WAAAY Out of shape - where to start?
Okay, this is my first real post here and I must issue a disclaimer: what I am about to say may shock some and appall others - others may feel an overwhelming sense of forboding
So for those that are curious, I was being a bit over the top, but my situation is serious.
I am a 30 year old male and VERY out of shape. I know that I am, I can admit it (and that is always the first step right?) and I want to do something about it, but need some guidance on where to start. I have done a lot of searching on the internet, but have either come up with too many options or things that do not seem to apply to my exact situation. So, I figured I would share my situation with some experts and see what you come up with.
Here is a list of all my bad habits and situation:
- (again) 30 years old
- (again) male
- 15 year (about 3/4 pack a day) smoker - I know, feel free to at any point!
- no alcohol (well maybe one beer every 3 months or so)
- no drugs
- sit at a computer at least 8 hours a day for work
- another 3-4 hours for school ( I am a FT student in addition to work) - seriously!
- no coffee or tea, but do drink about 1 2 liter of Dr. Pepper (besides cigarettes, this is other major vice) - again, reference above (though I have been drinking more water lately)
- very little exercise (the only exercise that I get is twice a week playing soccer with 10 and 11 year olds - I am the coach.
- go to bed at 3:00 AM and get up at about 9:00 AM (another very annoying and recent bad habit)
- I do not make an effort to eat healthy, but have been blessed with low blood pressure and cholesterol (though I am sure this will not last for long)
- not overweight really (6' 175 lbs), but I am mostly skinny except for my belly and lovehandles (hate that word!).
Some other facts about me - I used to have severe generalized anxiety disorder w/panic attacks due to an over-active adrenaline gland. I used to use this as an excuse for as I started physical activity my anxiety would kick in and I would stop due to the symptoms. However, even though my doctors and psychologist told me I would have it forever, I have it beaten and cured myself of about 95% of it!
I have three kids - all involved in all sorts of activites, am married, and own my own business. Why do I say this? Well, because I find it VERY hard to have even one iota of free time.
I used to be very active when I was a kid, but then at about 16 I got in with the wrong crowd and basically anti-exercised (partied all the time).
First things first, one of the major reasons I have not quit smoking, besides the fact of the nasty addiction and habit was because my wife smoked too and it has always been something that we did together. However, she just quit cold turkey so it may be easier. I know this is number one on my list to do for SO many reasons.
At risk of winning the captain obvious award for the day, I know that I am out of shape and I think that turning 30 has really made me wake the heck up and realize that I need to start and start now (getting back in shape that is - besides it is only natural as humans to do so right?)
I can keep up with low to moderate exercise (though I do get winded, heart pounding, rapid heartbeat, and sweaty very quickly). I tend to shy away from anything to strenuous for obvious reasons.
But what happened today really woke me up and kicked me in the butt (more like the chest!) to get myself motivated to live the rest of my life rather than die the rest of my life (does that make sense?).
I was playing on the soccer field with the kids and was engaged in a very short, but very intense exertion. I usually get pretty winded when playing with them, but this time was more intense than usual. I all of a sudden could not breath hardley at all (and was breathing very deeply and fast) my head was swimmy, heart pounding, and I felt a knot in my stomach. Basically I got so winded and was probably about to pass out. I had to walk off the field and it probably took a good minute and a half to get my breathing under control and the stomach knot to go away. I was able to recover within about 3-4 minutes to get back out and take it easy back on the field.
Scared me, but was a good thing.
So...(sorry for the long narrative, but I like to be thorough) I want to start getting back in shape and do realize it will take some time considering my current shape.
Some of the things are obvious - quitting smoking, reduce and eliminate caffeine, eat healthier. I do not think I can do ALL of these things all at once, but think that starting to exercise gradually now will help me become more motivated to naturally complete these goals.
I am looking for advice on ways to gradually getting myself up to a point to where I can exercise normally. My whole problem is that I am so out of shape that if I try to start off too strong then I end up feeling as I described above, which in turns starts my anxiety mode into thinking that I am going to make my heart explode or pass out or something like that. Sounds crazy and stupid to a point, but for me it is a reality. So I want to start off slow enough to get benefit, but not so slow that it will take me 2 years to get into shape! (though if that is what it takes...) I am also interested in strength training as I have never been happy with that aspect of me.
So, any takers? What are some things that I can do to help me accomplish these goals. I really want to make it this time! (I have tried and failed before quite a few times, but never really went about it the wrong way).
One other thing about me is that I am very analytical and need to have an actual stepped out plan (as much as possible). I work better on a clearly defined schedule, but hate having to be on a schedule (weird, I know, but again, that is just me!)
Thanks in advance for any help!
Welcome! You are in much better shape than a lot of folks, including me 4 years ago - and you're much younger.
I suspect you are more interested in health, endurance and fitness rather than strength or appearance. So, with that in mind, why not start off by doing a set number of bodyweight exercises per day (e.g., pushups, dips, crunches, other things that don't need a gym) and taking up some aerobic exercise like running or cycling. And to get you to want to stay motivated, sign up for a 1-mile fun run or, if you are up for a bigger challenge, a 5K run 4 months from now. Run it with your kid(s). You will not want to let them or yourself down and will feel compelled to get in sufficient shape to complete the task.
My 2 cents.
Thanks for the reply - I am glad that someone did finally! I was beginning to think that I was a lost cause!
Thanks for the good words, but I certainly do not feel that I am in much better shape that a lot of folks - but it is helpful to know.
As far as the motivation, those are some good ideas. I do know that when I do finish some physical activities, though tired, I do feel pretty good! I have a feeling that will help my motivation along so long as I stick to a regimen.
And you are correct in what I am interested in. While I would like to eventually get a little more muscle mass and definition, to me wellness and fitness is much more important. (I have heard that a lot of body builders are very out of shape! (aerobically that is!, which makes some sense).
On a side note, I see your signature about the Ironman - when I was a kid they used to have Ironkid triathalons here and I always participated. I was never any good at them (mainly due to poor - or lack of) training, but it was still fun nonetheless! Wish they still had those - my kids love running!
i would say the first thing you should do is try to quit smoking. i quit cold turkey or you can try a hypnotist. whatever works. you'd probably be able to breath much better. try not to over exert yourself when working out, start off slow and work yourself up. you'll get stronger and stronger each day. read around on the forum, there is a lot of helpful information already posted. and i'm sure others that are more knowledgeable than i can offer you more advice. good luck in your goals!
Last edited by Lillian; Apr. 24/09 at 12:59 PM.
HI again sm!
Here is your post telling all about you....
I think you should definitely just take it one day at a time and you will eventually get there. At least you have found that you are out of shape and you are looking to change your ways.
I do agree with Lillian about the smoking... You REALLY should give that up! But then again you know that...
I look forward to seeing your progress.
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