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Fitness for complete beginners


DTMark
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I work from home and sit in front of a computer all day.

My partner bought me one of those Fitbit things which, after a few days, announced that it had identified my fitness programme.

I'd gone downstairs to make coffee.

On an average day I probably don't move any more than about 30 metres.

I'm getting on in years now. I've put on a little bit of weight, but that would fall away if I stopped drinking beer, which is the primary culprit, the secondary one being the complete lack of exercise.

We live in a city now. There is a decent size park about 500m from here, so I could walk there and round the park every day.

I haven't run anywhere in a very long time.

My objective is not to build muscle or to imagine I can have the body of an 18 year old again. Just to be a bit fitter than I am so that my digestive system works a bit better and my energy levels are more consistent.

Does anyone have any links to some kind of complete beginner starter plan?

 

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JoeDavola

First thing is to walk. Important thing is to walk every day even if it's only for 15 minutes.

Don't bother with jogging and all that shite right now it's not worth it you'll injure yourself.

You should aim to walk 45 mins a day at a relatively brisk pace, even if it takes a while to work your way up to that, as that's the sweet spot where the most health benefits are seen. As you get fitter you will be able to walk faster and cover more ground in that 45 minutes - some sort of tracking app like Strava on your phone might be of help to help 'gameify' it as such; to let you see that your distance is changing over time.

For example at the start of the pandemic I was taking 'a walk' without measuring it. I meausred my route and it was 3.5K. I then thought 'what if I pushed that up to 5K; found a route I liked that was 5K, and eventually another route that was 6K and 6K became my daily walking target.

Bear in mind also that 45 minutes might be split over 3 15 minute walks spread throughout the day - whatever works best for you.

You lose weight by being in a calorie deficit. You probably eat similar amounts every day, so you can probably remove one or two of those things that don't provide much useful nutrition which will push you into a slight deficit. You don't have to turn into a monk; especially once you've lost the weight it'll be much easier just to maintain.

Edited by JoeDavola
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Frank Hovis

For starters aim for 10k steps per day.

It's easy to build these up through the day by making yourself incidentally active - if something crosses your mind to check in the flat them just get up and check it.

Then there is the NHS couch to ?5k programme which also comes as an App and builds up over ten weeks.

Though it's the steady incidental exercise, ten k steps per day that builds that decent core strength.

Especially if you're doing a decent amount of those around the flat because that means regularly getting up out of your chair so lifting your body weight.

 

Edit: by incidental exercise I mean make minor changes.

When I make a cup of tea it's three visits to the kitchen (put on kettle, put boiling water on teabag, remove teabag and add milk) rather than making one visit and standing there whilst this happens.

You receive a weekly update email from Fitbit and last week I made 10k six days out if the seven; five or six are typical for me these days but before wearing one then it might well just be the one or two days that I went for a decent walk.

Trying to hit the 10k each day ups your baseline of exercise.

Edited by Frank Hovis
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Loads of options. Walking is decent but the one downside is it's one of the few exercises that actually makes you hungry straight away. In my experience and everyone I know anyway. 

It also takes a LONG time to get similar physical benefits to say a 20 minute intense bit of exercise. 

Depends what you prefer. 

No sports you are interested in doing ? That would be my recommendation. Find something you actually enjoy and also keeps you fit. Sorted. 

That could of course be some type of hill walking club or whatever. 

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Napoleon Dynamite
1 hour ago, DTMark said:

I work from home and sit in front of a computer all day.

My partner bought me one of those Fitbit things which, after a few days, announced that it had identified my fitness programme.

I'd gone downstairs to make coffee.

On an average day I probably don't move any more than about 30 metres.

I'm getting on in years now. I've put on a little bit of weight, but that would fall away if I stopped drinking beer, which is the primary culprit, the secondary one being the complete lack of exercise.

We live in a city now. There is a decent size park about 500m from here, so I could walk there and round the park every day.

I haven't run anywhere in a very long time.

My objective is not to build muscle or to imagine I can have the body of an 18 year old again. Just to be a bit fitter than I am so that my digestive system works a bit better and my energy levels are more consistent.

Does anyone have any links to some kind of complete beginner starter plan?

