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    • eeetee
    • By eeetee 8th Jun 19, 8:28 PM
    • 125Posts
    • 1,344Thanks
    eeetee
    Fitness advice
    • #1
    • 8th Jun 19, 8:28 PM
    Fitness advice 8th Jun 19 at 8:28 PM
    Not sure if this is the best place for this but just looking for some general advice on fitness (33 yo M) main excercise currently is walking approx 5m/ day. Looking to increase fitness, tone up a bit. Tried gyms a while back, didn’t really work for me- not really my scene. Thinking about starting with couch to 5k to get into running. Also considered a Personal trainer, for motivation and technique, doing it ‘wrong’ is what’s putting me off (getting injured) was thinking of someone who would train outdoors, or are gyms and associated equipment essential? I just felt totally out of place there last time. Also with other commitments I’m quite time limited.
Page 1
    • Fiona CW
    • By Fiona CW 9th Jun 19, 9:51 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    Fiona CW
    • #2
    • 9th Jun 19, 9:51 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Jun 19, 9:51 AM
    A good PT will train you at home, in a gym or outdoors - whatever suits you! Equipment is not essential, bodyweight exercises can be very beneficial.
    • Finchy2018
    • By Finchy2018 9th Jun 19, 4:51 PM
    • 378 Posts
    • 369 Thanks
    Finchy2018
    • #3
    • 9th Jun 19, 4:51 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jun 19, 4:51 PM
    A PT should train anywhere! I tried using a pt but I didn't enjoy it. I am on week 5 on c25k (2nd time doing it) I have come to accept running is my thing. I love it.
    • purple45
    • By purple45 9th Jun 19, 5:16 PM
    • 2,427 Posts
    • 142,312 Thanks
    purple45
    • #4
    • 9th Jun 19, 5:16 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jun 19, 5:16 PM
    I took up couch to 5k last year and it has changed my life! (47 yo F) Hard to start but hooked from the beginning and no problems with motivation. There is a really supportive forum (Health Unlocked) you can join for help, advice and motivation if you need it. I have found everything I need there. Now coming up to a year since I started and I'm up to running 11k and happily pottering around cross country and enjoying the scenery as well as the exercise. I love the time out on my own! I'm also not one for the gym. Whole body is toned and the beer belly is under control :-) If you have any questions about it feel free to ask!
    Many thanks to everyone who posts competitions and works so hard to provide all the answers!
    Best wins this year so far: £100 Hobbycraft Voucher, £50 cash, GoPro Camera
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 13th Jun 19, 1:58 PM
    • 2,668 Posts
    • 2,344 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 1:58 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 1:58 PM
    I'm a 61 yo male and have been a runner off and on for over 40 years. If you're walking five miles a day at a reasonable pace, you should be able to convert to running fairly easily.


    I've never read the "couch to 5k" thread, but I'm sure it must give good advice - the thing is to do is to do it gradually. When I returned to running after a couple of years of inactivity (had had a heart scare!) I started off again with one minute running, three minutes brisk walking, repeat for 30 minutes or so. Then after a couple of weeks, one minute running, two minutes walking, repeat. Follow this cycle for a few weeks and you'll be able to run 5k reasonably comfortably. Progress from there. (My neighbour took up running from scratch after giving birth and she started off with a target of run a mile per day for a month or two and built up from there. She's now a much better runner than me!)


    Best advice is don't get discouraged if it's difficult at first. Don't get discouraged if you seem to be "slow" (I'm a very slow runner!), you'll get quicker. And it is a good idea to keep track of times and distances - but don't get obsessed by them - it's meant to be enjoyable. Don't overdo it - plan to run on alternate days but take a rest day if you're knackered.


    As regards not using a gym for toning up etc. do bodyweight exercises as others have advised.


    Good luck!


