Fitness advice for the unfit

43, 5’9" probably around 15 stone trying to stop smoking as well as alcohol. was super fit when in Army but that was 20 years ago…i have gym membership and have been doing some swimming but again pretty weak swimmer. I want to get back on the treadmill and rowing machine but unsure what target i should set myself, dont want to end up having a heart attack! Any advice woud be much appreciated :pray:


Hey Lee :wave:

Looks like we are the same age group, I’ll be 44 soon. I’m in the same boat as you re fitness and weight loss, it’s something I am working on. I don’t want to dive in the deep and and risk an injury, so I have been out on long brisk walks. I also do intermittent fasting and what I eat is non processed foods. I had been eating junk in the evening to replace my nightly wine :grimacing:

Weight at our age can be very stubborn. In the last two weeks I’m down 8lbs, so it is starting to shift. I describe what I eat as healthy keto low GI. No processed meats, low GI fruits and vegetables, and some nuts.

I’m focusing on cardio more than toning just for now, as I’ve a fair bit to lose.

I’ll be watching your thread to see how you get on, and for some tips :see_no_evil:


Right there with you both. I’m 48 and gained way too much weight since the start of the pandemic. My thought is to start with small, manageable changes instead of trying to do a major overhaul all at once. Obviously the stopping drinking was the first step. Now I’m focusing on walking more. Eating more fruits and vegetables. Having healthier snack options at home. But also accepting that occasional ice cream is better for me than bourbon. I’ve lost about 8 pounds in the last couple months. Not huge results, but I’m just happy it’s going in the right direction!


In my experience, the least expensive, easiest and always available activity for health is walking. Find a comfy pair of walking shoes and start taking walks throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be one big walk, unless that is what you prefer. Try a new path or trail or park. Being out in nature is also very healing.

For food, replace a packaged food with a fruit or a vegetable.

For myself, I know I need to keep my focus on mostly mastering one thing a bit before making a whole bunch of changes. So I start slow and build up over weeks and months. That is how I have changed habits in the past and present.

Slow and steady. And always keep #1 focus on not picking up a drink. :slightly_smiling_face:


IM 71 i do a lot of walking and my gym days are in the past even though my sons have one in the garage but 45 years of landscaping and when i first got sober i was never out of the gym , i still have not bad build for my age , diet is important a swell and i stopped smoking way back when i was at the gym , its a gradual thing wish you well


For me concept of small steps works. Change one small habit. keep practicing until it’s routine. change the next small habit.
With this babysteps I’ve come to a surprisingly ok fitness level without focusing on it particularly, it was a side effect of doing garden work and keeping my body stretched and moved on a low but constant level. I don’t weight myself. I noticed the changes by how my cloths fit and that I’m not easily exhausted anymore. Give yourself time.


Some great advice already, i will take note. Im actually 102kg (16st) apparently my BMI is 33.3 and that makes me obese According to the NHS BMI calculator and need to aim at lossing 5.1kg. It makes sense to be honest all that beer and crap food being hungover and idle for so long…think i need this kick up the backside. Watch this space


Hi, im 47 (look and feel about 77) , about four years ago i realised i was the least fit i had ever been and decided to do something about it.

First bit of advice, ignore everything you did in the Army for fitness, battle pt, stretcher runs and the cft will only lead to injury at our age !

Get a smart watch or pedometer and set a hard target of steps per day - i walk an absolute minimum of 10k steps a day.

Swimming is great for all round fitness and unless you drown it is almost impossible to injure yourself.

Treadmill running is lower impact than running on tarmac but still runs a risk of injury if you overdo it, if you want to focus on cardio consider using an exercise bike as well as a treadmill to vary the activity is worth considering.

Also give some thought to low level weight training, i dont understand the science of it very well but carrying muscle seems to burn calories all by itself.

Lastly, it is always a good idea to get a quick check up from the doctor before starting a fitness program.


There are a ton of apps to help you. My fitness pal can help you log your food and keep track of your calories and macros (protein, carbs and fat). There is an app called Fiton that has workouts and you can pick a body part and it tells you what exercises to do. There is the nike app and runkeeper which can help you with guided walks or runs. As far as I know all the apps I listed are free (or at least I only use the free parts lol)


i’m 42, 5’-9" and i’ve dropped 30 lbs since december. I’m doing the slow and steady approach to weight loss this year, about a pound a week. Swimming/walking are my go to’s. I walk 11K steps a day, and swimming HIIT at least 3 to 4 times a week. I get up on the weekends and start my day with a 5 mile walk. This has helped me progressingly lose weight. I also do intermittent fasting which is basically just ‘scheduled’ eating. I fast 20 hours a day, every other day. So far so good :slightly_smiling_face: