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MSANITAL Posts: 8,043
7/7/14 5:23 P

way to go on wanting to get fit. this is how I feel about exercise.. yea I hate it but it is the only thing that is going to keep me healthy.. I don't think exercise is something you work towards and when you reach it your done .. it is something that you have to do your whole life.. I am not saying you need to do crossfit or boot camp or jumping around what you can do is something you and only you like..
step aerobics

I think you get the picture.. anything that keeps you moving.. is fitness.. serous.. add some strength training to that and you are all set..and the next time you walk up your stairs you will notice that you are not huffing and puffing unless you sprinted up..

FITMARY Posts: 8,522
7/6/14 3:51 P

Congratulations on committing to getting healthier! Woo hoo!
I bet you will start noticing improvements in just 4-6 weeks. Everyone is different, but if you have been inactive, starting a good exercise program should start paying off pretty quickly. It took me quite a bit longer than that because I wasn't really committed. But give yourself time and stick with it and eventually you will WANT to exercise. Weird, right? I used to hate the gym too, but feeling better and stronger eventually helps overcome that feeling.
Stay the course. IT'S WORTH IT!!!

JUSTAMOMOF5 Posts: 339
7/1/14 5:31 P

I've been wondering the same thing myself Pinkmum.... how long til I see or fee a change?
Well last night Hubby and I went for a walk. It was excruciating!! I could still manage to talk, but my body was screaming at me "you fool!" Got home and realized that I was walking faster!! That same walk a few weeks ago I was walking it at 2.7mph.... last night 2.85mph!! Not a huge change, but definitely an improvement!!!I'm anxiously awaiting the day I hit 3mph!!!

Good luck to you on the stairs!!! I just moved to a ranch style home =) 1 stair in the whole house!! Now that I don't have them, I miss my stairs lol


DEB42615 SparkPoints: (5,209)
Fitness Minutes: (342)
Posts: 36
6/30/14 1:32 P

I came across this article this morning was encouraged because this is what I thought all along. I'm trying to "recover from a sedentary life" at age 63.
8 Cold, Hard Truths about Exercise

Debbie V.

Edited by: DEB42615 at: 6/30/2014 (13:34)
SIMONEKP Posts: 2,618
6/30/14 11:19 A

There is no real definite answer but I would say if you're doing cardio a few times per week, it shou;d be a few weeks.

6/29/14 8:58 P

I use to think fit was based on the scale as I am working through my journey I am realizing that I am also getting excited about more muscle - not bulk but I can really fell the muscles in my thighs growing and they feel more fit. I laid out for a week with vacation and I am seeing a small decrease and it makes we realize what I have been reading and am anxious to get back to work.

SLENDERELLA61 Posts: 10,132
6/29/14 7:57 A

It took me many years to gradually get to my current level of fitness, but then getting there fast was not my goal. (Read all about it in my "How I Found My Inner Jock" popular blog from a couple years ago.) I know now, though, if I want to run a 5K faster, 4 weeks of speed training makes a huge difference and 8 weeks will get me to my best time.

If I've been overeating, three days of good eating that takes the bloat away makes me feel more fit. Even a week of 6 hours cardio - with 3 easy days and 3 challenging my current cardio level - makes me feel like an athlete!

Best wishes for a joyous journey to health and fitness!!

HILLSLUG98239 SparkPoints: (44,802)
Fitness Minutes: (87,555)
Posts: 1,151
6/28/14 11:34 A

I think you're doing great. For some of us, the greatest obstacle is in our own heads. We don't start on the path to being healthier & more fit because listen to our own doubts: I'm too old, too out of shape, too far gone, not worth it. All of those things are lies. If we heard someone telling a friend or a child that, we'd be furious and tell them to back off. And yet, we let that mean voice berate us without question.

Because this is a journey, you have to recognize the mileposts as you pass them. If you were driving from Tierra del Fuego to Anchorage, AK, you wouldn't drive for a week, say, "Gee, I'm still in Chile; this is worthless" and give up. You'd mark off your trip by cities and national borders you passed.

You've already created a few of these: climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded. That's a victory! Create a few more: walked a mile without stopping, walked a mile in half an hour, etc.

One great piece of advice I read is to select three goals. One is a crazy but achievable goal that you are capable of doing but you couldn't do it even if someone put a gun to your head. The timeline for that goal is a year or two out. Then, create a goal that you're capable of doing, but probably only if someone put a gun to your head; you would really suffer and you probably wouldn't be able to walk the next day. The timeline for that goal should be about six months out. Then, create a goal that you can achieve in the short term. The purpose of this goal is to create motivation.

