Health Fitness admin  

How quickly can you get back in shape after years of inactivity?

Have you been inactive for years? Wondering how long it will take you to get in shape?

The short answer is “It depends!” How quickly you get in shape is directly related to your current physical condition and how quickly your body reacts to fitness. For example, someone who is 10 pounds overweight, with no physical limitations, will get in shape much faster than someone who is 50 pounds overweight with type II diabetes and knee problems.

Not only will the second person take longer to get in shape, but they will likely need to use a different strategy. The second person may never reach the fitness level of the first. But remember that it is not a competition. It is individual and doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Getting in shape after years of inactivity is like taking a car for a drive after it has stood still for ten years. If you’re a car buff, you know you won’t get in and see how fast you can maximize the RPMs in each gear. I would accompany him and gradually get him going. The body after years of “no use” is similar.

You want to start out slow and gradually work your way up the fitness ladder. The American Heart Association recommends that a good place to start is to exercise three to four times a week, for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, with a target heart rate of 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate, take 220 – your age (for men) or 226 – your age (for women).

For example, the maximum heart rate for a 50-year-old man would be 170. Sixty percent of that number would be 102 beats per minute. Increase your activity level over a period of 6 weeks, and finally increase your target heart rate by 70-80% (80% would be 136).

A good place to start is with a combination of cardio and strength training. Walking, running, playing tennis, biking, and swimming are good cardiovascular activities that will get your heart rate into the target range. Of course, before starting your exercise routine (and after getting your doctor’s approval), be sure to warm up with stretches.

If you have knee problems, replace an elliptical cross trainer with walking or running. And don’t even think about playing tennis. With cardio or strength training, adjust time / intensity and weight / reps to keep your heart rate in the proper range. With strength training, start with low weights and reps and work up.

The other half of getting in shape is eating right. While you’re at the doctor to get checked to see if you’re fit enough to start an exercise program, ask about a nutrition plan. It will be different for you if you have to lose a lot of weight than if you are already the right weight for your height and age.

Getting in shape is about setting a goal and then gradually working towards it. Focusing only on reaching your goal as quickly as possible is just asking for a debilitating injury that could set you back months.

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