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Getting back into shape after no exercise for years

Best way to start? Treadmill? I'd like to take spin classes and maybe some Pilates but I do need to burn fat off first. I cannot do high impact due to a bad ankle years ago.

by Anonymousreply 2210/06/2013


by Anonymousreply 110/04/2013


by Anonymousreply 210/04/2013

I do pilates rebounding because it's cardio and easy on the knees.

by Anonymousreply 310/04/2013

Don't do it. Treadmills and other machines kill hundreds every year. Gentle walking is enough. Listen to the link below.

by Anonymousreply 410/04/2013

R1 and 2 have it

Walk walk walk and improve your diet.

Get some weight off and your stamina up before adding too much - small injuries seem to derail many returning exercisers.

by Anonymousreply 510/04/2013

I'll hop into the normally supportive R2 spot - also with 'walk'. Strap the ankle particularly if using a treadmill, principally so you don't favor it and end up inadvertently injuring something else. Also cycling on a stationery bike (slightly better if not recumbent, IMO) as it's low impact and won't twist your ankle.

But also include strength training. Whilst not as good as free weights, the machines are a handy intro to build yourself up.

Make sure you have it at least at 1:00 (not zero) incline on the treadmill as otherwise it's doing some of the work for you. Build up slowly with little challenges to push yourself a little faster or longer or harder (more incline) each time. Same with the bike - you can increase the resistance. I also try and do a bastardized 'circuit training' - appropriated for my own purposes - in that I push myself harder on the treadmill and then get my heart rate back down - and then repeat etc. As well as being a more effective workout - those bursts of shorter challenges pass the time quicker, especially if you're exercising frequently.

Swimming is also a great, all round exercise that's low impact.

Anyway, I started this regimin 5 x a week, about 5 months ago. That was a standing start - and have made good progress - and I've got a dodgy knee and was wildly unfit.

So you can do it! Good luck!

by Anonymousreply 610/04/2013

I'm 41 and 175 cm tall, and I weighed 98 kg in the April when I started working out and losing weight. I was in dreadful condition: I couldn't walk the stairs to a second floor without losing my breath. At first it was mostly cardio: long walks and sometimes cycling on my spinbike. Two months ago I started lifting weights also, because I've never really have had good muscles and finally wanted to have some.

Now about 5 months later I'm 80 kg and feel much better in every way. I'm absolutely thrilled of muscleature starting to form beneath the fat I'm still carrying a bit. When I get rid of the fat I'll probably start bulking up the muscle. It's apparently a bit tricky to get muscles at the same time when you're losing weight, but I don't mind the wait.

I follow Jeff Willet's Max OT routine where you train five days a week with weights that you can only lift 4-6 times in a row (and of course you do 2-3 sets of the same movement). You traing one or two muscle group a day, and it takes about 40 minutes. You don't over-do the cardio because you want to maximize the muscle development. Willet recommends only 16-18 minutes of HARD cardio a day, although if you're losing weight you might do it twice a day. I usually do my cardio in my spinbike (where my body uses about 250-300 kcal in 18-22 minute session, according to my heart rate monitor) but unfortunately my knees have always been easy to get sore so I'll probably have to find something else.

Mind you, I've learned from various sources that it's very good to do cardio in interval training-way, where you e.g. cycle or run really fast for a little while and then slow down the pace for twice the time you did it hard, and then do it hard again, and keep repeating this routine. I cycle on my spinbike hard for a minute (or actually cycle standing up) and then sit down and cycle slower for two minutes. Recently I saw a study of people doing this for much shorter times; it might've been 8 seconds hard and 16 seconds slow.

I was introduced to Willet by the great documentary "I Want to Look Like That Guy" by a semi-pro film maker Stuart MacDonald who wanted to get muscles in his early forties. The documentary is a bit amateurish but it's just absolutely inspiring because you see that in half a year the dude went from semi-fat to lightweight bodybuilder condition.

At least the first 20 minutes of the documentary is on Vimeo. I love the film because it really gives you concrete hope and goal when you are just starting out. It also tells how hard it might get both physically and mentally when you are so tired because of the training and of the low calorie intake that you feel like quitting. It has helped me on my low times to see what Stuart went through in this film, and know that it's alright to feel down at times. Although I must admit that I haven't pushed myself as hard as Stuart did.

by Anonymousreply 710/04/2013

[quote]175 cm tall, and I weighed 98 kg

This is 'merkuh, pal. We don't do that fer'n metric crap. We've got "freedom measurements"!

by Anonymousreply 810/04/2013

Walk walk walk.