My big crazy goal was an Olympic-distance triathlon to celebrate my 50th birthday in September 2015. My "I-can-do-this-if-someone-put-a-gun-to-my-
head" goal was a sprint-distance triathlon. My short-term goal was to run a 5K. (I still walk about a third of the time when I'm "running.")

This is well beyond your original question, but I'm putting all this out there because I find having real goals is motivating. And when I don't want to workout, it helps me keep working toward these goals. Rest days are important, and you should always listen to your body, but there are times to push through the sloth and indifference and workout anyway. When we workout, we make our bodies stronger. When we workout even when we don't want to, our minds get stronger.

So keep at it. Celebrate each of your victories. And one day, you'll catch sight of yourself in the mirror and think, "Wow; I look really good!"

CISTRON SparkPoints: (3,438)
Fitness Minutes: (1,929)
Posts: 47
6/27/14 11:57 P

Frankly, it does take a certain mind set to start any exercise and eating plan. I have really never liked to walk and especially not by myself. I started dragging friends, neighbors and even my kids with me to get started and I was slow and went about 2 miles. The whole way I kept wanting to turn back. I was slow but my friends were kind and kept me company. I kept at it and did the same walk but timed it and got faster and faster. Recently, every 2-3 days I join my friend who walks fast and we do a 5.25 mile walk. I find myself able to keep up (still challenged) and I am holding my abdomen in more, walking taller with better posture and people are commenting on how happy I seem.

It has taken me 8 weeks to reach this point so it does happen over time, and gradually you start to perk up and feel better, walk straighter and crave the exercise! At least I do.

JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (30,033)
Fitness Minutes: (8,946)
Posts: 2,226
6/27/14 11:42 P

the minute I start over I feel fit in my mind and the rest follows!

6/27/14 8:36 P

I think it takes a while. Keep up the good work though!

DEB42615 SparkPoints: (5,209)
Fitness Minutes: (342)
Posts: 36
6/26/14 7:58 A

DSTENORE - thank you so much for these encouraging words. I keep thinking there is something wrong when I don't respond to exercise as quickly as I am thinking I should or even as I am led to believe.
I can attest to the fact that after pushing to walk 10-20 min a day, within a couple of weeks I START to feel a little stronger. But then something interferes with my motivation and within a week or so I am "back where I started".
It's believing all those mantras.."Consistency is key" "Just keep swimming" etc that really do make a difference.
I'm ready to get off the "lose 100 lbs in one year" horse now and live the rest of my years in as healthy a way as I can.
Thank you.

DONALD362 SparkPoints: (24)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 14
6/26/14 1:20 A

Yeah its quite difficult for me too to maintain fitness level.

DSTENORE Posts: 87
6/25/14 11:59 A

Exercising requires a special mindset. Most of us don't like it, so doing it is mentally perceived as a negative, as a chore. The first thing is to think of it in terms of a positive. Visualize results! Internally it is helping your body functions improve. You may not notice what is happening internally, but after six months - if you are consistent and doing it - you will most likely begin to feel what is happening internally. Externally, it will definitely make you look better. Again, after six months - you will SEE the results. So PATIENCE is what it takes because it is not going to happen overnight or in a week or two. If you are eating healthy and exercising the right way, you may lose 1lb. a week. If you have no muscle to start, you may gain weight because you will be building muscle. Expect 12 weeks before you really feel and see it. Expecting less will just frustrate you and encourage you to give up. DON'T! Do whatever you can do think positive thoughts about exercising. It is something you will need to include in your life from this day forward. If you stop, you will return to where you began! As for your diet, really don't think of it as a "diet" - because you are going to have to eat healthy as a lifestyle forever. One thing I can say, I try to include fresh veggies in my breakfast. This has really helped me curb my appetite during the day, AND I seem to have more energy during my workout. Within four weeks, you should FEEL your stamina and endurance change.

VEG954 Posts: 7,436
6/24/14 8:13 P

I have my ups and downs.
For the last two weeks I have been low energy.
It is getting very hot and usually in the high80's.
The heat just saps all my energy.
Guess I will become a mall walker...

XSKINNYX Posts: 73
6/24/14 5:11 P

For me it's taken almost two weeks for me to get used to exercising, but I exercise everyday for 50 minutes or more. Slowly over the time I've noticed I get faster without much effort, feeling a little bit more fit and healthier each week. Cutting down my carbs has really helped me feel better and more energetic too. emoticon

DEB42615 SparkPoints: (5,209)
Fitness Minutes: (342)
Posts: 36
6/23/14 8:49 P

Pinkmum - thank you for asking about this issue. It's good to know I'm not alone.

I've spent the last 14 years working at a desk job and now it is really a problem at age 63. I am trying to bring myself back up to the point where I can even enjoy walking again. I'm hoping over this next year I will gain strength to be able to enjoy a trip my daughter and I are planning to Walt Disney World - which I know is a lot of walking.

