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Don't know where to start.. overweight and unfit.. please help!

(26 Posts)
ComftyCushion Mon 02-Sep-19 13:05:49

I'm 41, 17st 4lb and 5ft 6in tall. I'm unfit and unhealthy . The weight has crept on over the years... which I know sounds ridiculous.. how on earth can 6 stone creep on? I look at myself in disgust.

I've started a weekly Zumba class which I'm enjoying but due to my weight I find the jumping steps difficult on my knees.. so I kind in bounce instead! I figure as long as I'm moving it's better than nothing.

What can I do to help me improve my fitness gradually? I'm thinking swimming, I know that won't do anything really for the weight loss but is it a good exercise for improving fitness? I've tried starting couch to 5k and walking but because I'm so out of shape my muscles hurt in my legs before I even feel out of breath.

I'm hoping some of you lovely mumsnetters can help direct me as to what I should be doing as I have the intentions but don't know the best thing to do to get started. Thank you

Gingerkittykat Mon 02-Sep-19 13:14:54

Yes, swimming makes a difference. I started when very overweight and it worked well because walking for any distance hurt my back.

It does improve your fitness, I noticed it improved my stamina, I quickly built up the number of lengths I did and was breathing much deeper instead of getting out of puff.

It will help with weight loss too since it is burning calories, I didn't notice much of a difference in body composition though.

StealthPussy Mon 02-Sep-19 13:16:32

I’m similar to you comfty. I want to exercise but I know my knees will not stand up to running or jumping. Tried before and couldn’t walk or sleep as joints hurt too much. I think at this weight low impact is better until we are lighter. I’m thinking of swimming, walking, mini trampoline, cycling, yoga, low impact exercise classes.
I lost a lot of weight low carbing a few years ago. Put it all back on when I stopped. I’m starting that again. Once you’re into it you lose hunger which is the only time in my life when I haven’t wanted to eat all the time.

TinaG90 Mon 02-Sep-19 13:28:29

Heya, I think its really good that you want to start getting healthier as I think that's the biggest step is realising sometimes! I put on 2 stone after having my LO and I joined slimming world, they say that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I've been a yoyo dieter and find it hard to stick to things however this has really worked for me. I lost over a stone in 6 weeks and I honestly haven't eaten more my whole life! It's just finding the right foods and also having the incentive of going to group every week. I struggle to find time to exercise due to looking after my little boy, running a house whilst my partner works and then working myself in the evenings. This is something I found I can do regardless of what I'm doing. I cant recommend it enough (anyone would think I work for them lol!) I don't! Good luck! Xxx

ChocOrCheese Mon 02-Sep-19 17:37:44

Swimming is good exercise but you have to work hard even so and it is very easy to slack off when swimming. Make sure you get out of breath. There's loads of good exercises you can also do in the water which should help your joints. Such as striding up and down the pool as fast as you can, or doing boxing punches under water. If you can do an aqua aerobics class I recommend you try it. Even if you only go once you will get some ideas for movements you can do on your own.

amyrichard Fri 13-Sep-19 17:30:44

Swimming is probably the best at present,especially as it works the whole body- and it will be toning aswell as burning calories...then you can slowly build up to walking...walking on a bit of an incline etc..

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Fri 13-Sep-19 17:37:44

Do you have a parkrun near you? They are very keen to get people involved who can't run, but can walk. You won't finish last because every parkrun has a volunteer tailwalker whose job is to come last.

I started walking parkrun and have progressed to part-jogging it now. I'm not fast, I've not lost much weight, but my cardiovascular fitness has improved a lot and so has my shape.

procrastinatingtoday Fri 13-Sep-19 17:52:50

Swimming or anything else that is kinder to knees, until you've lost some weight - then jogging/ running. Also, weights training at the gym, ideally with help of PT, would be beneficial.

Chupchup Fri 13-Sep-19 17:55:24

Keep going, you're doing great. Try my fitness pal for logging what you eat. If you stick to it it really works and it's free.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 13-Sep-19 17:55:41

Keep moving as much as possible, but keep in mind any exercise you do will be in vain unless you get your diet and portion sizes under control. I recommend seeing a nutritionist if you can.

Hopesorfears Sat 14-Sep-19 00:05:16

I think a gym would be good, make sure you get an induction and probably do a mixture of cardio and weight stuff.
I disagree with pp re exercise being in vain - she's right that if your food habits don't improve you won't lose much weight even when exercising, but exercising itself brings benefits for your overall health even if you stayed the same weight.

Knitclubchatter Sat 14-Sep-19 00:53:23

portion control and exercise (any type of movement) will help.
don't be disheartened if the weight loss is equally as slowly as the gain was.

squiggletea Sat 14-Sep-19 07:37:43

Hi
Lots of people will post that diet matters more than exercise. However, once I felt fitter from exercise, I started to care more about the fuel I give to my body. So, no diets here but I’ve been taking salad (!!) for packed lunches shock And definitely no ‘post run treats’!!
Good luck - you’re amazing for taking the first steps/strokes! smile

ComftyCushion Sat 14-Sep-19 12:06:26

Thanks people! I'm reading and taking the advice on board x

0lga Sat 14-Sep-19 12:12:14

Exercise is great for your health, physical and mental.

