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26 Sep 2006

147kg, started gym, hypertension
Hi Doc

I weigh a whopping 147kg's and just started going to gym again after more than 3 years of not excercising. I worked out that in the last 10 year, I picked up 65kg's!!! I'm 1,73 metres tall and basically have to lose half my body.

What is the best - and safest - way to shed the kilo's? I'm insulin resistant, pre-diabetic and have hypertension. If I don't do something now, I'll have a heart attack before age 35 (I'm 31 now).

A trainer at the gym told me to do cardio and the circuit, but somehow it feels as if something is lacking. Because I am so obese, my knees get a heavy knock when doing things like the Orbital trainer.

I have now gone into a challenge with people at work and I want to lose 20kg's by mid December. Any advice?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Zen

The first thing that you need to do is have a medical screen before you begin - you have some risk factors, as you have realised, and so therefore, you need to be approved. In theory, a gym should not allow you to exercise without one given your health status at the moment - hypertension, insulin resistant and overweight.

Once you have obtained this, then I would agree with the trainer at the gym who suggests cardio as the main focus. I'm not sure why you feel that something is lacking, I suspect that you feel a little frustrated at how 'little' exercise you feel you can do at this stage? There is nothing wrong with that, because you have to realise that starting from a position of being quite unfit, you have to build up very gradually in terms of your duration and intensity of exercise. That means that initially, you will have to accept that there is something missing. If you tried harder and did more training, there is a likelihood that you would simply become injured and sick and have to stop training completely. So be patient, the cardio is the right way to go.

The best cardio depends on your preference. If the orbitrainer hurts your knees after 15 minutes, then do 10, before switching to another machine, the bicycle, treadmill or rowing machine. I would suggest that intially, you aim to accumulate 40 minutes of cardio, 3 or 4 times a week. It doesn't really matter how and even how hard, as long as you finish 40 minutes feeling tired, but not exhausted. Then, on one other day a week, I would do the circuit, do the full circuit twice, it should take 30 to 40 minutes and that's a good session.

I hope that gets you started. I don't think you should be impatient, obviously, just build up gradually, and I am sure that in 2 months' time, you will find that you are much fitter and stronger, hopefully a lot leaner and then you can really start to play around with the training.

Good luck
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