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  • The key is "enjoy". I tried bike riding and running, but I don't enjoy them, so any excuse would be enough to stop me. "It's raining", "It's too late", and so on.

    I love walking -- especially taking my dog for a walk -- but it's just not strenous enough.

    About nine months ago, I took the plunge and started at my kids' karate school. I love it. I'm in much better physical (and mental) shape, and the bonus is that I don't look for excuses. As a matter of fact, I hate missing class!

    So good luck in your s

    • I lost 115 lbs. between (late) January 2004 and (early) November 2004. When I gave blood recently, they turned me away because my blood pressure was too low (my Doctor says it's not a problem) and they always talk to me about my "Athletic" heart rate (generally 48-58). My primary exercise is walking.

      I think you have the key, do what you love, but this thing about it not being strenous enough is not really true. I admit that I've not seen your Karate classes, but I have watched my Daughter's Tae Kwon Do. I would wager that fast walking is very comparable to the class in terms of average calories burned/hour, except when you take into account the classes where they do nothing but workout the whole time - they often have classes where he just runs them around and does fast paced exercises the whole class, which is very strenous. In my daughter's class they do a lot of standing around watching others. Practicing forms is comparable, perhaps more strenous, than fast walking and they do that a lot, true.

      But, really, how long do you go to class a week? 2 maybe 3 hours? I walk more than an hour a day, when I mow the grass it goes up to >3 hours a day.

      Don't discount the value of walking. They are finding out all kinds of health benefits all the time. It seems to raise immunity - more so than running - and they don't know why. It's highly therapeutic, walkers experience much less depression. It's good for your back.

      When you were more than 100 lbs. overweight as I was, it's actually pretty strenous, too.

      I also believe that habits are more important than specific practices. Walking is an easy habit to pickup, requires no special equipment, can be done practically anywhere. I also think it's a good idea to do simple exercises that require no equipment to maintain muscle mass when dieting. Push-ups, crunches, things that don't require you to go out to a gym or buy equipment (that you won't have when traveling anyway). As a percentage, you'll lose more muscle mass than fat when dieting if you aren't careful.

      I do have one "strenous" exercise that I enjoy. I jump on the backyard trampoline a few times a week. This can be really great exercise if you work it hard. That might be more responsible for some of my health than I'm giving it credit for.

      Today? I'm up about 6 lbs. from my low weight, and I'd like to lose a little more. I'm back on the dieting now, after taking most of the last 18 months off, and I'm confident that it'll not be a problem.

      • First of all, kudos to you. It sounds like you've found what you enjoy doing and it's very beneficial. Second, you did read the first part of that paragraph, right? Where I said, "I love walking"? :-)

        I'm not discounting walking -- it's fun and I still do it regularly -- and I agree with your reasons. What I said was, "it wasn't enough ", and I guess I should have added "for me".

        What I was trying to emphasize is to find what you enjoy and is the right level for you. In my opinion, light exercise done

        • Yeah, I agree...

          You know, everybody was asking me my "secret". It was frustrating, because they didn't believe me when I told them that it was eating less and exercising more, they wanted to know the REAL trick.

          After awhile, I told myself I wouldn't run around giving advice, because really, there is no advice to give. Everyone has to find it in themselves or it won't work at all.

          Getting involved in Karate with your kids sounds like a wonderful thing. When I got in shape, I thought of joining my Daughter'