After being told I would never be able to go to the gym again..... I have been going to the gym again since September 2009. It wasn't really the most effecient workout, it probably wasn't the best planning or the best exercises, but I did what I could do and skipped the machines that hurt me too much. I wasn't able to walk a lot and standing a lot was still hurting me so I was using the resistance machines to build some strength and then ended up using them for cardio as well. This was not ideal, but I did what I could do and that was all I could do at the time. As I got stronger I wasn't increasing the weight I started increasing the reps and was doing low weights with a lot of reps. I mostly used the hip abduction (30 or 40lbs resistance) and adduction (20 or 30 lbs) machines (inner and outer thighs) and the leg press (50 to 75 lbs), it was not uncommon for me to do 200 reps on those machines. I should have kept the reps down and upped the weight but I was afraid of using too much weight and hurting myself. I also used a couple of the ab machines and a couple arm machines, but I was afraid of most of the arm machines because they hurt my shoulder.
Walking was hard for me, the walk to the mail box seemed soooo long..... taking the dogs to the back of the 2 acre lot seemed like a long ways too. I couldn't stand very long without feeling dizzy and light headed, especially if I was hot. I had to just go very slow and stay close to home in case I got tired, so I mostly just walked around the yard with the dogs. I would also lay on my bed and do kind of a modified palliates because I couldn't do them standing up and getting on the floor use to hurt me. Swimming wasn't an option unless I wanted to pay $160 a month for an over priced local gym or pay a physical therapy center $100 a month. It wasn't until I got more weight off that I could really do more and my knee stopped hurting as much, as did my back and hips. Exercise is important, but sometimes you just can't really do it until you get some of the weight off first, which makes staying on track with low carb even that much more important.
Once I felt better and lost more weight then I was pushing myself too hard and started using the treadmill and I was not always eating before the gym because I wasn't hungry. I was pushing my heart rate too high for too long and when I would stop then I felt dizzy, even though it felt ok while I was doing it. It was then that I asked the personal trainer a question and his head kind of exploded when he found out that I was working out that much and not eating carbs and being THAT low carb (under 10 a day). He agreed with the low carb concept, but he was trying to get me to eat fruit before my workout. He said he wanted to do some research before he suggested things but told me to keep my heart rate down and slow down in the mean time. It helped and I started making sure I had eaten before going to the gym and I stopped getting dizzy.
I never thought about workouts being different for low carb people... but since we don't eat carbs if we stay at the upper heart range then we are depleting all the carbs we do have so we need to stay in the lower range so that we burn the fat instead. He told me that I needed to keep my heart rate in 120-130 range during my workout and it was in the 150's and 160's at that time. When I first started using the treadmill even slowly walking at the 1.6 speed would put my heart rate at 170/180. I also learned that the monitors on the machines can be wrong so I got a heart monitor watch and started monitoring my heart rate more and more. I had already been using it before talking to the trainer and reading up on it, but I never knew about the lack of carbs effecting the range you should be in, but it makes sense.
He told me that I can go faster for a few minutes and raise my heart rate to 150/160 but then slow back down and bring it back to 120/130. The more I exercise and the more time I spend on the treadmill and the more often I do it the lower my heart rate gets and the more endurance I am building up, increasing my distance and lowering my times. I also have to watch my asthma too, it's been ok, but it will act up if I try to run as will my knee...... I want to run, but I am not ready for it yet. I just wanna go... I don't want to slow down... I feel good and have energy for the first time in a long time, I don't want anyone telling me to slow down.... *pouts* lol. But I listened to him anyway and it has helped a lot.
Anyway I ended up working with the trainer and he evaluated my strengths and weaknesses and made a workout for me and it has been very helpful. I am no longer afraid of the cabled, bowflex type machines and the free weights and I am using the treadmill a lot more. I now keep my main strength workout separate from my cardio like it should be. He was very cautious of my injuries and nothing that he has me doing hurts my shoulder, back, knees or hips. Your form is also important, even slight adjustments can make a big difference. Anyone who has any kind of health concerns or injuries should talk to their doctor about exercising and then work with a personal trainer at least for a few sessions. It is so worth it! I have lost 3" off my middle since doing my new strength workout. :)
*Note heart rate is different for everyone and you need to know your resting heart rate too!