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''I Walked Off 60 Pounds in the Comfort of My Home!''

TIME4JUDI Walked Without Setting Foot Outside
  -- By SparkPeople Editorial Staff
Judi (TIME4JUDI) is long-time SparkPeople member with multiple sclerosis (MS). By walking indoors with the help of walking DVDs, she lost 60 pounds in seven months! Now she shares her advice and tips with others who want to walk off the weight without setting foot outside.

Judi Before
Judi After

How did indoor walking help you reach your goals?
Walking with Leslie Sansone’s DVDs is my primary exercise. Starting the day with a walk feels so great, and gets your metabolism going. I know it worked for me. Really, it’s virtually all I do. I have been maintaining my 60-pound weight loss for about six months now.

How did you keep your walks fun and interesting?
  1. I varied what I was doing daily with an assortment of Leslie Sansone DVDs that were two to five miles long.
  2. I chatted on SparkPeople with other walkers daily, and we challenged one another to do more and to try different walks.
  3. I varied the "walking boosters" I was using with the walking DVDs, including Leslie's walking belt, stretch bands, and dumbbells.
What tips would you give someone just starting an indoor walking program?
First and foremost, make sure you have comfortable and supportive walking shoes. I think Leslie’s DVDs are awesome to walk with! She is upbeat and energetic, and you don't need to learn any fancy or complicated moves to follow along! Walking is something you CAN do, and you WILL see results! I recommend that beginners choose two DVDs to start with—one that you can comfortably do and one that is more of a stretch. Alternate them. You don’t have to complete the harder one—just do as much as you can. But it is good to try to do a bit more than you are comfortable with!

Besides weight loss, what other improvements have you noticed?
Along with losing over 60 pounds, I now wear a size “small” (between a 4 and 8) instead of XL (size 16-20). I feel confident when I shop and when I get dressed, and my self-esteem is better. Plus, my neurologist is very happy about my progress and my continued efforts to maintain muscle strength.

What other exercises did you do besides walking?
By the way, I also often used another DVD for toning by Prevention Fitness Systems, called "Express Workout - Belly, Butt and Thighs." I added that to my routine after I had been walking for a few months. Stretching is also important! I like to do gentle yoga before I walk (I love Gaiam's AM Yoga DVD before I walk), and then I often do the PM Yoga afterward. I am careful NOT to stretch too extensively before I walk while my muscles are cold.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell people about indoor walking?
I guess the critical point I would stress is that walking (especially indoor walking) is 100% flexible! Even hotels invariably have DVD players these days, so when you go on vacation it is easy to take your favorite workout with you!

The kind of walking I did (Leslie Sansone’s “Walk Away the Pounds” DVDs) is, in my opinion, perfect for people who may be very overweight, new to exercise and/or have limited space or resources for equipment. There are no excuses about bad weather. Even when it’s too rainy, snowy, windy, or hot outside, you can walk inside. For moms with small kids, it's great because you can fit in a walk while the kids are napping. Or if the kids are old enough, they might enjoy walking with you.

When I started, I really was not anxious for anyone to see me. I was embarrassed about how I looked when exercising. Working out at home gave me the privacy I need to experiment freely and try to push myself as far as I could without being embarrassed! I would get up at 4:30 a.m., drag myself out of bed, change into workout clothes, and just walk into my guest room and do my thing. Then I could shower and get ready for work. I didn't have to waste any time "getting somewhere" to work out either.

I have MS, and I need to be careful about not getting too hot. I also have days when my balance is not as good, and sometimes I trip (even over the air!). But walking in my own house allows me to control a lot of environmental factors. If I do not feel well I can stop at any time, without having to drive home, because I am home!

Lastly, getting involved in a SparkTeam is a super way to reinforce your walking routine!