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04 Dec 2004

Want to get into shape
I'm 60 years young, working in Saudi Arabia and want to get fit. Unfortunately we are fenced in for security reasons where we live, but have a well equipped gym available. I need advice on what kind of training and how much I can start with safely. I can be reached at the above e-mail address.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

HI Old Top

First things first, I think that you need to consult with a doctor and be medically cleared to exercise. This is important for everyone, but if you are starting out at 60, then it is perhaps even more vital.

once this is obtained, then you can begin. My advice is of course to start slowly and build up very gradually. You must think long term. Here's where I have to sit on the fence, because I can't possibly predict how much you can handle. It depends on genes, history of activity etc. For example, someone who grew up and continued to walk everywhere into the 40's might have a more decent level of fitness than someone who has had a desk job for 30 years and hardly exercised, even if both have been inactive for at least 10 years.

So the best advice is to rather underpredict the starting point and then build up faster if you feel that you are coping very well. The other way does not work - you can't start too hard then back off, it might be too late and you are injured, so rather take the conservative approach.

So, my advice is that you check out the following site:

http://www.health24.com/fitness/Getting_started/16-474-488,24069.asp

Here you will see a number of options for training programmes. My advice would be to choose the Shape up for Summer programme (the first or second one) and then go for that. Start at the beginning and, if after 2 weeks, you feel that you are not exercising hard enough, then jump ahead 2 weeks to week 4, then go to week 6 and so on, until you get the level that is best for you, and follow the programme from then on.

Regards
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