Gransnet forums


Tell me your experience of starting to exercise after becoming severely unfit.

(9 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Sat 23-May-20 15:29:02

I'm tentatively trying to get my body moving again after many years not moving due to mental health issues. I want to know if my experience is normal? I can manage a 5k walk now but when I get home I'm utterly, utterly exhausted - to the point of needing a lie-down to rest. My glutes and leg muscles almost cry with pain, that's the best way I can describe it. I'm about 2.5stone overweight on a previously slender frame. Has anyone else had this experience? Is this what is to be expected in the earliest days of getting to move again?

Glorybee Sat 23-May-20 15:49:02

I’ve recently started to walk again after not bothering for a while and putting on some weight. I knew it would be hard starting up again but the best thing I did was not to put too much expectation on myself, it’s fine to be slow, I knew I’d get quicker as I got more used to it and I have.

I do 2 walks a day now usually, 2 miles and then another one 2.5, if I feel like it. It definitely gets easier and I really enjoy it most times. Sometimes as I start I think I might not do the whole walk but end up doing it as it gets easier after the first part.

AGAA4 Sat 23-May-20 15:58:39

Maybe 5k is a bit too much at the moment Mary.

Try half or less of that and build up gradually.

I had an illness a few years ago and couldn't walk far. I just did what was comfortable for me and each week added a bit more.
Just be patient and you will be able to do your 5k and feel good afterwards.

vampirequeen Sat 23-May-20 16:05:23

I started to exercise this year as part of my 'new' healthy lifestyle. If you're exhausted after your walk then you're doing to much. Start with a shorter distance and gradually build up. My first walks were about a mile and were more than enough. We then moved to a 1 and a half mile walk and gradually increased the distance. Now I can do 5 or 6 miles with no problem. The same went for cycling. At first I could only do a short ride but now I can do 10 miles or more. Are you walking in a hilly area because that can have an affect on you too. Both walking up and down hill work the muscles so you could be doing far more than you think.

At first exercise was a chore and definitely not something I looked forward to. Now I think I'm addicted to endorphins lol. I look forward to cycling and walking. Yesterday I even did a stint on the treadmill because DH didn't feel very well so we couldn't go out. Believe me that's not like me at all....well not like the old me. I was born a couch potato and never expected to change. In fact I hated everything about exercise. Now I've found I enjoy it.

I know the experts say to walk at a speed that makes you slightly breathless etc but you don't need to do that least at first. Just walking is exercise. Walk at a comfortable pace. Don't walk too far. Try to make it enjoyable rather than something that has to be done but isn't pleasant because if you don't enjoy you'll stop doing it.

I'm not slim. I've lost 58lbs up to now (since January) but I'm still a BBW (big beautiful woman) although apparently according to the charts I'm morbidly obese. BBW is a much nicer description grin.

kissngate Sat 23-May-20 16:21:41

Start slowly and build up distance. The Lesley Sansome walk a mile at home video is something you could begin with. Only lasts 15 mins and is very easy. I've started doing various exercise classes on you tube. Some I give up after 10 mins others I really enjoy it all depends on the teacher. Take it slowly and gradually your stamina will build up.

wildswan16 Sat 23-May-20 17:17:45

Try doing just 3k, or 15 minutes - and see if you manage that better. Then very gradually increase - just by an extra couple of minutes over a week.

Normally I would say do some swimming also, but that is impossible just now.

Also, make sure your diet is good - are you getting enough protein?

Don't let it discourage you - your body needs to adapt to moving again. Getting out for exercise will help your overall health.

grannypiper Sat 23-May-20 17:18:47

Kissngate I was Jut about to mention Leslie Sansome, her DVDs are really good.

Smileless2012 Sat 23-May-20 17:29:31

I agree with everyone who suggests you walk a shorter distance and gradually build it up Mary.

It's very important to do stretches after your walk. You'll be able to google if you're not sure which ones would be most suitable.

Walk 3 times a week, gradually building up the distance until your body gets used to it. You can change from walking at your normal pace to a power walk for a short distance during your walk, and back again to your normal pace.

As wildswan has posted, don't be discouraged. It's surprising how quickly your body will adjust just remember that stretching once you've finished is very important and end your walk with a slower pace so your body starts to cool down.

PamGeo Sun 24-May-20 14:36:16

I'm glad I stumbled on this chat, I struggle with my mobility and can barely stand some days but not everyday.
I really want to be more mobile as I'm losing muscle and core strength and it's affecting my self esteem.
I'm really pleased if I can manage the 0.9 mile walk that I try to do regularly with my dog but I struggle terribly with inclines so don't always manage this.
Today I've started some exercises at home for balance and muscle strength and I'll go for a walk.
After hearing how well you've done since January Vampire I'm inspired to get going again.
Don't push yourself too hard Mary and I'm sure you'll get there.