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Old 04-13-05, 10:06 AM   #1
Sojourner43
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No endurance....

Hi,

My history: I sit at a desk for almost 8 hours a day. Then at home I watch too many movies. I live a very sedentary life style, but I'm trying to change that. I'll be 48 in June, and I need to loose between 20 to 30 lbs. I weigh around 190 lbs and I'm 5'10".

I've tried running, and I can go for about 1 minute, and my heart rate is about maxed out and I'm so out of breath, I can't go any further. I've tried jumping rope, and again, I'm good for 1 minute and I'm out of breath and have a fast HR. So I've tried riding my mountain bike. No problems going down hill (GRIN), but I have a lot of hills and they are pretty steep. By the time I get to the top I'm out of breath and my legs are burning. I take TaeKwonDo two times a week, and the warm ups kill me. They usually last for 15 to 30 minutes, and if we do a lot of jumping rope, or squat jumps, again, I get out of breath real fast, and it takes me another 15 minutes (of course we're still exercizing) to even begin to get a normal breath rate.

I've searched the web and I've not found any recommendations for people who are just getting back into working out.

Have any of you been or know anyone that's been in a similar very poor physical condition, and know a good way to slowly increase my endurance and stamina?

I've got access to a set of free weights and dumb bells, plus my mountain bike, and a kayak and 5 gate slalom course, there is also walking, maybe a little running, and of course I'll continue with TKD.

I hope I've given you enough info and expressed what I'm looking for. If you need more info, please ask.

Thanks,
Don
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Old 04-13-05, 10:20 AM   #2
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You need to see your doctor, and possibly a cardiac treadmill stress test before increasing your activity level.

Can you ride your bike to work? A good way to get miles in.
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Old 04-13-05, 10:38 AM   #3
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My suggestion is that you can do any of those things that you talk about (running, jumping rope, riding, etc.), but the key is do it every day, and to do it at an exertion level so that you won't be be too tired to do it the next day. If you keep it up, you will see marked improvements.
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Old 04-13-05, 10:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sojourner43
Hi,

My history: I sit at a desk for almost 8 hours a day. Then at home I watch too many movies. I live a very sedentary life style, but I'm trying to change that. I'll be 48 in June, and I need to loose between 20 to 30 lbs. I weigh around 190 lbs and I'm 5'10".

I've tried running, and I can go for about 1 minute, and my heart rate is about maxed out and I'm so out of breath, I can't go any further. I've tried jumping rope, and again, I'm good for 1 minute and I'm out of breath and have a fast HR. So I've tried riding my mountain bike. No problems going down hill (GRIN), but I have a lot of hills and they are pretty steep. By the time I get to the top I'm out of breath and my legs are burning. I take TaeKwonDo two times a week, and the warm ups kill me. They usually last for 15 to 30 minutes, and if we do a lot of jumping rope, or squat jumps, again, I get out of breath real fast, and it takes me another 15 minutes (of course we're still exercizing) to even begin to get a normal breath rate.

I've searched the web and I've not found any recommendations for people who are just getting back into working out.

Have any of you been or know anyone that's been in a similar very poor physical condition, and know a good way to slowly increase my endurance and stamina?

I've got access to a set of free weights and dumb bells, plus my mountain bike, and a kayak and 5 gate slalom course, there is also walking, maybe a little running, and of course I'll continue with TKD.

I hope I've given you enough info and expressed what I'm looking for. If you need more info, please ask.

Thanks,
Don

Hi Don, and welcome to the forums.

I rarely point out my signature, but there's a link in there for a blogger I started (I am not very consistent with keeping it up, sorry, but I'll be getting back into ot!). I go through what activities you can do and intensity... stuff like that. There is a special section dedicated to beginners. Take a read, and if you have other questions, ask them there.

First of all, you do want to see a doctor. Find out how healthy you are. It's recommended that everyone see a doctor before they begin an exercise program. A physical and stress test would do you some real good.

By "set of free weights", do you mean you have a range of free weights or what? Can you join a gym or do you have access to weight training? A gym may be a great motivator. If you're trying to do it at home, you won't have your peers around you keeping you motivated and regardless of what people may claim, there is a competitive level at the gym that keeps you stimulated and makes you want to continue to increase intensity. Everyone wants to show everyone up. It really will help to keep you going.