 

Couch to 5K may be a good starting point:

https://www.coachmag.co.uk/couch-to-5k

3 times a week.  Gradually building up.

There's and app and podcast if that's your thing too.

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SpectrumFX

The good news is that from your starting position you're going to see significant benefits from pretty much any regular exercise.

As a starter I'd go with the 10k steps suggestion. Your fitbit will have a step counter and a regular nice walk won't seem like effort once you get into the swing of it.

You also might like something like tai chi if you can find a class local to you.

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First part is to decide if you prefer to do exercise inside or outside your home. If it's outside, then a bike would be ideal. If it's inside I'd opt for a treadmill or rowing machine. Naturally, you'll pay through the nose if buying now.

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One of the main advantages of a dog (especially an active breed) is you have to take them out regardless of the weather.I find pretty much any sort of exercise for exercise sake boring as hell. Sport was good until body obviously suffering and competitive tendency meant that just easing back completely not a realistic option. Cycling for me OK long as decent tracks to go on, cycling along roads I'll give a complete pass.

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swiss_democracy_for_all
2 hours ago, DTMark said:

I work from home and sit in front of a computer all day.

My partner bought me one of those Fitbit things which, after a few days, announced that it had identified my fitness programme.

I'd gone downstairs to make coffee.

On an average day I probably don't move any more than about 30 metres.

I'm getting on in years now. I've put on a little bit of weight, but that would fall away if I stopped drinking beer, which is the primary culprit, the secondary one being the complete lack of exercise.

We live in a city now. There is a decent size park about 500m from here, so I could walk there and round the park every day.

I haven't run anywhere in a very long time.

My objective is not to build muscle or to imagine I can have the body of an 18 year old again. Just to be a bit fitter than I am so that my digestive system works a bit better and my energy levels are more consistent.

Does anyone have any links to some kind of complete beginner starter plan?

 

:)

Surely there must be a circuit or two in that beautiful Italian city where you live that you could walk briskly every day, keeping a count of all the pretty young men you see from behind your sunglasses?

Or, say, you could make a Google map of all the best coffee shops that are about 1-2km away, and walk briskly to a different one every day to get an espresso? The caffeine boost will make the walk back easier too. You'd get to know the city even better, would doubtless chat with different baristos, you'd notice restaurants you might want to try, etc etc etc.....

Edit :- You'll note I used the word "briskly" twice - people who drag themselves around at a slug's walking pace and get in the way are a bit of a bugbear of mine.

 

Edited by swiss_democracy_for_all
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JoeDavola
4 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

:)

Surely there must be a circuit or two in that beautiful Italian city where you live that you could walk briskly every day, keeping a count of all the pretty young men you see from behind your sunglasses?

Or, say, you could make a Google map of all the best coffee shops that are about 1-2km away, and walk briskly to a different one every day to get an espresso? The caffeine boost will make the walk back easier too. You'd get to know the city even better, would doubtless chat with different baristos, you'd notice restaurants you might want to try, etc etc etc.....

Edit :- You'll note I used the word "briskly" twice - people who drag themselves around at a slug's walking pace and get in the way are a bit of a bugbear of mine.

 

Yep if I can find an enjoyable walking route around dark wet Belfast to look at the fat girls, I'm sure Mark can find one around sunny Italy to observe the dapper young men!

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42 minutes ago, spunko said:

First part is to decide if you prefer to do exercise inside or outside your home. If it's outside, then a bike would be ideal. If it's inside I'd opt for a treadmill or rowing machine. Naturally, you'll pay through the nose if buying now.

Treadmill. Italy.

Be gone with you !!:Old:

I get the cycling machine to a point. Roads and weather can make an actual bike ride annoying sometimes. 

Rowing clearly not easy to do for real. 

But walking or running ? Even in the UK in the winter with a poor day there's no excuse imo. 

Get out in the fresh air :D

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Don Coglione
18 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

You'll note I used the word "briskly" twice - people who drag themselves around at a slug's walking pace and get in the way are a bit of a bugbear of mine.

Mine too, especially Latins - Italians are bad but the Spanish are even worse!