    (PS - if you've got a heart rate monitor, that's useful to keep records of too.)
    • K80 Black
    • By K80 Black 13th Jun 19, 2:40 PM
    • 413 Posts
    • 854 Thanks
    K80 Black
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 2:40 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 2:40 PM
    A few of my friends have an app called Zombies, Run! which they love - if just running is a bit 'dry' for you, maybe try that https://zombiesrungame.com/
    • rybennet
    • By rybennet 20th Jun 19, 3:24 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    rybennet
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 19, 3:24 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 19, 3:24 AM
    Bodyweight exercise may help you tone. I'm an introvert so going to the gym takes so much effort for me because I feel insecure and discourage before. I easily lose motivation as well but I was able to overcome my problem by having mental fortitude. You need to have a strong mindset in achieving your goal.
    • BananaRepublic
    • By BananaRepublic 20th Jun 19, 6:24 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 1,000 Thanks
    BananaRepublic
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 19, 6:24 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Jun 19, 6:24 AM
    I’m one of the last people who would go to a gym, but I was recommended to do squats to help with ice hockey, so I went to a local gym. I was totally lost among all the kit, so I enrolled for an hour a week with a PT. I do recommend it, he shows me how to use equipment, and shows me stretches too. Not only does that mean I do exercises correctly to gain the full benefit, it also means I don’t injure myself, which is easily done, either by poor technique or overdoing it.

    You don’t need to go to the gym, unless you really want weight training. Yoga and pilates could also be good for you, as could martial arts, which are largely about control and flexibility. The advantage of a PT is that he will teach you technique, which is easily learnt incorrectly in a large class. He has taught me some weird exercises which stretch specific muscles. Some feel quite uncomfortable, but they work. For much of the work all you need is a floor, a wall, a foam roller and a light bar such as a broom handle. Of coirse you could do 10 weeks or so with a PT, focusing on stretches, then go it alone.
    • billy2shots
    • By billy2shots 20th Jun 19, 9:53 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    billy2shots
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 19, 9:53 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 19, 9:53 AM
    First off there is no such thing as toning up.
    There’s losing fat, gaining muscle or recomping.

    The first two speak for themselves, recomping is where you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Sounds perfect right? Wrong. Out of the 3 it is by far the hardest thing to do. You must master nutritional intake and timing of those macros around exercise to make it work in the long run. Luckily brand new trainees can recomp during their first 6 months of training. After that window you really have to choose between gaining muscle (along with fat) or losing fat (whilst losing a little muscle).

    However we are getting ahead of ourselves. No amount of training will out do a poor diet. Nutritional intake is key in being successful regardless of which goal you choose.
    First you need to work out your ‘maintenance Calorie intake’. This is how much you need to eat to stay exactly as you are.
    Once maintenance has been determined you will then tweak that number depending on your goal.

    Muscle gain=250 calories a day extra
    Fat loss =500 calories a day less
    Recomp=Maintenance (six months then pick from the two above)

    Those maintenance calories can then be split between food groups. I always recommend 0.7grams of protein per lb of bodywey (actually it’s 1g per f lb of lean body mass but not many are experienced to work that out so will stick to 0.6g of total weight)

    Fat- healthy fat from some nuts, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, coconut oil etc. Somewhere in the region of 0.3-0.5g per lb of body weight is a good starting point.

    Carbs- The remaining calories can be used for carbohydrates. Again healthy choices are prefect. Foods low on the glycemic index are better, so wholemeal breads and pasta Ofer white etc etc.

    Some respond better to low carb high fat diets and others the complete opposite. Above is a good staring point.

    Once diet is nailed down then you can move on to exercise.
    Running will not ‘tone’ your body as explained earlier. Running will help you lose fat through energy expenditure with the correct diet but will not add muscle (very small amount to legs not withstanding).
    Resistance training with weights or body weight is the way to add muscle.
    Those runners you see on tv with good muscle development have spent years in the gym.
    Swimming can add a little muscle and help lose fat but again the muscle will be nothing compared to resistance training.

    Please don’t us PTs. £499 and a few months is what’s needed to gain a PT qualification. In 20 years of training I can count on one hand the number of PTs that actually know their stuff.
    The amount of online resources these days is more than enough to refer to for exercise form. So many PTs teach dangerous form and it’s scary to watch.
    If you are desperate to throw good money away then make sure someone has qualifications relating to nutrition.