Thank you to all who had encouraging comments. I hope in a couple of months I can report a significant improvement.

MCROW35 SparkPoints: (1,865)
Fitness Minutes: (174)
Posts: 30
6/23/14 5:35 P

First I will say that unless you are very obese, going up a single flight of stairs shouldn't make you so tired you have to take a break. It is a big concerning when you say that, so I feel obligated to suggest you see a Dr. before you continue with exercise. Even if there is nothing wrong it is good to get checked out if it is that difficult to make it up the stairs and that way you can be fairly confident that you are healthy enough to exercises.

As for the question, it varies a lot from person to person but for me it was about a month when I really noticed how much more I was able to do.

UNRAVELED13 SparkPoints: (13,480)
Fitness Minutes: (13,060)
Posts: 187
6/23/14 5:26 P

I too think it varies by person. I am the same way though because sadly walking through the mall use to wind me and I'd be very winded. I knew something had to give when just walking next door to the post office left me breathless. I started exercising regularly and it was a subtle change at first but I noticed in just a few weeks to a months time that I had way more energy and could walk through the entire mall without feeling winded and I could run back and forth to the post office with no exertion at all. I'm still far from where I want to be but you will get there if you just keep at it.

DSTENORE Posts: 87
6/23/14 12:05 P

After 30 days, you will do better. After 60 days, you will start to really notice your endurance and stamina are improving. After 90 days, you will begin to see and feel significant change. After six months, you will be SOOOOOO glad you got into this new lifestyle. Hang in there, keep doing it. It takes time to build stamina and endurance. Once that happens, it will continue to build and build. Your workouts will improve. The results WILL HAPPEN. Don't give up and don't stop doing what you're doing!!!!!!! Congratulations for making this lifestyle change.

ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (388,199)
Fitness Minutes: (130,267)
Posts: 11,639
6/23/14 8:54 A

It varies by person, just keep doing what you're doing and it will happen.
Good Luck!!!

DOODLES1013 SparkPoints: (18,982)
Fitness Minutes: (8,236)
Posts: 473
6/23/14 2:12 A

At least month for me. Keep at it emoticon

DWORB415 Posts: 296
6/22/14 12:22 P

I think maybe in 4-6 weeks of consistent exercise you will notice a significant change in your endurance levels. If it takes longer, do not get discouraged. You will get to your goal soon enough! Keep it up!

LJBRANDOK Posts: 183
6/22/14 8:57 A

I agree with the two to three month time estimate. Then, though, you should be trying to increase intensity level and time exercising to notice more results. It took me over six months to be exercising at an intensity level that I considered "thin" people to be doing. I noticed that walking hills, extra blocks, or stairs became much easier after that point.

VEG954 Posts: 7,436
6/21/14 9:08 A

I didn't get out of shape recently. It took a long time and many poor choices.
It will take time to feel fit again.

LILHOBBIT29 SparkPoints: (21,653)
Fitness Minutes: (17,739)
Posts: 2,264
6/20/14 5:04 P

I think fitness is sensed in a relative kinda way. I'm more for than i was 3 months ago, but i was certainly more fit when i was a school kid.

2-3 consistent weeks will make a noticeable change as will each consequent week or fortnight.Keep at it, it's always worth it!

VEG954 Posts: 7,436
6/20/14 11:14 A

I have a problem with consistancy because of health issues and needing to stay off my times. That means needing to start over again on a regular basis. I do as much upper body exercises during rest periods from the gym.

6/20/14 2:12 A

At first for me it was realizing that I didn't usually feel bad. That was about 3 weeks in. Later maybe 6 or 8 weeks in I noticed that I felt good. Soon I was feeling good more often than bad.
Just know that you are making progress and building a stronger you more able to face the physical and mental challenges that come your way.

H7MONIC Posts: 20
6/20/14 12:28 A

I'm in the same boat as you PINKMUM. I just started strength training workouts and found the advice given here helpful. I especially liked SOAPSANDROPES suggestion about going back to past workouts and comparing your progress. I've noticed an improvement just in stretching exercises. For example, I can now touch the floor when I reach down to my toes while standing up. I couldn't do that before. Little small things like that actually make me happy. emoticon

6/19/14 8:48 A

I totally understand wanting to know how long. I have been at this regularly for a month and I took measurements and weight the other day and to my dismay nothing changed. This is where I would normally give up but this time I am not going to. I know it takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to notice anything but so far I have noticed just a different feeling. Yes the exercises tire me out but overall my energy level is up AND I am sleeping better so I consider these little things improvements. Don't give up it is so worth hanging in there.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,430
6/18/14 9:09 P

One of the good things about starting from a low fitness base is that you will see improvements quite quickly with regular exercise. You may not be able to go out and run a marathon, but typically just a couple of weeks should make a noticeable difference in your fitness.