Take a look at your eating habits. I highly recommend a session with a nutritionist or dietitian. They can evaluate what you're eating and what your exercise levels are and make recommendations to you about how you can eat better and what you can do to ensure that you are eating for the amount of physical activity you are doing. It is really important that you find this out when you begin your training program.

Finally, whatever you do, remember, it's small steps. If you're trying to take on too much too soon, you will not make it. I would highly suggest a heart rate monitor so you can regulate your intensity and ensure that you are not absolutely killing yourself. Find out what your training zones are and see if you can put together a sound cardiovascular and strength training program.

Good luck.

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Old 04-13-05, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner43
Hi,

My history: I sit at a desk for almost 8 hours a day. Then at home I watch too many movies. I live a very sedentary life style, but I'm trying to change that. I'll be 48 in June, and I need to loose between 20 to 30 lbs. I weigh around 190 lbs and I'm 5'10".

I've tried running, and I can go for about 1 minute, and my heart rate is about maxed out and I'm so out of breath, I can't go any further. I've tried jumping rope, and again, I'm good for 1 minute and I'm out of breath and have a fast HR. So I've tried riding my mountain bike. No problems going down hill (GRIN), but I have a lot of hills and they are pretty steep. By the time I get to the top I'm out of breath and my legs are burning. I take TaeKwonDo two times a week, and the warm ups kill me. They usually last for 15 to 30 minutes, and if we do a lot of jumping rope, or squat jumps, again, I get out of breath real fast, and it takes me another 15 minutes (of course we're still exercizing) to even begin to get a normal breath rate.

I've searched the web and I've not found any recommendations for people who are just getting back into working out.

Have any of you been or know anyone that's been in a similar very poor physical condition, and know a good way to slowly increase my endurance and stamina?

I've got access to a set of free weights and dumb bells, plus my mountain bike, and a kayak and 5 gate slalom course, there is also walking, maybe a little running, and of course I'll continue with TKD.

I hope I've given you enough info and expressed what I'm looking for. If you need more info, please ask.

Thanks,
Don

Don,

Start by seeing your doctor & also getting a stress test, at your age it's important. FYI, getting out of breath quickly while heart rate gets maxed out is also indicative of heart disease (clogged arteries, etc...). I know this from personal experience. Don't let the fact that you're still active in TKD fool you. I'm in my forties & played full court basketball and just thought it was my age catching up to me when I started experiencing getting out of "breath & heart rate maxing out" only to find out it was more serious.

So, regardless of whether you are going to commit to an excercise routing or not, start by getting a physical.


GC
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Old 04-13-05, 01:11 PM   #6
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I saw a doctor last fall before I took up TaeKwonDo again. I didn't do the tread mill test. I wouldn't mind working up to riding my bike to work, but my job is 24 miles away. I think it would take me about 2 hours or more to get to work. Maybe some day I'll be able to do that, but I don't have the stamina at this point.

I've been thinking about getting a good stationary bike to ride while I watch TV.

I did run across something on a running web site that looks like I could adapt it to cycling.

Pace per mile Ratio of running to walking
19-20 min/mi Run 15-30 sec/walk 60-90 sec
18 min/mi Run 30 sec/walk 60 sec
17 min/mi Run 1 min/walk 2 min (or 30 sec/60 sec)
16 min/mi Run 1 min/walk 1-2 min
15 min/mi Run 1 min/walk 1 min (or 30 sec/30 sec)
14 min/mi Run 1-2 min/walk 1 min
13 min/mi Run 2 min/walk 1 min
12 min/mi Run 2 min/walk 1 min
11 min/mi Run 3-4 min/walk 1 min
10 min/mi Run 3-5 min/walk 1 min
9 min/mi Run 5-7 min/walk 1 min

I could start off slow and do maybe 5 miles in 30 minutes, and break that up a little with a few hard peddles and easy turns, which will be easy because of the hills...
Then after a week or two, try to go 6 miles, and slowly work up to 10 miles. Then work on increasing my times. Still alternating between hard and easy peddling.

I should also see about doing a tread mill test just to be on the safe side.

