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To wonder if it's too late to get fit at 33?

(62 Posts)
Paddingtonbearscoat Sun 28-May-17 20:17:51

So I'm 33 years old, I've always been unfit, never been into sports/exercise. I used to do a bit of walking and swimming but I'm talking walking a few miles or swimming 20 lengths. I used to go to the gym but I was never very fit even then and only walked on the treadmill.

Ive never had much of a weight problem but after my second child I'm now at the limit of my bmi healthy weight and to be honest i feel overweight, I just know I am. I get hot and sweaty and uncomfortable and my clothes are too tight.

I like my food and I'm just not up for any major dieting.

Before my second child we were doing a bit of cycling and swimming as a family and I was unfit then but the extra stone I'm carrying has made me worse.

I just want to get in shape and shift this extra stone but mainly just get a bit fitter so I don't get tired just pushing the pram to the park.

Trouble is I've hardly got any free time, I'm falling asleep on the sofa by 9 o'clock, I work in an office and no lunch break because I work less than 6 hours so no option for a lunchtime walk. Any exercise would really need to be with two children in tow.

We have got a bike seat for the toddler but dh gets annoyed with me because I'm so slow. Dh is more overweight than me and even he can manage the hills on the bike!

I can't see me ever running marathons but how can I build a reasonable level of fitness so I'm not destined to be a couch potato?

Has anyone been like me and managed to turn it around? I don't know where to start.

bloodyuselessme Sun 28-May-17 20:20:36

I have no advice but I'm following as I'm in the second situation. People recommended the couch to 5k but I was so self conscious that I gave up

Lapinlapin Sun 28-May-17 20:24:48

Of course it's not too late!

I think there's a few things you could do that might help.
Personally I love my fitbit for measuring steps. You can set your target to whatever you like and it's really satisfying meeting the daily step goal! It also makes me do a bit of extra walking to make sure I get enough steps. I probably look a bit mad, but I march around the house in an evening if I need to do more steps!

C25K is brilliant if you fancy running. You only need to spend 20 mins, 3x a week. I know it's hard with dc, but you could fit it in before you collapse in an evening.

Or try an exercise video like 30 day shred.

Iwannasnack Sun 28-May-17 20:25:34

I'm very similar to you apart from a bit older (35) and a bit bigger. BMI around 27-28 I think. After not managing to find any exercise that I could fit around 2 children and work I started running. I've always hated it whenever I tried in the past but did a couch to 5k programme in February and it's going well. I did 9.2k last night shock

It's not been easy and I do have to make an effort to get out early or after kids are in bed but I feel much better for it.

bunnylove99 Sun 28-May-17 20:26:32

OP. I'm sure folk who know about fitness more will be on soon to give good advice, but I just wanted to say - of course you can do it!! Most of the population have oodles more than a stone to lose and you are only 33. I'm working towards the same goal myself and it's finding time that's a bit tricky, but when you do the exercise gives you more energy, and its nice getting away from everyone for an hour to go for a swim/run/to the gym. Good luck!

Birdsgottaf1y Sun 28-May-17 20:26:41

I was five stone overweight, although i had been active in the past, i'd done nothing for two years. I joined a Women only gym and did High intensity training and then moved on to just free weights, this was at 47.

Some of the Women in the gym had started in their 50's/60's and 70's.

A relative of mine is featured in the NHS adverts about getting active at any age, he did the nation wide triathlon, at 66. That was after Cancer and a Stroke.

I'd recommend heavy weights, it uses calories and changes your body shape. They're quiet so can be done when the children are in bed, or engaged with something else.

Believeitornot Sun 28-May-17 20:26:45

Wake up early and do 20 mins exercise in the morning.

Aartappel Sun 28-May-17 20:31:06

This isn't necessarily for everyone, but how I started properly getting into exercise was to push myself to wake up 20 minutes earlier everyday - no exceptions. In this time, I'd slowly work my way up to doing maybe 100 pushups, 100 squats, and 2x 1 minute worth of proper planks.