    This is the very basics but feel free to ask more.
    • StuHolmes
    • By StuHolmes 20th Jun 19, 2:42 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    StuHolmes
    Have you tried parkrun. Every Saturday morning 9am, in most towns. Free. Very welcoming usually, as much or as little running as you like.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 20th Jun 19, 3:41 PM
    • 8,023 Posts
    • 53,593 Thanks
    kerri gt

    Best advice is don't get discouraged if it's difficult at first. Don't get discouraged if you seem to be "slow" (I'm a very slow runner!), you'll get quicker. And it is a good idea to keep track of times and distances - but don't get obsessed by them - it's meant to be enjoyable. Don't overdo it - plan to run on alternate days but take a rest day if you're knackered.
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    Another piece of advise if you go down the running route is don't get discouraged when you have good days / not so good days. You've still got out there and done something. My average pace can vary by up to 2mins a mile very much depending on weather / temperature (quite happy running in -11 degrees but hate running in the heat).
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 20th Jun 19, 3:58 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    takethemon
    How about outdoor boot camps?
    There may be one in a park in your vicinity.
    • Houbara
    • By Houbara 24th Jun 19, 12:06 AM
    • 4,629 Posts
    • 3,220 Thanks
    Houbara
    Not sure if this is the best place for this but just looking for some general advice on fitness (33 yo M) main excercise currently is walking approx 5m/ day. Looking to increase fitness, tone up a bit. Tried gyms a while back, didn’t really work for me- not really my scene. Thinking about starting with couch to 5k to get into running. Also considered a Personal trainer, for motivation and technique, doing it ‘wrong’ is what’s putting me off (getting injured) was thinking of someone who would train outdoors, or are gyms and associated equipment essential? I just felt totally out of place there last time. Also with other commitments I’m quite time limited.
    Originally posted by eeetee
    You are plenty fit enough as it is now if you are doing 5 miles a day walks. That is way over the government guidelines. Walking on the flat is good enough, all you need to do , to increase fitness levels, from your excellent level it is now, is to do hill walks Just walking up hills, steeper the better , will really make a difference. As soon as gravity comes into walks then everything scales up with the intense increased effort . different leg muscles come s into play, the lungs and heart works harder.
    You can vary it with cycling now and then. 20 miles is a good distance. Don`t waste time and money in gyms, they really are totally unnecessary . No point in building artificial muscle bulk in a years toil only for it to disappear in three weeks once you stop and it all turns into blubber
    • billy2shots
    • By billy2shots 24th Jun 19, 6:39 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    billy2shots
    Walking a lot will get you, umm, good at walking. Apart from a bit of extra calf muscle you won’t gain in that area from walking.
    Walking will help you lose fat (as long as that diet is is place first) but it won’t improve fitness. To do that you would have to walk further each time or get quicker each time and that’s just not possible for the long term.

    A big red flag when anybody mentions muscle turning into fat or fat turning into muscle. That’s just not physically possible so take their advice with a pinch of salt.
    • Houbara
    • By Houbara 24th Jun 19, 9:38 AM
    • 4,629 Posts
    • 3,220 Thanks
    Houbara
    When people stop exercising and go back into couch potato mode their muscles begin to shrink, clearing the way for adipose tissue , or fat, to slowly replace the muscle s ..You can believe what bad advice you have read but i ve been there and tested it out several times over the years..So unless you intend to stupidly waste time and money on the utterly pointless activity of weight training for the rest of your life, then carry on mate.
    Depends what you mean by getting "fitter ". Even Mo Farah can get fitter and he s as fit as any butchers dog. It is an endless pursuit to keep trying to get fitter.Just get fit enough to what sort of activity you like doing without it seeming hard work and you re fit enough.
    Absolutely no need to ever do much activity other than walking, or moderate cycling in order to be as fit as you ever need to be. You could try speed walking , at around 4.5 to 5 mph if you like , that is the about the same cardio work out as steady jogging , but hill walking would get most people exercising the lungs and heart much more..
    Don t take advice OP from the fanatics pounding the pavements with their obligatory headphones on and garish lycra uniforms, they all end up packing it all in once they get a couple of nasty injuries ., and forget about the word "marathon " or "half marathon ".
    . How many people drop dead on this utterly useless bucket list ?.No one is interested in the fact that you ve done a marathon. I ve done one in a good time and bore people to death talking about it.
    Last edited by Houbara; 24-06-2019 at 12:04 PM.
    • billy2shots
    • By billy2shots 24th Jun 19, 11:56 AM
    • 281 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    billy2shots
    The reason why people get fat when they stop weight trying is because they still eat the same as when they trained. This means they are eating in excess of their ‘maintenance ‘ requirements. Consuming more calories than you need leads to muscle growth and fat whilst training and just fat if not training.

