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Symptoms of being unfit?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here's a question to those into fitness:

 

Since I retired from the service about 5 years ago, my lifestyle has been rather couch-potato like.  I'd say I've worked out maybe 6 months mixed throughout the 60.

 

I've noticed recently that I'm short of breath going up stairs, or walking uphill from my office to my car.  My weight increased dramatically since retirement (30 pounds), but has remained pretty constant the last few years.  Still, I'm noticing this shortness of breath more than before.  Also, short bursts of movement (carrying my son upstairs, etc) causes me to breath heavily and my heart rate goes up.

 

Is this the symptom of age (47) and inactivity?  Does the same amount of inactivity cause increased symptoms as we grow older?   I've never been this out of shape before and am somewhat alarmed. 

 

Any thoughts?

 

BTW, I have started working out again (about a month or so now).  Back in the service, I liked to work out.  Now, I look at it sort of like I "need" to do it in order to live.

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post

 

 

I've noticed recently that I'm short of breath going up stairs, or walking uphill from my office to my car.  My weight increased dramatically since retirement (30 pounds), but has remained pretty constant the last few years.  Still, I'm noticing this shortness of breath more than before.  Also, short bursts of movement (carrying my son upstairs, etc) causes me to breath heavily and my heart rate goes up.

 

Is this the symptom of age (47) and inactivity?  Does the same amount of inactivity cause increased symptoms as we grow older?   I've never been this out of shape before and am somewhat alarmed. 

 

 

Yes unfortunately these are the symptoms of being unfit or gradually increasing to being unfit which can easily lead to obesity if not taken care of. Do note that as years pass by and since your a middle aged individual effects such as diabetes, mild-high blood pressure and arthiritis comes into play quite easily.  

Since my old man has symptoms similar to of yours and 2 years older, I advise you to lay off or reduce sugar and cholesterol intake, do some light 15 minute jogs, the longer the better, cycling and long walks and plenty of fresh air.

 

If you don't have time to do the above exercises, if you have access to your local gym or exercise equipments such as bicycles, striders, treadmills these will be beneficial to you as well. Since your body has reached a point where it is not going to develop anymore and has matured, thing's you are able to do when your were younger or thing's you eat you need to take note now and start being very careful as sideaffect's can affect your bones, heart and blood pressure quite easily (also your liver and kidney's if your a regular booze drinker), i.e. your body is starting to degrade over time and maintaining health is actually quite hard (stress comes into play as well as an unhealthy diet).

 

There are plenty of online quick guides written by professional's to maintain health for certain age groups and you can do to prevent the trend of your health going down the hill. But one thing besides eating healthy and doing regular exercise is don't eat before you sleep, a lot people do this, your body cannot process the food intake properly if you lay down in bed and have eaten half hours time before you sleep. Try to keep your dinner around 5-7 and at least 2 half hours before you sleep and during this time be sure to do some exercises and not just go back to the couch and continue eat and watch tv, your not doing your body a favour.


Edited by DefQon - 5/26/12 at 7:54pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks, DefQon.

 

I thought some more about my shortness of breath and, shockingly, I've done almost zero cardio in the past six years.  I've hit the gym and walked on the treadmill, or chased my son around a bit, but good ol' fashioned 20-minute plus cardio?  Less than ten.  Played basketball and raquetball a few times.

 

No wonder I'm short of breath. 

 

Don't know what the hell I was thinking.  I actually thought I was in pretty good shape.  Reality is a great wakeup call!

 

Thanks again.

 

Cheers.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post

 

I've noticed recently that I'm short of breath going up stairs, or walking uphill from my office to my car.  

 

This is a red flag or at least something to pay attention to. Unfortunetaly, this is common for many American adults and I don't blame you. We Americans are ready to explode and have heart attacks every day. These hamburgers and fries are so addictive. Even teenagers are fatter than ever before.

post #5 of 13

Shortness of breath might mean you are anemic. Are you eating healthy? Do you get enough iron,copper, vitamin B12, vitamin c and folic acid in your diet? Do you get enough calcium and magnesium? Do you get enough vitamin D(enought sunlight)? You don't need to join a gym. Imo the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and do plenty of rapid walking.


