I have learned over the years what my limits are when exercising and sometimes I've also learned the hard way with injuries that looking back now could have been prevented.
So here is a look at what has helped me prepare and get through my workouts.
Stretching is vital to my routine and not just after a workout. One side effect from being obese is a very bad sciatic nerve I have dealt with for 12 years and if any of you know the pain that can cause then you know there are times that even walking is impossible. So I stretch my hamstrings when I get up in the morning, 10 minutes before and after my workouts, before I leave to work, several times at work and right before I go to bed. This has helped tremendously because the hamstring is key to keeping the sciatic nerve under control.
Keeping myself hydrated is very important! In the past when I've hit the gym hard I never monitored my water intake which resulted in me having Kidney Stones. OUCH! I must love pain. I have passed 5 stones and if you have ever had to pass one you know the pain it causes. My first one I was in the ER on my knees. So I make sure I start sipping once I wake up and continue to drink water all day even the days I don't workout.
Another key component is sleep. On average I get 4-5 hours of sleep with the occasional 1 hour nap if I'm lucky. Another side effect of being overweight is that I have sleep apnea. I have been using a CPAP machine for the past 7 years. When I first took a sleep test the results showed I was waking up about 45 times an hour and I would stop breathing 8 times per night. So I wasn't really getting much rest which caused me to be sleepy and tired all day. I now get actual REM sleep and I am sure you have heard all the sleep studies connected to obesity. In my case I lose more weight the weeks I get 6-7 hours of sleep compared to my 4-5 hours where I still lose weight but at a lesser rate.
And one last essential ritual I do after every workout is icing my knees. Over the years my knees have taken a pounding on this 400+ frame and icing my knees for 15 minutes does wonders for the swelling and pain. Ice Ice Baby!
I signed up for the weight loss challenge at my gym for an added incentive. So far so good the last weigh in is end of March. Not sure what the prize is maybe a new car :-)