I was 11 years old when I started to gain weight – and a LOT of it. Let’s just be honest here: I was young, overweight and an awkward nerdy type who spent my free time playing my violin and finding pictures of classical composers to put in my room. I was destined to be uncool and feel awkward about exercise.

I was kind of fearless about it though. Even though I was obese, I tried out for the basketball team, the volleyball team and then in high school I signed up for an advanced gym class – this confused my guidance counselor a lot!


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When I started my plant-strong journey, I tipped the scales at well over 400 pounds. Needless to say, moving was difficult for me. And even though I’ve lost over 200 pounds so far, moving can still be difficult at times.

I have had my share of injuries over the past few years, which has taught me a lot. I am ambitious and want to be able to run, go for a long hike, or do a cross-fit session without any trouble. However, I realize it’s a MUST to start with a solid foundation when it comes to moving and becoming active.

When you are starting out, you do not want to risk injury by doing too much too soon. Your best bet is to start slow. Start with something modest, say 30 minutes, and feel free to stay in it as long as you like. Start by walking, bicycling, or swimming, or some simple balance and strength exercises.

As things improve with your health, you can begin trying exercise that includes impact.  This type of exercise helps build strong bones. Lastly, find something you enjoy doing and get creative. And do it a few times a week. Take a dance class, play a sport, go hiking, or get a hula hoop! By doing activities you enjoy, it will keep you moving for a lifetime.

Older man in an orange sweater with a hand on his heart and a hand on his belly, breathing deeply
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