Thanks!
Don
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Old 04-13-05, 02:27 PM   #7
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I was in similar shape as you last summer. I had an elk hunt coming up and had to get in shape for it. I started by getting my diet in order. I cut out the junk and snacks. I stopped having seconds and thirds at dinner. I also started riding my bike. At first I was going on a 4-5 mile ride that would take about 20-25 minutes to complete and I would be out of breath and my legs would burn. It would take several minutes for my breathing to get back to normal. I would ride every morning before work. As I felt better I would lengthen my ride. Eventually I was riding 10-12 miles everyday during the week and then 20 on Saturday. The 12 mile rides were completed in about 40 minutes. As I started feeling better I would pay closer attention to my cadence while riding. By the time my hunt rolled around I had lost about 35 pounds. I have kept about half of it off and am now getting started back.

Good luck
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Old 04-13-05, 06:48 PM   #8
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If your 48 , you may want to consider Human growth horemone amino acids aids or rHGH itself . I know people have a negitive attitude about Human growth horemone , but it gets lower as you age.
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Old 04-13-05, 07:35 PM   #9
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Don: The combination of run/walking is a very good way to ease yourself into running; however, for now I would stick with just walking. You'll want to walk or ride practically every day. The key is to do it a low intensity. If possible have your spouse/friend/dog/cat/bird/??? get out an walk with you. Work up until you can walk comfortably for an hour. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, look both ways before you cross the street, wear clean underwear and anything else our mom's might have advised us to do to be safe
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Old 04-14-05, 12:32 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone, there are a lot of good suggestions. I'll check into a physical / stress test, and in the mean time, start exercizing lightly everyday instead of just 2x / week.

Later,
Don
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Old 04-14-05, 01:26 PM   #11
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Don, I know exactly what you are going through. You want to get into shape, but even the most basic endurance-building exercises are too hard to do long enough to feel like you are actually accomplishing something! I've been through that with running before. In my opinion, running is something you do when you are already in shape.

The good thing about cycling is that it is easier to control the intensity of your workout, especially at the low end. By riding on flat terrain, or using a low gear, you can usually get an intensity lower than what you could have with jogging.

I highly recommend a heart-rate-monitor. That way you can set a target intensity for yourself and make sure you don't exceed it. For building endurance I think most people recommend working between 65% and 85% of your max heart rate. You just set those limits into your monitor, and if it beeps that you're going over, you slow down, stop, whatever, until it comes back down again. With running/walking, I would jog until I reach the upper limit, then walk until I'm close to the lower, then start jogging again.

With biking, if you are going over hills in the lowest gear, and still going over the limit, you might have to just stop for a few minutes...

Or, heck, just go up the hill until it gets too intense, and then turn around and go back down again, no one says you can't just go up and down the same street a bunch of times!

The great thing about starting out is that the improvements you see are huge in a short amount of time. It's really encouraging. Good luck!
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Old 04-14-05, 01:28 PM   #12
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I forgot to mention that when you keep your intensity under control with the HRM, you really enjoy your workouts much more! Nobody likes running themselves into the ground, it's not fun at all. The HRM makes sure you get a good workout without killing yourself.
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Old 04-14-05, 01:58 PM   #13
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Hey buddy! I'm a couple of months older than you and 2 pounds heavier. I've exercised my whole life, so endurance never was a problem. When the kids go to bed, I get in front of the TV and do my crunches, sit-ups, push-ups and dumbbell work. Nothing strenuous, but I keep at it every day or so. Mix it up a little, you can't exercise the same muscles every day, they gotta have a day off to recover.
Forget running & jump-rope, that takes excellent conditioning, it's very hard work.
Get on your bike, pile up those miles, it takes a little while, but you will gain strength.
Cycling lets you sweat (you gotta sweat to gain anything in life) and is good for your joints too. This is something you can achieve, without killing yourself. Just go out and get on that bike.
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Old 04-14-05, 02:21 PM   #14
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You are making the right choice. Stick with it! I had a heart attack at age 45 and have worked (and played!) hard at gaining fitness these past five years. I'm sure you can do it too.

What do you think you would enjoy doing? You will probably have trouble sticking with it if you don't enjoy it. That said--if you are really that sedentary, you might not enjoy anything at first. But it will get to be fun after you establish the habit and become a little more fit.

Walking was what I started with. and it probably is the easiest way to get going. Walking is fun, no expensive equipment is needed, it can be done anywhere, and it's easy to find others to walk with you, etc. When you can walk 4 miles in one hour without getting too tired, you will be able to do well on your bike. Weights are great if you enjoy. If you don't like them, wait until you have better aerobic fitness (endurance) before you worry too much about strength training.
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Old 04-15-05, 08:51 AM   #15
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A HR monitor has been on my wish list some time. I've read up on them a little. I'll have to save up and buy one.

