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Yes, You Can!

Every month we will feature an exercise developed by our very own Personal Trainer, Mike Tattersall (as he says - Trainer to the Stars - 'cause we're all stars) - Ottawa, Ontario. We will use pictures to show an SSBBW doing the exercise and an explanation on how to do it. All our exercises can be done in the privacy of your own home and using things you have around the house. So throw your workout clothes on and get moving!

Due to health issues we were unable to do our usual exercise and pictures however we do have an article for you...

Starting a Cardiovascular Workout

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to promote a significant boost in your metabolism while burning calories and losing extra body fat. These exercises raise your heart to 65-90% of your maximum heart rate. The word “aerobic” literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature.

There are two types of aerobic exercises:

A. Low to Moderate Impact : This includes walking, stair climbing, step classes, rowing cross-country skiing, swimming. Nearly anyone in reasonable health can engage in some low-to moderate-impact exercise.

B. High-Impact Exercises-Activities that belong to this group include running, dance, exercise, tennis, racquetball, and squash. High impact exercise should be preformed on alternating days.

People who are new to cardiovascular exercise should check with there medical provider before starting any program. People who are overweight, obese, elderly or have an injury or medical problem should start with low to moderate impact exercises. Below are examples of effective, simple and fun low impact cardiovascular exercises.


I know you thought your parents already taught you how to do this, but to walk effectively; you need to learn the correct way to walk.

The more you walk, the better you will feel. Walking also uses more calories; thus, burning more fats. The benefits include giving you more energy, making you feel good, helping you to relax, reducing stress, helping you sleep better, toning your muscles, helping control your appetite, and increasing the number of calories your body uses. To lose weight, it's more important to walk for time than speed. Walking at a moderate pace yields longer workouts with less soreness - leading to more miles and more calories spent on a regular basis.

A pedometer can be very helpful and motivating. Purchase a pedometer and a journal and set a goal of getting in at least 50 steps every hour. Even if this means getting up and walking around your office or building. Start with a obtainable goal, 15 to 20 minutes at a comfortable pace. Increase the duration and the speed. Then try walking up inclined areas. Your walk should be comprised of three segments: warm-up, exercise pace and cool-down. Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year.


Recumbent bikes are great option for overweight /obese exercise enthusiasts. These bikes offer bucket seats which can be more comfortable than the standard upright stationary bikes. Recumbent bikes are great for people who need support while they exercise. This type of bike is more ergonomically correct than a traditional upright exercise bike and an effective way to improve aerobic capacity, as well as burn fat. It also offers more back support and may be a little more comfortable to those people with lower back pain. Exercise bikes are great for cardiovascular fitness and toning or building your thighs and buttocks. Being stationary, you can enjoy your favorite magazine or TV program while working out. Biking is a non weight bearing activity that builds muscular endurance and strength and improved flexibility of selected muscles of the legs and thighs. When beginning, keep the tension dial on the lowest number. As you progress, increase the tension.


Portable peddlers allow you to get a great workout without having to own or maneuver yourself in a stationary bike. You can use a peddler while sitting in a chair, on the couch or even under your desk at work. There are many different models, ranging from simple to high tech on the market, so find one that is the perfect for your needs. Try pedaling for as long as you can, rest and then repeat 5 more times. Keep track of your revolutions each week to see improvements. Challenge yourself to peddle for longer periods of time.


Swimming is a very popular form of regular exercise. Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. It uses all the major muscle groups, and places a vigorous demand on your heart and lungs. It provides most of the aerobic benefits that running does, without strain on your connective tissues...and no sweating. You can start by using equipment. Try holding on to a kickboard or a light foam board that supports your upper body and kick across the pool. Build up using a variety of different arm strokes, eventually doing sets of laps across the pool without using the equipment. There are other psychological benefits to swimming, if you allow it to occur. After your workout, relax and swim with a very low effort. Let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke. This form of meditation can help you gain a feeling of well-being, leaving your water session refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of your day.


This is the newest most popular method for enthusiast to improve there cardiovascular fitness. The machine uses movement very similar to cross-country skiing and cycling. This allows you to work your upper body as well as your lower body without stressing your joints. Other forms of exercises, like road running or treadmills, can sometimes cause problems with the joints, elliptical exercise is much kinder on the ankles, knees, hips, and back. If fitting into a stationary or recumbent bike seat is uncomfortable, this machine allows you to remain upright, accommodating a variety of body types and sizes, holding up to 450 pounds. There are many of these machines available in the gym. If you decided to purchase one for the home, there are many of makes and models to choose from. In addition there are reviews online that can highlight which ones are a worthy investment and which are nothing more than a waste of money.

Starting a cardiovascular program can be difficult. This is especially true for people who are out of shape and/or extremely overweight. Gyms can be scary; going in a room full of sweaty exercisers, all of whom seem to know what they're doing is hard for many of us. Taking it outside the gym can also be stressful. When my husband started a walking routine at 300 pounds, he got frequent laughs from moving cars because of his size. Swimming is wonderful if you have a pool in your backyard, but what if you don't? Walking around in a bathing suit causes instant panic for plenty of people overweight or not. My advice to one starting a cardiovascular program who is feeling ashamed or out of shape is to set short term and long term goals. Keep reminding yourself that motivation and persistence is the key reaching your target. Get in your zone, keep it simple, and stay focused on those goals. A little personal pep talk can make the difference between skipping a walking session and a terrific workout. Tell yourself how good it will feel to get out there and move around for your health. Praise yourself when you have a good routine. Be kind to yourself, and motivate from the inside out.

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