exercise for middle aged overweight man

He'll hate me for the title, but it's true enough.

My OH is 58, and until recently weighed 16 st 4 lb. He started the 5:2 diet just over a month ago, and has lost very nearly a stone.

He would now like to add some exercise to his dieting, but isn't sure where to start. He owns a bike, and a set of golf clubs, but it's a bit cold for either at the moment. He was very sporty in his youth (football, cricket, cycling, badminton) and sort of forgets that he isn't a youth any longer - then gets frustrated when he can't perform at the level he thinks he should.

He hasn't always been in the best of health - diagnosed with cancer 8 years ago (absolutely fine now), had a heart problem which was sorted out 3 years ago. He suffers from periods of depression, but is 'OK' at the moment. All of this has a) contributed to his weight gain and b) made him wary of exerting himself (particularly the heart problem which meant that he struggled to even walk upstairs at one point). He spends 3 hours a day driving to and from work, and has quite a stressful job, but is only working 3 days a week at the moment so has quite a lot of 'spare' time.

So - any suggestions for things that he can do to ease himself back in to exercising in a sensible, sustainable way?
No longer a spouse, or trailing, but MSE won't allow me to change my username...


  • Swimming. Longs walks at the weekend. He's right to be wary of the heart thing, but it's not an excuse.

    Planning realistic expectations should boost confidence. I.e. Don't expect to swim 20 lengths of the pool on the first few visits...
  • Sam_FallowSam_Fallow Forumite
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    Get a dog if your situation allows. Walking the dog means you have to get out of the house and into the fresh air. Good exercise and good for depression.
    I don't like morning people. Or mornings. Or people.
  • Walking did it for me without the diet :)

    Start slow and build up gradually, possibly join a walking club as I did as the company on walks helps the miles pass a lot easier.
  • tiztiz Forumite
    107 Posts
    A variation on the getting a dog option - how about volunteering at a local rescue walking the dogs - good exercise without really feeling like exercise.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Holiday Haggler
    Sam_Fallow wrote: »
    Get a dog if your situation allows. Walking the dog means you have to get out of the house and into the fresh air. Good exercise and good for depression.

    We got our first dog 5 weeks ago. 3 x 20 minutes walks a day has already lowered my resting heartrate and I'm loosing a bit of weight at the same time. I can also turn round a 'bad mood' by going for a slightly longer walk.

    Plus - dogs are awsome
  • MacMicksterMacMickster Forumite
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    Another vote for getting a dog. An exercise companion who will always be up for it, will encourage your other half to exercise several times daily and will also be a help with the occasional bouts of depression.
    "When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    4K Posts
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    Many thanks for the replies so far. I think we will be doing the dog walking without a dog - but walk we must. The weather forecast for this coming week doesn't seem to be too bad, he has a few days off and the granddaughter is with us (half term), so lots of reasons for getting out there.

    I've got him a guest pass to the gym I use (I don't go as often as I should, but at least I go - it's all relative!!), but I'm not sure it's his sort of thing. But who knows? His diet is going so well and I know he really wants to increase his physical activity - but I don't want to see him knocked back by attempting too much and failing, or deciding that if he can't do much then there's no point in doing any.
    No longer a spouse, or trailing, but MSE won't allow me to change my username...
  • In terms of long term sustainability, he would be better of learning good day to day nutrition rather than relying on something that he will not be able to sustain (ie 5:2).
  • Does your GP do prescribed exer ise classes? They have supervised strength and weight stuff which will really help.

    Daily walking helps me with depression...even if in the dark after dinner ....!...or try half an hour at lunchtime if thats possible....a simple pedometer can be motivating if your DH is that way inclined...no need for a special watch unless the Doc wants HR monitored.

    Good luck to him.
  • suki1964suki1964 PPR Forumite
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    Definitely walking, with or without a dog :)

    There's lots of walking plans online, and there's a lot of walking clubs to be found.

    The walking will increase his stamina for the time the bikes come out

    I've been very sedationary this past year with health issues. I'm slowly increasing my fitness levels by doing steps and hula hoops in the privacy of my home. Once the days warm a bit I will brave the walking and the cycling and the swimming. But right now I just need to build my stamina and get my muscles working
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