    It’s very simple.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 24th Jun 19, 10:24 PM
    • 4,470 Posts
    • 7,172 Thanks
    bouicca21
    I've always done lots of walking; did the NHS couch to 5k podcasts and can now run; learned to swim. Didn't get a lot fitter. Started with a personal trainer a few months ago and the difference is amazing. Still waiting to get high on those endorphins, but I do feel better, I have more stamina and am definitely stronger.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 26th Jun 19, 8:57 AM
    • 7,509 Posts
    • 50,971 Thanks
    Gers
    I watched this last night and found most of it very interesting.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09qjl7d/the-truth-about-15-getting-fit

    Clever marketing - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/03/watch-your-step-why-the-10000-daily-goal-is-built-on-bad-science
    • TheShape
    • By TheShape 26th Jun 19, 6:38 PM
    • 1,491 Posts
    • 1,355 Thanks
    TheShape
    First off there is no such thing as toning up.
    There’s losing fat, gaining muscle or recomping.

    The first two speak for themselves, recomping is where you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Sounds perfect right? Wrong. Out of the 3 it is by far the hardest thing to do. You must master nutritional intake and timing of those macros around exercise to make it work in the long run. Luckily brand new trainees can recomp during their first 6 months of training. After that window you really have to choose between gaining muscle (along with fat) or losing fat (whilst losing a little muscle).

    However we are getting ahead of ourselves. No amount of training will out do a poor diet. Nutritional intake is key in being successful regardless of which goal you choose.
    First you need to work out your ‘maintenance Calorie intake’. This is how much you need to eat to stay exactly as you are.
    Once maintenance has been determined you will then tweak that number depending on your goal.

    Muscle gain=250 calories a day extra
    Fat loss =500 calories a day less
    Recomp=Maintenance (six months then pick from the two above)

    Those maintenance calories can then be split between food groups. I always recommend 0.7grams of protein per lb of bodywey (actually it’s 1g per f lb of lean body mass but not many are experienced to work that out so will stick to 0.6g of total weight)

    Fat- healthy fat from some nuts, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, coconut oil etc. Somewhere in the region of 0.3-0.5g per lb of body weight is a good starting point.

    Carbs- The remaining calories can be used for carbohydrates. Again healthy choices are prefect. Foods low on the glycemic index are better, so wholemeal breads and pasta Ofer white etc etc.

    Some respond better to low carb high fat diets and others the complete opposite. Above is a good staring point.

    Once diet is nailed down then you can move on to exercise.
    Running will not ‘tone’ your body as explained earlier. Running will help you lose fat through energy expenditure with the correct diet but will not add muscle (very small amount to legs not withstanding).
    Resistance training with weights or body weight is the way to add muscle.
    Those runners you see on tv with good muscle development have spent years in the gym.
    Swimming can add a little muscle and help lose fat but again the muscle will be nothing compared to resistance training.

    Please don’t us PTs. £499 and a few months is what’s needed to gain a PT qualification. In 20 years of training I can count on one hand the number of PTs that actually know their stuff.
    The amount of online resources these days is more than enough to refer to for exercise form. So many PTs teach dangerous form and it’s scary to watch.
    If you are desperate to throw good money away then make sure someone has qualifications relating to nutrition.

    This is the very basics but feel free to ask more.
    Originally posted by billy2shots
    There is a lot of poor advice on the internet re fitness. This advice however, is very good. billy2shots knows their stuff. I've followed this advice over the past five months alongside a weight-training program. Lost 23lbs in the first 10-12 weeks through training and a calorie deficit and have since put on muscle and increased strength by tweaking my diet.
    • billy2shots
    • By billy2shots 26th Jun 19, 6:48 PM
    • 281 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    billy2shots
    There is a lot of poor advice on the internet re fitness. This advice however, is very good. billy2shots knows their stuff. I've followed this advice over the past five months alongside a weight-training program. Lost 23lbs in the first 10-12 weeks through training and a calorie deficit and have since put on muscle and increased strength by tweaking my diet.
    Originally posted by TheShape

    That’s great progress! Looks like you have been smashing it. Keep it up.
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