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26 Jul 2005

unfit smoker
I am 48, have smoked for 18 years, and NEVER embarked on any fitness program. I have been a heavy (+/- 30) smoker for about the past 8 years. I have had a problem with anxiety for the past 18 years - probably the main reason I have not done anything about exercise, as my anxiety seems to revolve around the fragility of my heart. Anyway, I am slowly getting the anxiety under control and am smoking less and really want to do something to improve my fitness. My cholesterol is 5.5, I wiegh about 57kgs and my blood pressure is normally around 110/70, my resting pulse is between 70 and 80. I sometimes experience a sort of shortness of breath without much exertion, sometimes just from talking a lot - it feels similar to the breathlessness experienced late in pregnancy (my babies were all over 4kg). Please advise me on what to do.
Thank you
Answer 438 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Skoek,

Since you have never exercised before, experience shortness of breath, have anxiety regarding your heart and are a smoker I strongly suggest that you see a physician and undergo a "stress test" before embarking on an exercise programme. That way, the most appropriate exercise routine can be tailor made to suit your needs and the status of your heart can be appropriately assessed (and, hopefully, ease your fears).

I believe that exercise would enhance your sense of well being as well as improve your physical fitness, but you must begin correctly, and with peace of mind, so that fitness will become a worthwhile and life-long endeavor.

Best of Luck!!
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