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exercise: from 44, totally unfit, wobbly physique, to reasonably toned and fit- how realistic and how long?

(47 Posts)
Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 08:48:43

So, ignoring fitness, websites, gym brochures and articles about running marathons in women's magazines

how realistic is the above proposition and how long will it take me?

I'm 44 and almost seemingly overnight (although I know in reality many nights on the sofa/at the computer or TV screen/cake and bars of chocolate have contributed to this state of affairs) I have turned in to a flaccid, wobbling, unfit jelly with low energy levels and I DON'T LIKE IT and want to do something about it!!

Even my face looks unfit!!

(1): how realistic is it, at 44 yrs, if you've never exercised regularly before (apart from walking alot) to go from flaccid jelly to reasonably toned with reasonable energy levels? Is it possible?

(2): how many hours do I need to put in per week? I'm walking briskly 5 days out of 7 for 40 mins already and I'm intending to start yoga once a week, plus badminton/and or tennnis once a week. Will this be enough to tone me up?

(3): if any of you have ever done this ie started exercising at my sort of age - any tips and experiences - not to mention positive stories - would be gratefully received.

Anna8888 Mon 22-Sep-08 08:52:42

Don't overdo it smile. 40 minutes walking a day is good, but you could do more than that (I'm 42 and I walk a lot more than this). Pilates would be great - my sister was pretty out of shape and six months of weekly pilates has done wonders for her. You'll tone up with pilates which you won't with badminton or tennis (do these if you enjoy them).

zippitippitoes Mon 22-Sep-08 08:57:37

yesit is possible tho my stomach has refused to look toned

but i havent actually done any tummy toning things

but i decided to reverse things at 49 and over twelve months lost weight and did a lot of exercise i havent been so good on exercise the last couple of months tho

i did gym, walking adn swimming

my walk was 6 miles which i ended up doing daily with a mile swim about three times a week and gym for an hour 3 or 4 times

i have taken up indoor climbing but im lacking a partner most of the time or id go more often

zippitippitoes Mon 22-Sep-08 08:58:01

and anna id dint realise you were that old

fishie Mon 22-Sep-08 08:59:34

i am 39 and have always done some form of exercise once or twice a week and walk everwhere too. in the last few years i have increased this to 4x a week swim or run and am now pretty fit although sadly still a bit wobbly.

you need zippi, she has transformed herself.

fishie Mon 22-Sep-08 08:59:53

as if by magic....

Anna8888 Mon 22-Sep-08 09:02:14

zippi grin what on earth made you think I was some young fly-by-night??? wink

suey2 Mon 22-Sep-08 09:04:27

i think the important thing is to set realistic goals. You are committing enough time- but the pilates is a great addition for the wobbly tum and general posture. Posture can take years off or put years on you IMO. Between 40 and 60 without exercise the thoracic spine and ribs with gradually slump and fix in that position.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 09:13:18

Thanks for all your replies

Crikey Zippi - that's really impressive - and gives me a more realistic idea of what I have to do ...

daily walk
3 x yoga or Pilates (thanks Anna, Pilates is a very good idea)

I was trying to avoid the gym!!

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 09:17:21

sorry, meant to say Fishie that it's just dawning on me that one of the sad facts of life is that I am going to have to put more work in as I age in order to look the same/worse than I did when I was younger!!

Agree Suey2 about posture - it can make all the difference - mine's always been v. poor

Zippi - please may I ask you about motivation? What kept you going?

fishie Mon 22-Sep-08 09:35:19

yes me too counting, hence frenzied attempt at fitness before it is too late.

i use 'mapmyrun' site and put in my swims too. gives a sense of acheivement. also i have set times for exercise and always go or replace that session with another. it is easier if it isn't optional.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 09:36:07

those are v. good tips - thanks again Fishie

Notyummy Mon 22-Sep-08 09:54:16

Another vote for Pilates. Matt Roberts 'Fit for your Shape' is also excellent and will really help with the toning of legs and arms (which cardio exercise and pilates alone will not do). He has exercise routines for the gym or at home. My word of warning would be start these at the bottom level he suggests; if you are not currently fit you are likely to find them 'challenging'grin and you may have sore thighs/tummy/arms afterwards...but at least you know they are working.

Lastly, if you want to actually get toned, then you need to be prepared to do a certain amount of exercise that feels uncomfortable and bloody hard work. Very few people (IMHO) look toned without pushing themselves exercise wise.

