Okay. If you've been following along, I am pretty direct and have expertise in things like conflict management and getting your thinking together when you're stressed. I'm not a doctor, I'm not even a dietitian or certified aerobic instructor (though I was once-upon-a-time). So why listen to what I'm about to say?
Because there is some truth and experience here. First, I'm a certified stress management instructor and conduct stress workshops regularly. I've done the research and continue to do it. Most doctors and other medical professionals are praying you don't sue their asses, so they land on the side of ULTRA-conservative, which seems to translate into "if it's been around for 20 years, let's suggest it." Can you tell I'm frustrated with this system? I'm betting so are you.
So, we're stuck with things like the Food Pyramid with 8-12 servings of grains a day (which took us from a country with 25% obesity and yanked us up to 65%). Then we are told we need to grind our knee joints into the concrete for 60 minutes a day to burn off this livestock-going-to-the-fair carbohydrate fest. Excellent plan!
If you are cooling it on the carbs (see the article on this site), then you don't need to burn them off and what I'm about to suggest will work just fine.
Yoga and Rebounding
These are my suggestions. Yoga and rebounding (which is fancy talk for jumping on an indoor trampoline). I'm not selling rebounders, and I'm not linking you to a yoga class (though if you want my recommendation, it is hands-down Kate Potter's "Namaste Yoga"). Here's a free episode:
This is what I do, about 3-4 times a week, and I love it, it's fun, it's quiet, it's easy, there is a minimum of pain and plenty of heart rate, muscle building, lymphatic cleansing and endorphin releasing. Let the experts come at me (see the comment page below and have at it). This works and it's easy on the joints.
I do about 20-30 minutes of yoga (with mini-sessions when I'm feeling tight or stiff from sitting at the computer). I do this sometimes everyday and sometimes as little as twice a week. Your body will tell you when it's time. Yoga is way-cool, by the way. You will start to feel so loose and pain-free (unlike with jogging and weight lifting) that you will KNOW when you need to do it and can't wait (it's gonna RELIEVE pain, not CAUSE it).
The rebounding happens about 3-4 times a week as well. I do it while I watch TV. I can already hear you saying, "This chick is reading my mind...this is my kind of exercise program!" Ultimately, the best program is one you will do.
What about walking? Sure. Walk. I work downtown (where most people have to hump it from a parking garage to their offices) and take the stairs regularly. Walk all ya want. No problem with walking.