Walk for at least an hour each day, after starting with 10 mins, then 20, then 30, then 40 and so on, week by week.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Park at the far end of the parking lot.

Shoot for a minimum of 10k steps a day.

Do this for 3 months. Then check back in for your new training regimen.

by Anonymousreply 910/04/2013

If your ankle really is "bad", then perhaps walking might be a problem.

So get a bike, if you've got any place to ride one! Bikes put very little pressure on the ankles, and are more fun than walking.

Or go to a local pool and swim, most municipal pools have times set by for lap swimmers. Most of the people there won't look any better in a bathing suit than you do, so don't be shy.

by Anonymousreply 1010/04/2013

Crossfit. Go full out.

by Anonymousreply 1110/04/2013

Sure, do Crossfit. Join a cult, spend lots of money, exercise until you puke, injure yourself, and if you keel over dead in a session, they'll name the exercise you died doing after you.

Good times!

by Anonymousreply 1210/05/2013

Everyone should read "The Exercise Myth" by Henry A., M.D. Solomon, a cardiologist. He points out that exercise actually shortens your life. There's a confusion between physical strength and physical health. The strongest people tend to have shorter lifespans than the long-lived, who actually have only average strength.

As one of the Amazon reviewers pointed out, James Fixx the running guru died in the same year this book was published, 1984. Personally, I have followed this book since the mid-1980 and have NOT exercised. I am slim and fit.

Screw exercise and veggies. I eat animal fats and meat and dairy---plenty of it. I eat zero vegetable oil. My cholesterol is better than average.

Exercise is a death cult like all religions. All promises and no delivery.

by Anonymousreply 1310/06/2013

r13's coworkers dread it when he takes a shit at work.

by Anonymousreply 1410/06/2013

R7 I know you are speakin' the Queen's English but I don't know wtf you are talkin about.

by Anonymousreply 1510/06/2013

Power walk or walk at a good clip on a slight incline on the treadmill. With a decent diet, the treadmill will help with endurance and stamina. 20-30 minutes to begin.

And if your gym treadmill gym has an individual TV as mine does, it helps immensely.

by Anonymousreply 1610/06/2013

r14 = atheist vegetarian nut = breath you can smell a block away!

by Anonymousreply 1710/06/2013

I don't see the point of wasting time exercising, we are all going to die sooner or later so why worry about it.

by Anonymousreply 1810/06/2013

[quote]...but I do need to burn fat off first.

One does NOT but I do need to burn fat off, at all. One DDIETS fat off. If you remain in a caloric deficiency, you will lose weight. Becoming stronger, and gaining stamina via cardio and resistance training is swell, but they burn far fewer calories than one thinks. Change you DIET.

by Anonymousreply 1910/06/2013

Lillian Gish was single her whole life, and never bore children. She used a reclining board for an hour a day into her 90s and lived to be ninety-nine.

by Anonymousreply 2010/06/2013

Instead of a treadmill, I might suggest using an elliptical machine instead, because it's much gentler on your knees and joints and there's less risk of injury if you use it for extended periods of time (in my case, jogging on a treadmill or especially on hard pavement can make my knees ache). Getting injured is the worst roadblock to fitness and can set back your progress by weeks, even months, so always make sure you're exercising properly and aren't overextending yourself.

Also, I have to agree that exercise helps (especially strength training, because it makes your muscles burn and use up calories even when you're not exercising), but diet is the real kicker. Even with exercise, your weight really won't change much until your diet changes, so yeah, start cutting back on calories and putting more veggies in your meals.

Final piece of advice - some people say "abs are cut in the kitchen" (i.e. you get fit and lean from your diet, not from exercise), but I'd modify that and say "abs are cut in the grocery store." Instead of having food lying around to tempt you to snack and drain your willpower, don't even buy it in the first place - exercise your willpower and judgment when your go grocery shopping and avoid getting extra snacks and junk food - just focus on healthy stuff that'll get you through the day, and cravings will be that much easier to control and deal with when you're at home.

by Anonymousreply 2110/06/2013

First, stop using the electric scooter when you shop at Walmart.

by Anonymousreply 2210/06/2013
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