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Old, Creaky and Confused

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    Matt’s info saved me (within two weeks of implementation!) from being enema-dependent for the rest of my years. This new “ability” of mine is worth every one of the almost 30 pounds I’ve now put on after 2.5 mos. spent eating the food (after years of paleo/GAPS).

    However, now it’s time for me to exercise. I hate to exercise and honestly, I do not know how. The only thing I enjoy is walking, but that doesn’t do a thing for my 54 yo, stretched-eight-times-including-for-twins belly or core.

    I could not squat for a million dollars, as my knees have been shot since my 30’s (osteoarthritis). I live too far from and cannot afford a gym or trainer.

    I looked up the HST mentioned on this forum and got overwhelmed.

    Is there one of those yellow and black Dummy books for old, creaky, and confused people like I?


    Hey Nancy,

    There are all sorts of ideas out there for basic beginning routines. If you have joint issues and can access a pool, that might be a good,low-impact option.

    Basic motions like pushups, pull up, lunges (if possible), dips, step ups, wall sits (if possible), rows (with milk jugs), planks, etc. can be done at home without special equipment, and can be modified based on your strength and fitness level. For example, pullups can be done by putting a towel over your door if you don’t have a bar, and you can step up on a chair for the positive, and lower yourself for the negative. Push-ups can be done against the wall, dips can be done using chairs, etc. Find a few exercises that seem fun, do some reps in each, move onto the next in sequence, and repeat once or twice or thrice, and call it a workout.

    Go Kaleo also has lots of workout ideas, many of which don’t require equipment and can be done at home, listed here. You can browse through, Googling exercises you don’t know, and find something that looks fun/appealing and give it a shot.

    The main recommendation is to take it real slow. It’s better to leave some energy and effort in the tank, keeping you hungry for the next time, than to push too hard and lose interest. Nice and easy, and work up as you feel inspired.

    Good luck!


    Thank you, Rob. I’ve been googling exercises and videos which focus on the knees. Looks like if I strengthen muscles in my rear and legs, that will help my knees. Maybe then I can do some of the other exercises, too. Go Kaleo looks like a good resource. I looked up Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn (suggested by Matt), but then I read a bunch of negative stuff about it. The hardest part of this whole process is just getting into the exercise routine when my life is already exploding. But from how my body feels (and now looks, thanks to the carbs I’m now eating but made myself fat from after avoiding them for so many years) and from what all I’m learning from Matt’s writings and those of the Go Kaleo lady, I know I must do it.

    mighty m

    Don’t have specific advice for you, just encouragement: My mom has arthritis quite badly in one knee, but at 64 would like to hold out a few years before getting a knee replacement. When she stays active with walking, gardening and a few other light strengthening exercises (she goes to Curves with the ladies) her arthritis is not limiting at all. When she gets out of shape, she has to take the stairs one at a time. So building up those muscles does help the knees! (And if you’re coming from paleo or gaps, remember it takes plenty of food including carbs to build muscle. The muscle will probably help more, even if you gain some weight, than trying to get weight off for the sake of your joints, in my opinion.)

    Oh, wait, I guess I do have some advice, for what it’s worth:
    Two ideas for modified squats: A squat is a similar movement to sitting down in a straight chair and getting up again. Learn the movement with a chair for a guide and a way to rest between reps. Google “chair squat” for images/demos.

    2: Just go down 20, 30 or 45 degrees and back up, rather than the full squat. Easier way to start out.

    3: Wall squat. I don’t think it’s as good as the other two because, another option to get started with.

    If you have insurance that covers a few sessions of physical therapy, they can be another resource for modified exercises for people in your situation. Unlike many trainers, they are used to helping people in pain or injury to get stronger. I would ask around your community for a first-hand recommendation though, as a lot of them are quite mediocre, just like trainers. Just another idea.


    Very encouraging, Might M! Love the story about your mom and how exercise makes stairs not painful for her. And about the carbs building muscle! My muscles disappeared while on paleo–flat rear, 1000-pound legs, etc., even though I only weighed about 125 (low for me). Those chair squats are a good idea, too. Wish I could do the PT, but I don’t have insurance right now. On the knee exercise DVD comments, I read that several folks thought the info there was the same as they’d paid thousands for through PT, so I think I definitely need one for direction. I appreciate that y’all care. When pain is present, it’s hard to push past it in order to not have pain, but I know it is time to do so.

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