But you can’t outrun a poor diet. Especially with your health issues.

So go on exercising but address your diet in a serious way. Cutting out biscuits and take aways ( the usual advice ) isn’t going to lose you 7 stone.

You need to find a whole new way of eating that you can keep up for the rest of your life. Otherwise you might lose it then put it all back on.

FlyingBanana Sat 14-Sep-19 12:16:48

Following as similar size and wondering what to do. Used to love fitness classes but I couldnt physically do them now. Running is out and walking long distances hurt...

Im so scared Ive broken myself confused

rookiemere Sat 14-Sep-19 12:16:56

It is a boring one, but walking is such an excellent way to get a bit fitter without taking too much time as can be incorporated into your daily routine. If you're finding it hurts at the minute, it's worth starting with very small goals and also investing in a decent pair of walking shoes.

0lga Sat 14-Sep-19 14:21:54

@FlyingBanana please be reassured that you haven’t broken anything ! Humans are remarkably resilient and you have the opportunity to turn things around for yourself.

Even things like high blood pressure and diabetes can be controlled or put into remission by becoming a healthy weight and exercising.

Check out some of the weight loss threads on MN and see which method of weight loss applies to you. They are all a very friendly bunch but lots of people just lurk.

You don’t need to do fitness classes now. Choose a more gentle exercise right now and once you have lost weight you can build up to the level of fitness you had before and do classes if you want.

Remember there are people who couldn’t run to their front gate who now do marathons! So being able to do a class at your local gym is a very realistic goal, as long as you allow yourself time to achieve it.

Why don’t you start today?

StateOfMind Sat 14-Sep-19 14:38:54

Over the last 2ish years, I’ve lost over 4 stone, going from 14 stone to 9.5. I exercise a lot now (to a high intensity) but when I was bigger, I simply concentrated on losing weight and walked as much as I could. I used a fitness tracker and tried to do at least 12,000 steps every day and more on weekends. I’m not sure how much this helped my weight loss (not much I suspect) but it made me feel better about myself and I liked setting myself goals to do x amount of steps each day. I have found that exercise is much easier and more enjoyable when you’re not carrying as much weight. Once i’d lost a couple of stone, I started running , which I found that I loved. I did a 10k run this morning and felt amazing afterward. Total endorphin high. I never would have imagined I could do that 3 years ago.

0lga Sat 14-Sep-19 20:58:38

Congratulations @StateOfMind, that’s a great achievement.

Pancakeflipper Sat 14-Sep-19 21:14:22

You can do this OP. You really can make changes to lose weight and gain confidence exercising.

Some gyms have sessions of those who haven't exercised for a while. Might be worth having a Google at your local gym.

I think one of the things to remember with weight loss and improving fitness is if you have a crap day - you don't give up. You start again the next day.

MsMartini Sun 15-Sep-19 09:32:37

OP, I have done similar to StateofMind. Started with walking and a fitbit and being careful what I ate in the week especially (sort of NoS - have a google - there used to be a thread on here - sensible and sustainable). Walked masses, with friends and on my own. Gradually upped my gym habit and I now run, lift weights and do high-intensity classes. And love it. Again, I would never have imagined I could do any of that. I could probably do with losing a bit more BMI-wise, but am a size 10-12 now and fitter than I have ever been, so am focussing on maintaining and enjoying my exercise for now.

I would walk - use something like Strava and build up slowly - enioy getting to know your local parks or area, walk whenever you can. I agree about getting good shoes. Your legs will get stronger. And do anything else you enjoy that feels good - Pilates, weights, swimming. I would avoid high impact like jumping and running for now.

Hitmonlee Tue 24-Sep-19 12:26:12

Swimming will make a difference to weight loss. As long as you do it regularly and don’t use it as an excuse to eat more. I’m coming up to 10 stone lost in 16 months mostly by watching what I eat and swimming 1.5km a day 6x per week.

Mostly just find something you love to do I’ve just discovered Zumba and I love it I’m really rubbish so uncoordinated but it’s so much fun. I couldn’t have imagined doing it a year ago. You can get fitter but it has to be something you enjoy which makes it easier to keep up. I hate running and know i’d find excuses not to do it.

alittleprivacy Sat 05-Oct-19 18:06:49

Can you skate? Skating is very easy on the joints while being a fantastic aerobic and all over anaerobic exercise. You burn a huge amount of calories while toning up most of your body. It's especially good for the core. And it doesn't feel like exercise.

Shhhhh223 Mon 14-Oct-19 12:15:22

I’ve on week 3 of couch to 5k NHS running podcast and I really recommend it. I’ve done no fitness for years and I thought there was no way I would be able to run but this is brilliant and talks you through it and breaks it down into walk/run segments building up each week. The best part is how you feel after

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