Edited by JK1 - 5/27/12 at 9:35am
post #6 of 13

Yes, it gets worse the older we get.  

post #7 of 13
You need a baseline, so have a stress test to make sure you do no harm, and if this this is good then begin a slow build toward fitness and listen to the doctor.
post #8 of 13

About a year ago a new "Y" opened 10 minutes away. I joined and went once/twice a week to work on the strength machines. I didn't feel any improvement so I hired a trainer for 5 sessions, it was the best step I could have taken. She set me up with a program, showed me how to vary it from workout to workout and taught me the need to push myself. I now go 3 or 4 times a week and work hard while I'm there. I feel better, more alert and agile,  and I have more strength than I've had in years.

I'm 68 years old. Too bad it can't improve my hearing! biglaugha.gif

post #9 of 13

Four years ago I had a 4xCABG (quad-by of the heart).  My major symptom was shortness of breath.  I could not walk 100 feet before having to stop and get my breath.  Hopefully you nothing like this.  I was having shortness of breath for almost a year before getting a stress test. Once on the machine they told me not to go home but they wanted to talk me to the hospital for more tests I was in such shape.  They operated on me the same day of my follow-up test.  Now I am arguably above the 95% fitness level for someone my age.  Just last Feb I did almost 13 minutes on the Bruce Protocol treadmill stress test. 

 

So again I suggest going to the doctor for a check up.  Do not be satisfied with a simple EKG.  I had over six of them over a six month period before my stress test with all showing that I was find.  Apparently the EKG only shows heart muscle damage if you have had any already.  I am fortunate that I never had any heart muscle damage and is the reason I am able to push myself as much today as I can.

 

My exercise of choice today is the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine.  Using the Concept 2 machines has opened doors of a world wide community that I never dream existed before.  The Concept 2 web site for logging and ranking workouts during each rowing season based on age, gender and weight gives me some indication of how well I am doing.  There are virtual rows with people around the world that I could do if times were aligned.  Virtual teams have competitions against each other and many such highly motivational events occur during the year.  I log my workouts using the Sunnto T6C on the Sunnto Movescount web site.  Facebook has many groups posting workouts for support and fun.
 

post #10 of 13

Exercize is good, but the most important thing is proper diet. Skip the junk food and empty calories, and eat healthy. Take vitamin and mineral supplements. Many people in the US are deficient in vitamin D and magnesium. Deficiencies in B vitamins and vitamin c are also quite common.


Edited by JK1 - 5/28/12 at 12:06pm
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys, for the suggestions.

 

I think for the most part, my problems are due simply to inactivity.  My physicals have all turned out well.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

 

I eat okay, but not really well.  Too much processed and not enough veggies and fruits.  I've changed that simply by incorporating more of it into my meals.  I'm also trying to avoid as much sugars as possible. 

 

As I've aged, there's been small aches and pains that I never used to have.  I used to wonder what the heck all this new pain was, but now I have two simple mottos to live by: 

 

"Pain is good" and "Exercise to live". 

 

I no longer find it excusable to not exercise daily, period. 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post

 

I no longer find it excusable to not exercise daily, period. 

 

I was in the same boat as you about 2 years ago. I started noticing the shortness of breath and the increasing width of my pants and finally, stood on a scale. I was shocked to realize that in 3 years I had managed to put on close to 45 lbs! (from 180 lb when I graduated from college, to 215 lb). And the scary thing for me was, other than the fact that I used to walk to school every day during college, I was actually more active leading up to 2010 at my job than I had been in school (I was working as a field engineer so I spent a lot of time with physical work). over the next two years I started walking daily (5-5.5 miles over 1 hour) and doing crunches or something similar every morning and now, I fluctuate between 170-175 (I'm actually lighter now than I was in High School!) and started reducing my daily caloric intake and now, I've reached the point where A). The amounts of food I could eat even 2 years ago are too much to consume anymore, and B). I actually get a bit crankier in the day, if I have to forgo my exercise.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

Imo the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and do plenty of rapid walking.


It's not so much rapid walking, it's just doing more exercise.
That being said, I hate walking, If I'm not on the floor after exercise I feel like it was too easy...
motivation is just to see how far I can push myself. without injury of course.

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