“I would like to start working on my fitness. I am 58 years old and have stopped drinking (white wine) for a year and unfortunately gained weight. I smoke, my height is 1 meter 64 and now I’m at 78 kilograms. I always weighed around 70 kilograms. I have never done anything to work on my fitness in the last twenty years. I do not feel comfortable with that and I am now considering sports, but I would like some advice on this.
Of course, I can go to a Fitness gym but I feel a lot of resistance; a gym with often many young people who are focused on their muscles and hard music.
Ideally, I would like my muscles to become more supple and my posture and condition to improve. I notice that after walking for fifteen minutes I am already heaving, my posture is probably not good either, because I often get pain between my shoulder blades.
I hope you can give me some tips. Thanks in advance.”
Mark Chen, physiotherapist
I would first off offer to adjust your vision with regard to a fitness gym. I understand very well that it can be overwhelming to enter a gym for the first time, but I think that once you feel at home, a lot of the prejudices will fade away.
I’ve also had that experience when I was 16 when I went to the gym for the first time. There I was, with my ‘mini-weights’, standing there between the ‘big boys’. I remember it to be very uncomfortable and I felt judged. But soon, people started talked to me, I got tips and I started to feel more and more at ease. And of course, my fitness increased!
A few years later it was the other way around, and it was me that put new members at ease, as an instructor but also as a member. A beautiful thing, right? Fitness remains, in my opinion, one of the fastest and most effective ways to work on your health. And crossing that first speedbump may be difficult, but it is definitely worth it in the end. Don’t let limiting beliefs hold you back.
If necessary, hiring a personal trainer is a good option. This will facilitate the entire process and create a tailor-made fitness program, where your postural problems can be tackled at the same time.
In addition, there are plenty of other sports to be fit and flexible. For example, yoga is an option that immediately comes to mind. A wonderful form of exercise that is focused on all aspects of Fitness: stability, posture, and flexibility in the entire body.
It is also a sport that can be well adapted to the individual, making it accessible to everyone. I also suspect that the chance of having hard music and muscular men is a lot smaller.
Last but not least, do not underestimate the effect of walking on your level of fitness. You indicate that you start heaving after fifteen minutes. Maybe it is an option to start walking fifteen minutes a day? If after a few days you might notice that you are no longer panting, you can, for example, extend it by five minutes every week. Before you know it you walk for half an hour without stopping. Once a start has been made and progress becomes more visible, the motivation to continue will automatically follow.
It is literally a matter of taking the first step. Good luck, and I hope you find a sport that suits you.
I hope that helps!