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sukuinage
2 hours ago, ccc said:

No sports you are interested in doing ? That would be my recommendation. Find something you actually enjoy and also keeps you fit. Sorted. 

This and the other suggestions on brisk walking.

If you find a sport like football, martial arts or an active pursuit like cycling, walking in the hills which you enjoy, it's much easier to motivate yourself to do it. Improves the social life as well if you join a club although the couple of beers I drink after judo probably undo some of the good effects of the sport :D

Edited by sukuinage
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3 hours ago, DTMark said:

Just to be a bit fitter than I am so that my digestive system works a bit better and my energy levels are more consistent.

I like this guy on YouTube.  He's a keto & fasting advocate but it's not all about that if you don't fancy restricting carbs or starving yourself. 

That said, if it's digestion improvements you're after I'd definitely consider giving keto a try.

 

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Andersen

Diet is important and for me it's a balancing act of food intake vs energy used (so if I'm doing lots of physiclal work I eat more than when I'm doing office work). 

Outdoors in Italy? Walking / cycling / swimming ?

Indoors with mimimal equipment, convict conditioning is good https://www.dosbods.co.uk/topic/16462-after-20-years-ive-sacked-off-my-gym-membershiprant/?do=findComment&comment=1150510 

 

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Thanks for all the replies. Rather than try to quote-tweet so many good points I'll try to round them up..

I need to get out of the flat for reasons other than going to bars. The flat isn't small but feels claustrophobic when you're stuck in it all day. Hence we do go out quite a few evenings a week. There's a great late-night bar which we frequent but that's only about 300m away. There's no way that walks off the beers consumed. I need to move to spirits.

The city is not huge (pop 120,000 I think) but living in the very centre of it does mean I haven't explored it that much. When we visit friends who like about 1km away it feels like the arse-end of nowhere outside the city when in fact it's still quite central. I've seen all the major areas but not much on the outskirts.

Planning some routes that take me out further to explore more will be beneficial. There is a large nature reserve not that far from here but it does require taking the tram. But that will be good to explore. My favourite walks used to be through woodland. When we lived in Harlow. Ironically, when you live in the countryside, you can't walk in most of the woods, as they're private land. Woodland seems like such an escape, so ancient, it brings back some sense of childhood magic.

The only sport I was ever into was snooker so that won't be much use. I suspect the interest will be sparked more by exploration. It's a good point, though - not just "round the block", but with a purpose. Whenever I see someone running in the street I tend to assume they've stolen something, which would make me feel very self-conscious, so when I get to that point I'll hopefully have explored all the parks - there are quite a few, and found somewhere to jog.

I really do want a Pomeranian and that would probably be the best idea to force me to walk in the evenings - and the evenings are best, at the moment we're hitting over 32 degrees every day and the air quality in this city is known to be poor - it takes a storm to clean it. In Italy it stays hotter until later than it does in the UK. Mind you I don't suppose a Pomeranian can walk for 5km. I'd probably end up carrying it.

In the summer, as now, there is Ferragosto which is when the Bergamasci escape the city for a holiday in the adjacent mountains to get away from the sun. We won't make it this year, but next year, there's plenty to explore there.

I shall plan some routes and make some plans. Thanks all!

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wherebee

@DTMark there are plenty of charity virtual walks you can sign up to now.  pay 50 bucks, or whatever, and you have a set time to complete the walk.  At the end you get a medal and feel boss.

Examples are the Hadrians Wall walk, the lands end to john o groats walk, etc.

 

https://www.theconqueror.events/hadrians/

 

It's a really good motivator to get you moving and gives you a real goal

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13 hours ago, ccc said:

You look to have landed in Vietnam :Old:

It's a lovely little park. It has a small lake in the middle. Or a big pond. Anyway, it had to be shut all of last summer because of a mosquito infestation. This country has so many of those. Now, the pond is dry.

However although I wasn't bitten, partner's legs are absolutely covered in bites which have all come up in massive red blotches - it looks horrendous and itches to buggery - which has led him to go out in search of camomile lotion :D

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sarahbell
On 23/08/2021 at 17:39, ElKapitan84 said:

Moving your sleeping routine back helps a lot.  Asleep by 10pm = massive body changes.

Really?

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