One quick and simple measure of your fitness is to look at changes in your resting heart rate.


FLORADITA SparkPoints: (63,612)
Fitness Minutes: (40,566)
Posts: 541
6/18/14 6:53 P

Good for you for making a commitment to exercise and keeping to it! It may feel like it is slow going but stay with it and one day it will become too easy and you will need to push yourself even harder. Building up endurance and increasing your fitness level will take time, it will take weeks and sometimes even months before you may see a difference. But with every step and every workout you are moving closer to your goal of becoming fit.

If you are concerned about feeling breathless, I would recommend a visit to your doctor to rule out any underlying condition. If you have been cleared by your doctor for exercise than just have patience, it takes time to build up your cardiovascular levels. If you are healthy, huffing and puffing is a good thing.

My only suggestion for long term success is to find exercise you enjoy. I had been inactive for a long period due to injuries and when I started back exercising I found myself hating every minute on the treadmill and elliptical machine. I used to love playing tennis but thought I was too old and no longer good enough to play. I started back slowly and even paid for some coaching and two years later I am now back playing competitively and loving it. I know I would of likely stopped going to the gym and let myself slid back into being a couch potato if I hadn't found something I love to do. Now when I workout at the gym, it is towards a goal of becoming a stronger tennis player. This could be the same with dancing, running, zumba or weightlifting, do what you love and enjoy and then it is easier to work towards your goals. If you are not having fun and enjoying your workout it will become harder and harder to do.

UKNOWITNOW SparkPoints: (64,560)
Fitness Minutes: (31,299)
Posts: 2,615
6/18/14 4:33 P

It won't take much longer before you will notice a difference. And you will want to start pushing a little harder because you will know you can do more.

MICHELE14509 Posts: 61
6/18/14 3:41 P

You don't say how long you're exercising or how hard you push yourself when you work out, but for me when I first start out I do 30-40 min on the treadmill 3-4 times a week, making sure to add in several challenging intervals (like it should be tough but not impossible to talk). At that level I'm noticing improvement by the end of the second week or into the third. If you stick with it I think you'll find going upstairs to your room much easier very soon. Being able to handle several flights without stopping like you mentioned at the tourist spot might take a couple months. Be sure to do intervals when you work out, that is the best way to increase cardiovascular efficiency & endurance. I like the SOAPSANDROPES' idea of using the stairs as part of your workout, since that's your benchmark for yourself. And if it's taking longer than you'd like to be able to complete even one flight without getting winded, then just count steps. Maybe when you started out you'd get winded by the 4th stair, but now it takes until the 6th. Progress, not perfection!

Also it's probably a good idea to get yourself checked for iron again if you have had a problem with that in the past. That will definitely interfere with your ability to exercise. You don't want to set yourself up for failure from the get go.

Congrats for sticking with it this long! You can do it!

Edited by: MICHELE14509 at: 6/18/2014 (15:48)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (189,377)
Fitness Minutes: (184,189)
Posts: 15,736
6/17/14 3:23 P

I think it will be sooner than you think. I remember nearing the end of a semester of PE in high school (where I did pretty much as little as possible) and having to run a short distance and being surprised to not be winded.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (215,849)
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Posts: 7,166
6/17/14 2:52 P

It will take time, but as long as you stick with it you will see results.

6/17/14 2:42 P

Good job on sticking to it so far! I think that you should give yourself at least 2 months to start to see improvements. Occasionally, I will go back and do workouts that I used to think were hard just to measure my progress. Maybe start with stairs now and increase going up and down them over time.

PINKMUM Posts: 16
6/17/14 1:23 P

I have just started making a commitment to exercise and am actually doing it. I am. I have done M, W, F, Sat for one week and am starting second week. Don't laugh, but it's probably the longest I've ever stuck to it and I really am in this for the long haul. I am just making the time and not allowing excuses. I hate to exercise (I know, horrible mind-set). I am doing combo of cardio and weight training and feel confident I am doing right thing, getting good workout (i.e. checking heart rate).

Anyway, right now just going up the stairs in my home leaves me breathless. Seriously. I may have some low iron issues contributing to this, but I am kind of doubting my iron is still low (it used to be). So - how long do you think it will be until I go up one flight of stairs and not feel like I need to take a min to catch my breath? That's a smallish, measurable mark, is it not? Is this maybe a 2-3 week thing or 2-3 month thing? I want to be able to go up 4 or 5 flights of stairs without a panic about having to do so. Last summer we went to Chimney Rock in NC and I didn't climb the extra stairs (maybe 6 or 7 flights) because I knew it would be horrible, I'd be slow, etc.

I am eating fairly well (mostly!) and my big challenge is fitness.

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