There were some days where I was sorely tempted to press "snooze", and some days where I actually did! The key though, is to summon the willpower to do it day after day till it becomes somewhat a part of your routine. Once you've got that habit down, you can branch out into other "more involved and easier to chicken out" exercises like running outside, yoga etc.

PurpleMinionMummy Sun 28-May-17 20:33:52

I started by doing work out dvds once the kids were in bed. Once you get into the habit it's easier to motivate yourself and you will have more energy in the long run.

drivingmisspotty Sun 28-May-17 20:47:55

I did the getting up early thing like aartappel. Started on 30 day shred (takes only 20 mins and on YouTube) when I got bored started browsing around some body coach, yoga, other hiit. YouTube is great as it suggests things and there are quite a lot of trainers who will put in the title how long it takes and what it does. Plus you are in your own home so nobody to feel self conscious in front of!

Do it alongside a healthy diet, doesn't need to be extreme but be careful about too many sugary snacks and you will see a change.

bloodyuselessme Sun 28-May-17 20:49:41

Does anyone have any recommended dvds? I used to do thirty day shred years ago, but I just don't think I could do it again

MoonriseKingdom Sun 28-May-17 20:54:35

My mum took up jogging in her mid 30s having previously never done any regular exercise. She's now 67 and jogs a couple of times a week and goes to Zumba and a dance class weekly as well. She looks great and is v healthy. I think that seeing my parents exercising regularly as a child has helped me find a love of exercise despite being bloody awful at school team sports.

rachmack Sun 28-May-17 20:55:47

There is some really good research about the impact of HITT exercise (exercise that you do really hard so you are properly blowing). The research suggests 1 minutes has the same CV benefits and metabolic benefit as 60 mins steady state. A Tabatta (20 seconds really hard, 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes). Is a great way to squeeze in some exercise. Think burpees, fast squats, jumping onto a step etc etc.

MiniAlphaBravo Sun 28-May-17 20:58:33

Agree that you should try YouTube workouts and/or running. I'm the same age and also a stone overweight after my 2nd child. Just started doing both of the above and fitting I. Squats when I can, eg emptying the dishwasher or giving kids a bath! There's so much help on the internet. Or you could pay for a couple of personal trainer sessions to give you a head start, depending on your finances, then just do it yourself. It's not too late!

MoonriseKingdom Sun 28-May-17 21:01:42

bloodyuselessme - I recently started exercising again after not doing so for a couple of years. I have used Davina McCall 5 week fit which has lots of different sections and you build up how much you do. There is a plan but you can build up more slowly. I'd not done her DVDs before but I thought it was good.

BeTheHokeyMan Sun 28-May-17 21:04:23

Definitely not too late! I'm the exact same age as you ,very overweight and incredibly unfit. I joined a gym about a month ago and i feel like a new woman already.Don't get me wrong I'm breathless sweaty and out of breath ,as well having aching muscles ,but I feel 100 times better. I tried to do the DVDs at home as well as YouTube tutorials but I have zero will power so did them religiously for a few days and then gave up blush

KittyandTeal Sun 28-May-17 21:07:51

Nope not at all. I was 32 when I started the gym, 33 when I started running.

I am now a healthy weight, in recovery from various ed and running a few half marathons, just did London and have Brighton next year.

It's never too late

WorknameJimEllis Sun 28-May-17 21:10:04

33 is not too late.

63 wouldn't be too late.

The main thing is to find something you can enjoy.

BeTheHokeyMan Sun 28-May-17 21:13:36

Pressed post too soon ! I go to the gym 3 nights a week would love to go more often but I don't drive and depend on my husband to drive me ( we go to the gym together) .I would definitely stick with your cycling bit by bit you will feel your stamina building and ignore your dh leave him cycle on ahead do it at a pace you feel comfortable .Do you have a garden ? Before I joined the gym I would do rounds of the garden walk 3 times round then jog and repeat Also something as simple as weeding and mowing is great exercise and the kids can play away as you do it.Also what about buying a skipping rope and doing that as the kids play ? If you have steps or stairs they are great for a workout too!

