Struggling to get fit : I’m currently... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Struggling to get fit


I’m currently around 5”8 and according to my scale I’m 11.8 stone (165.2 pounds).

Outside of walking for 30 mins to an hour each day? I’m struggling to really exercise. I use to do the regular walks often enough even before my episode anyway, but I was also putting all sorts of bad food into my body around this time too.

I also didn’t really start doing that till I was around 33. I started that to try and lose a bit of weight because I was a few stone overweight at that point and suffering from acid reflux.

I did start to eat more healthy, but for every healthy meal, at some point I would be on the junk food equally.

The combination of this lockdown and not being motivated enough to do any hard exercise by myself in the house is really frustrating.

I need to be around people/help and the gym etc for this to be able to have a chance of working.

It’s almost 2 weeks now since I got out of hospital.

Any advice?

12 Replies

Online classes? Personal trainers are offering what they did in the gym, online in a modified form.

GABaracus in reply to TRST

That’s the thing, wouldn’t this mean doing it alone in my house? I also won’t have any gym equipment nor any cardio rehab team to help.

I mainly avoided the gym in the past, not just out of laziness but also a back injury I picked up which can be made worse with certain types of exercise.

TRST in reply to GABaracus

You don't need gym equipment to exercise and a trainer will help you so long as they know your medical problems and are equipped to deal with them. You may need a letter from doctor to say what you should/shouldn't do at any stage.

GABaracus in reply to TRST

What would I do though? As I said I don’t really feel motivated enough to do manual exercise alone in my house.

For now concentrate on the walking.

Varying pace and distance is good - some as you have been, some shorter but (within reason) as fast as you can. Some, if possible, steady but longer.

If you can change routes to include some flat and some hills even better. Obviously, that depends a lot on where you are.

From your weight and height it doesn't look like you need to be aiming for huge calorie burns, so concentrate on giving your cardio system a good variation.

Personally I find that keeping a log of times, distances and (if possible) heart rates if massively helpful for maintaining motivation.

It's great - especially in the early months when progress can be fast - to do a route at "comfortable pace" then compare the same route at the same comfort level a month ago abd see that you're 3 minutes faster and your HR is 5 beats slower for what felt like the same effort!

As you get really settled in to the idea that "exercise is you" THEN you can start thinking of other stuff to throw in the mix and you'll find the motivation is easier.

Even then, the basic cardio stuff like walking (or even jogging by that point!) should be the core of your routine because it's by far the best for your general fitness and your heart / health :)

TRST in reply to GABaracus

The personal trainer would instruct you. You wouldn't exactly be 'alone' :)

Hiyaall in reply to GABaracus

Joe wicks on you tube not equipment needed

At 2 weeks out of hospital you shouldn't really be pushing to "exercise hard" anyway.

Consider if you'd suffered a bad sprain. You'd still be in the recovery / light maintenance stage because you'd be able to FEEL that you were still healing.

Your heartvis the same, except it tends not to complain as loudly once the initial injury has stopped happening.

30 to 60 minute walks are perfect for consolidating the recovery. If you do want to increase / vary the effort a bit then try increasing pace a little so a 30 minute walk becomes a 28 minute walk.

That may not sound much but it makes a surprisingly big difference to the work rate for your heart!

My only problem with walking as of late has been the weather.

When there’s rain and cold wind, it tires me out rather quickly. I don’t have anything for my face and yesterday it felt like my face was about to freeze, I had to put my face into my jacket.

Had a headache for a bit afterwards.

That’s something I’ve noticed, I feel the cold quite a bit more now than I did before.

Well, hopefully the weather will continue to improve (almost guaranteed s record summer seeing as everyone's stuck indoors!)

Meanwhile, an easy one for home use is the simple exercise step. Either bought or (carefully) built - make sure it's stable! They're effective, surprisingly versatile, & take up hardly any space.

At it's most basic you can just stand in front of your favourite TV show stepping up & down. 20 minutes of that & you'll know you've been working! If you feel adventurous then a minute or two of star jumps on & off it will get you close to collapse :D

It’s not too dissimilar to someone who would like to give up smoking or drinking.

As in, unless they (you) really want to do it (make changes) then it won’t happen.

no amount of motivational messages from others will work over the long term. they’ll help in the immediate short term, but it has to be YOU who wants to make long term changes for it to happen.

I’d suggest writing down the reasons why you want to be fitter and healthier. make them as specific as you can. read them to yourself every morning.

As i say, ultimately unless YOU want it, it won’t happen.

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