppers. Limit red meat to 2 times a week. Stick to chicken and fish. Do not eat the soy based stuff. That does have protein but is only a last resort.

We are looking to lose fat but remember, this can be easier if you are building up muscle. So you can't do weights. Well then you still need to build strength and endurance. Resistance bands and the regular exercises using only bodyweight are good for you. Push ups. Crunches. Crunches on an exercise ball. Rows for your back using a broom handle between two chairs. Pull ups. Dips. Close grip pull ups. Squats. The reason building muscle is important, though maybe super hard for you, is that you will notice the weight loss or changes much more quickly and that will also keep you motivated. When losing weight, and just going on cardio, the first thing is you might see the scale say you lose a few pounds, but wonder wear. Well muscle is the first thing to go most of the time if you are not constantly rebuilding it.

Cardio. The important part here. Do not do cardio before the body exercises, do it after. Swimming. Probably the best exercise you can do for losing fat, but you need to really try hard and find out where you can go swimming. Other options, go running. It is not about time but distance. ForcexDistance = energy. Start with 1 mile. Then move it to 1.5. 2. Then 4. Do this by running outside. Do not run on the treadmill. Use something like google maps to figure out how far something in your neighborhood is and run there. Then just start going further by running past markers you set for yourself. Cardio should not be done an eliptical. The only machine I would recommend is a stairmaster.

#17 Posted by gumdealer (96 posts) -

I would recommend doing some cardio on an elliptical machine. It doesn't cause as much impact as the treadmill, and I like it way more than the bikes.

#18 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

Have you thought about seeing a dietitian or someone who might be able to tell you what to eat for disorders like that?

#19 Edited by NTM (7519 posts) -

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/

Just click one of those for the starting point, and then select or deselect which ones you want according to your preference on the left side of the screen.

#20 Posted by damnboyadvance (4061 posts) -

I'm not an expert with exercise, but I can tell you that eating right is half the battle. If you're trying to lose weight, your best bet is to go on a low-carb diet. Seriously. Your body converts carbohydrates to sugar. Sugar raises your blood sugar significantly, which forces your body to release insulin to lower your blood sugar. Insulin lowers blood sugar, but it also stores fat. You don't want that. I recommend consuming no more than 100 carbohydrates a day. When you do eat, make sure your carboyhydates come from healthier foods, like bread, fruits and vegetables. No soda or Twinkies, which leads me to my next point...

Cut out as much processed food as possible. Processed food is generally the same as junk food. It's filled with ingredients that are bad for your body, and usually bad for weight loss. Try to get most of your food from natural, healthy sources.

#21 Posted by MAST (736 posts) -

@dennisthemennis said:

Have you thought about seeing a dietitian or someone who might be able to tell you what to eat for disorders like that?

No, I haven't done that yet. I'm really probably in a position where I need to. I probably also should look into getting a personal trainer since I'm a difficult case when it comes to exercise. I was just putting those things off because I figured it'd be really expensive.