For me, I like working out, but I enjoy doing it with someone. My wife will go for walks with me, but I can't find a comfortable bike seat. She's been wanting to try a butterfly seat and see how that works. I don't know about spending $80.00 on a seat only to be told it still makes her bottom hurt, cause if it does, she would quit riding.

Do any of you have experiece with a SpiderFlex saddle?

Thanks,
Don
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Old 04-15-05, 09:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner43
For me, I like working out, but I enjoy doing it with someone. My wife will go for walks with me, but I can't find a comfortable bike seat. She's been wanting to try a butterfly seat and see how that works. I don't know about spending $80.00 on a seat only to be told it still makes her bottom hurt, cause if it does, she would quit riding.
Terry Butterfly seems to be a love it or hate it experience. :|

Unfortunately bodies are so different that you really need to try the saddle to be sure it works. I was suffering through some pain-in-my-ass seats (pun intended!) this year, first with an ancient women's saddle then with a too-narrow men's saddle, until my husband found a women's specific saddle (a WTB Speed She) on eBay for just about $15. I'm so happy now that I can ride pain-free! The width, padding (a bit too much but I'm not complaining yet!), and cutout channel combine to distribute my weight in the parts that can handle it and keep it off the parts that can't!

If you have REI nearby, a friend of mine had good luck being able to test their saddles in-store and also felt confident with their no-questions 30 day guarantee.

Looked up the SpiderFlex, looks freaky!
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Old 04-15-05, 09:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner43
Hi,

My history: I sit at a desk for almost 8 hours a day. Then at home I watch too many movies. I live a very sedentary life style, but I'm trying to change that. I'll be 48 in June, and I need to loose between 20 to 30 lbs. I weigh around 190 lbs and I'm 5'10".

I've tried running, and I can go for about 1 minute, and my heart rate is about maxed out and I'm so out of breath, I can't go any further. I've tried jumping rope, and again, I'm good for 1 minute and I'm out of breath and have a fast HR. So I've tried riding my mountain bike. No problems going down hill (GRIN), but I have a lot of hills and they are pretty steep. By the time I get to the top I'm out of breath and my legs are burning. I take TaeKwonDo two times a week, and the warm ups kill me. They usually last for 15 to 30 minutes, and if we do a lot of jumping rope, or squat jumps, again, I get out of breath real fast, and it takes me another 15 minutes (of course we're still exercizing) to even begin to get a normal breath rate.

I've searched the web and I've not found any recommendations for people who are just getting back into working out.

Have any of you been or know anyone that's been in a similar very poor physical condition, and know a good way to slowly increase my endurance and stamina?

I've got access to a set of free weights and dumb bells, plus my mountain bike, and a kayak and 5 gate slalom course, there is also walking, maybe a little running, and of course I'll continue with TKD.

I hope I've given you enough info and expressed what I'm looking for. If you need more info, please ask.

Thanks,
Don
Don, if you're this out of shape you shouldn't be attempting running just yet, or even riding your MTB over a hilly course. Start out walking. Don't fret about walking being for sissies because that isn't anywhere near true. Walking uphill can actually get you in shape faster than jogging on the flats. Get a decent heart rate monitor (Polar A5 perhaps) and start walking 15 - 20 minutes 3 - 5 times a week to get you started. The Polar will help you set up some training zones as will many of us here on this forum.

Riding up hills, even in a low gear, will probably be too demanding at first. Riding hills can be as difficult as interval training. Consider getting a trainer * to go along with that HRM and plop it in front of the TV so you can get a workout that would emulate riding on flat terrain for quite a while (months!). Once you've achieved a modicum of fitness you may want to tackle some of those hills where you live. Without being in shape though, they can be murder.

Most importantly, don't rush it! You can't rush fitness. You're not going to reverse the sedentary lifestyle thing overnight. It's unwise and unhealthy. Although we live in a world of instant gratification - fast cars, fast food, fast girls (well, almost ) - your body isn't capable of adjusting that quickly as it's still on a historic clock that dates back about 10,000 years.

* Example of trainer... http://www.cycle-ops.com/products/mag+.htm

Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 04-15-05 at 09:31 AM.
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