Even just putting on a music channel or you tube and dancing around the sitting room will get your heart pumping and I'm sure the kids would enjoy it too grin

moutonfou Sun 28-May-17 21:13:54

Of course not! I'm in late twenties, hadn't really exercised properly since PE apart from brief attempts at running which were so awful I decided that some people could just run and some couldn't, and I couldn't.

But this year I started a local Couch 2 5k programme, and followed it to the letter, three times a week for 10 weeks. Nobody was more surprised than me when halfway through, I felt like I was ready for the whole 5k already and went to Parkrun doing a time of 33 mins. I've just finished the programme and can already do a sub30 min 5k.

As I say, I hadn't really done any sustained exercise before. I have asthma and really struggled at PE. But for whatever reason, something has just clicked. Quite often the fastest females at Parkrun are in their forties.

Go for it and remember that fitness is something you build - every time you put demands on your body, it literally builds new muscle, capillaries, red blood cells, your lung capacity grows, you become more efficient and better at using the oxygen around you. So if you do your first activity and feel tragically unfit, great, you're already getting fitter! Good luck smile

Paddingtonbearscoat Sun 28-May-17 21:19:08

Thanks everyone.

I wish I enjoyed exercise, I have done the Davina DVDs in the past and they are very good.

I'm just so stuck in a rut at the moment.

I probably make excuses like I could spare 20 minutes of an evening a few nights a week, but it's hard to get motivated.

I definitely think exercise is the way to go for me because in the past my body does seem to respond well to exercise. I then tend to want to eat a bit healthier naturally.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Sun 28-May-17 21:21:12


I am a leisure runner but had a diastrous 2015-16 healthwise.

I started in Feb 2017 to try and get fit again with 2 main goals: don't get injured, don't stop through boredom.

So for me the key was a regular, achievable weekly routine of different stuff. If you try to do the same DVD every day you will get bored.

I startes with pre-work swim and run once per week each. That was it! DH agreed to cover drop offs those days so I got up early and went.

Then I added a once per week lunchtime weights routine.

Then I added a longer weekend run.

So I now swim, run x 2, and do weights each week. I will leave it there for a bit then probably start to make my sessions more difficult.

Paddingtonbearscoat Sun 28-May-17 21:26:47

Lots of good motivating tips here.

We are going on holiday beginning of August, UK holiday kids will want to do outdoorsy stuff, it would be nice to think I could be feeling a bit fitter by then.

nannybeach Sun 28-May-17 21:30:59

You need to find something you like. cycling is great because its not hard on your knees. Last week in the papers, it said you cannot be fit and fat, excercise, wont counter balance being very overweight. Too. late hardly, there were studies done in the US you can look them up, people in their 90s, lifting weights. You start loosing muscle mass at 20, the sooner you start the better. Excercise alone wont make you loose a lot of weight, you might one up, and be fitter. you have to think about your diet as well. You might have park runs your way, or get a fit buddy, When I walk my dogs along the prom by the beach, I see a young woman running pushing a pram. I have been doing Harley Pasternak plan for about 15 years, the 5, 25 minutes workout,cardio,weights, 5 times a week, he is personal trainer to Wesley Snipes Halle Berry,JayLo.Then I did tracey Anderson dance aerobics she is trainer to Maddona. I have my own weight bench and dumbells in my conservatory,. A lot of experts say walking is the best excersise you can do, and its free.

SilkandSteel Sun 28-May-17 21:32:30

I highly recommend Fitness Blender workouts You can select the length of workout you want to do, difficulty level etc and they are doing the whole workout with you so it's like having a fitness class to yourself. They are on Youtube too. Power Yoga (aka Vinyasa or Flow) is also very good and I would recommend Yoga Upload with Maris Aylward as she is very easy to follow and has sessions for all levels - also on Youtube

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