Fitness for Fat Guys over Forty

Are you over forty, overweight, and not sure how to achieve fitness again?

Do you gasp for breath when you walk uphill? Do you find you lack the strength or flexibility to do tasks that were once simple?

Before beginning any fitness program, consult a doctor!!!

And consult these safety tips!

Where's the Knot on Your Shoe?

Recently a friend of mine commented that you could tell the shape a person is by where the knot is on their shoes. As we get older—and as our belly gets bigger—and bending over or pulling our knee to our chest gets more difficult, we change the way we tie our shoes.

We inflexible or overweight people tie our shoes like this:

tying shoes the out-of-shape way

My friend pointed out that this results in a knot that off to the side of the shoe. Younger folk ties their shoes this way:

tying shoes the out-of-shape way

… which produces a knot centered on your foot.

"Thus," she remarked, "I can tell when my friends are getting older when the knot moves to the side of their shoe!" :-)

Moving the Knot on Your Shoe

While I was devoted to fitness in my 20's, I slacked off significantly in my 30's and gained about 70 pounds. On the day that I could no longer put my socks on the way I'd done it all my life, I decided something had to change.

I was forty at the time. I had five children and a sixth on the way. I was running a business and helping to lead a Christian community. I had to find a way to fit fitness into my schedule.

As I write this in January, 2010, I am now 48 years old. My weight and fitness level fluctuates a bit, depending on weather, travel, and time, but I can always run two miles, and I can put my socks on standing up. (Amazing what can be important to us, isn't it?)

Three years ago I entered a 50km race and finished it in 7 1/2 hours. That's 31 miles, and I averaged about 14 minutes per mile. The winner of the 50-mile finished a little before I did, running 50 miles in less time than I did 31.

That's okay. I finished.

I don't have any more willpower than you do. I developed some techniques to keep me going, even when I get off sometimes.

These pages will pass those fitness techniques on to you. I can help you …

  • Get and stay motivated
  • Find time to stay fit on any schedule
  • Greatly decrease your risk of heart attack
  • Achieve greater strength and flexibility
  • Achieve greater balance, and realize how important balance really is! (This is missed by almost all exercise programs except yoga, which will make you flexible but not cardiovascularly fit.)
  • Improve your memory, mood, and productivity!!!
  • Pick and meet fitness goals, even elaborate ones.
  • And … put your shoes and socks on however you want! :-)

Okay, let's get started!

  • Just Move! The basis for all exercise.
  • How to Run Faster

    I gave in and made page for young people—or for you especially healthy over-40 folk—who want to run fast.

    Here's what is effective.

  • You'll need jogging as a base for other exercises. Here's how to start jogging painlessly, injury-free, and in a fun and encouraging way that will motivate you to continue.
  • I've made a shorter jogging tips page that will help you continue, and do so injury-free, whether you're just starting or not.
  • Some general thoughts on Fitness Improvement over 40. You have to replace some of those things you did naturally when you were younger.
  • Marathon Training Tips
  • From Flabby to 5K