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Non-Impact/Low Impact Cardio

samblau

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Well, I finally did it to myself. I did so much cardio that an orthopedist finally told me "no running, no cycling, no elliptical" until you have gone through physical therapy...again. My legs are so sore/hurt so much I am startin to get worried, and I am only 27. I've been told that swimming is the best non-impact exercise however finding time/a pool is difficult. I have a few questions.

1. I have finally lost enough weight to the point that I am comfortable, now I really want to start toning my body. What level of cardio is required (for someone who has been doing 5 days per week for the past several years) and what activities can I do that are not high-impact on my legs?

2. I have been told to enter physical therapy for issues relating to my legs, (specifically knees/calves) does that mean I should not focus on working out my legs? I will certainly ask the orthopedist...sadly though they seem to be in the business of making more appointments as well...when I went in on Mon he poked and prodded me for a few minutes, took no x-rays/tests and then had a secretary tell me to go for therapy. I wonder how big the bill he submits to my insurance will be. As a recent law grad with a strong backround in bioethics it saddens me that my questions were met more with blank stares and mild contempt. I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac, but I really thought I pulled/strained somethign and would like to know what exactly it is I need to rehabilitate. Should I go to another orthopedist for a second opinion?

3.. What changes in diet are best for someone trying to tone? I know that eating lesser quantities more often is best but I want to make sure I am eating the right types of food...I think I eat healthy, but fear I might be eating less protein than Ishould or the wrong kinds of protein (love red meat but have severely limited my intake to about once a week).

4. I have been lifting for a while...but fear I have no clue...can anyone recoomend a good entry-level workout routine for someone who is just getting serious and/or a NY area trainer who can provide a good fundamental workout and NOT just try to get me to sign up for more sessions like the past 3 I have gone through.
 

Gradstudent78

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Originally Posted by samblau
Well, I finally did it to myself. I did so much cardio that an orthopedist finally told me "no running, no cycling, no elliptical" until you have gone through physical therapy...again. My legs are so sore/hurt so much I am startin to get worried, and I am only 27. I've been told that swimming is the best non-impact exercise however finding time/a pool is difficult. I have a few questions.

1. I have finally lost enough weight to the point that I am comfortable, now I really want to start toning my body. What level of cardio is required (for someone who has been doing 5 days per week for the past several years) and what activities can I do that are not high-impact on my legs?

2. I have been told to enter physical therapy for issues relating to my legs, (specifically knees/calves) does that mean I should not focus on working out my legs? I will certainly ask the orthopedist...sadly though they seem to be in the business of making more appointments as well...when I went in on Mon he poked and prodded me for a few minutes, took no x-rays/tests and then had a secretary tell me to go for therapy. I wonder how big the bill he submits to my insurance will be. As a recent law grad with a strong backround in bioethics it saddens me that my questions were met more with blank stares and mild contempt. I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac, but I really thought I pulled/strained somethign and would like to know what exactly it is I need to rehabilitate. Should I go to another orthopedist for a second opinion?

3.. What changes in diet are best for someone trying to tone? I know that eating lesser quantities more often is best but I want to make sure I am eating the right types of food...I think I eat healthy, but fear I might be eating less protein than Ishould or the wrong kinds of protein (love red meat but have severely limited my intake to about once a week).

4. I have been lifting for a while...but fear I have no clue...can anyone recoomend a good entry-level workout routine for someone who is just getting serious and/or a NY area trainer who can provide a good fundamental workout and NOT just try to get me to sign up for more sessions like the past 3 I have gone through.



If your knee problems are so bad that the doctor has told you not to even cycle you should go to the physical therapist and get your issues fixed. Then in conjunction with a trainer and your therapist come up with a program that will keep you healthy and injury free. Your going to need multiple appointments with a physical therapist, particularly with a severe problem. Until you do that I would keep your workouts to the pool.
 

retronotmetro

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If you want low impact on the legs, boxing might be a good choice. I hurt my knee back in June and have been relying heavily on shadowboxing and hitting the double end bag for cardio. It's been a great way to get cardio while saving my knee from further injury. You would not want to be sparring on bad legs, but you can tailor a bag workout to minimize the stress on your legs.
 

Eason

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Upper body cycle ergometer.
 

tricky

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You've raised a lot of questions in your post but the short of it is that you don't need cardio to maintain or lose weight. For your diet, if you're looking to lose, figure out your caloric intake required to maintain your weight. If you want to lose, drop 300 cals per day to start for a caloric surplus. Follow the basics, eat every 2.5 hours, plenty of water, cut out simple carbs. Try a 40/40/20 macronutrient split. Carb cycling is great too but a bit more difficult. For the carbs, focus on complex carbs and non-processed foods. EFAs should make up your fat source (don't be scared of fat...it doesn't make you fat). Nothing wrong with red meat for protein just use extra lean cuts. Keep in mind that carbs and protein all have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. Start reading up on bodybuilding.com in the nutrition and weight loss sections for basic info. For a program you can do total body every other day to start or an upper/lower split, focussing on compound, multi-joint movements. Lots of programs here http://forum.bodybuilding.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8 And given your situation, I'd try and find a pool.
 

Septavius

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Originally Posted by samblau
2. I have been told to enter physical therapy for issues relating to my legs, (specifically knees/calves) does that mean I should not focus on working out my legs? I will certainly ask the orthopedist...sadly though they seem to be in the business of making more appointments as well...when I went in on Mon he poked and prodded me for a few minutes, took no x-rays/tests and then had a secretary tell me to go for therapy.

He likely would not have ordered an x-ray unless he suspected a problem with the bones. X-rays are not so great for looking at muscles. He can tell a lot by a quick physical exam though, and a doctor's thought process isn't always relayed to the patient well, or sometimes not at all. What other tests did you expect him to do? Maybe an MRI? Those are pretty expensive, and might be ordered down the line if problems persist and he thinks it is necessary to rule something in or out. If he ordered tests without an indication, he might not get paid. Also in some cases, insurance often insists that a certain algorhythm of treatment of must applied before authorizing more expensive procedures.
 

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