Good luck!

fourlittlefeet Mon 22-Sep-08 10:26:55

I would do something like BMF. They make you do it and you feel fab afterwards. First session is free so you don't have to commit if you don't like it. Its outside, sociable, and very varied.

I was always pretty unfit, tried gym, always gave up after three months and didn't really get that fit anyway. Started BMF and it was really hard but very rewarding. Kept it up until I felt fit enough to do my own stuff... ended up joining a running club and doing the london marathon (my friends could not believe it as I regarded a night out clubbing, boozing and fagging as my primary form of exercise). Obviously this was pre babies!

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 10:41:48

I'll have a look at that Matt Roberts bk - thanks YummyM and for the word of warning about putting in the work - yes, it HAS to be done!!

What's BMF pls FourLittleFeet (sorry - I live in mainland Europe - haven't heard of it here)?

Notyummy Mon 22-Sep-08 10:57:14

BMF= British Military Fitness. They run circuits training sessions in various parks/open spaces. Confined to major UK cities I believe.

Having served in the military for 7 years I got the treatment for free!! I still attend circuit training v occasionally as my husband still serves and I can go along as a family member. Very 'motivational' (polite term for being shouted at...)

My other thought: Billy Blanks Bootcamp Workout. The nearest DVD I have found to push you like a proper cicuits session does. It comes with 2 health warnings:
1. Like Matt Roberts, it takes no prisoners, so probably not one to do if you just starting an exercise programme.
2. He is American, cheesy, and given to shouting dodgy motivational phrases.

Tis good though!

BlaDeBla Mon 22-Sep-08 11:00:21

I expect you could get pretty fit within a couple of months. I have had several years of doing very little exercise due to babies and diseases, and have only recently had the energy to start again!

I'm sure you're already eating quite well and at least reasonably healthily. It's a good way to get some reasonable amount of energy! I'm a bit silly and have gone from 0 to 20 miles on my bike after a decade of my bike rusting in the shed.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 11:09:06

Gosh - that sounds scary but good YummyM - thanks for info - that's one to work towards I think

Good to know it CAN be done BladeBla - yes I've been tackling the diet for a while although there's always room for improvement. 20 miles - crikey - well done you!

abouteve Mon 22-Sep-08 11:14:46

I'm 47 and have just started exercising at the gym. Do a circuit workout twice a week for about an hour each time. Bike, cross trainer, treadmill, weight resistance and sit ups. TBH I only joined because I have to accompany DD but it must be doing me some good. Got undressed last night and was amazed that my boobs which have been flopping a bit in the last year didn't. Also don't feel as spongy.

This is a real incentive to keep going. I only joined 5 weeks ago.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 12:16:38

about eve - again, thanks for more inspiration! Just knowing it CAN be done really helps ...

BlaDeBla Mon 22-Sep-08 18:41:04

I think it helps if you incorporate exercise into your life, perhaps more than tagging it on - this is if you don't like going to the gym! I've found it's a bit of a shift in lifestyle and not something you can do all at once!

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 20:07:21

Yes, I think that's good advice BladeBla. At my age it's got to be a change of lifestyle more than a fitness regime ifyswim and it's got to be realistic and fit in with my other responsibilities AND be enjoyable. Otherwise it's just not going to happen.

themoon66 Mon 22-Sep-08 20:15:04

I did bugger all exercise until I hit 42. Then I decided to run a 10k. Got the running bug and joined a local running club. Four years later I am a dress size smaller, nothing wobbles and my resting pulse is 48.

I aim to run at least 18 miles a week. This is only 3 sessions a week, ie: 3 hours a week. I don't do gym, but swim occasionally.

I fit it in by running for the hour before I have my shower. That way it doesnt feel like a big chuck of time out of my day.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 22-Sep-08 20:24:02

that's interesting the moon66. Do you mind me asking how fit you were (ie how long had you been running) before you joined the club?

I don't appear to be able to run, but I can walk relatively fast for fairly long distances..

..and I take it by doing it before your shower, you are running very early in the morning?? Now that's discipline I admire!! Do you mind me asking what time you get up in the morning?

I think I would have to do it late at night as, despite getting up early, I'm definitely an owl not a lark. (Also I'd be less embarrassed hobbling around in the dark with fewer spectators around!!)

Elf Mon 22-Sep-08 21:34:55

Countingthegreyhairs - PMSL at "I don't appear to be able to run". I'm still laughing now. I know exactly what you mean. Good luck with your plan, I'm gleaning ideas too.

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