Help me get fit(ter).

  Chronos the 2nd 09:18 26 Jul 2013

Breif history.

Four years ago diagnosed with T4 Squamous Cell carcinoma of the tonsil. Like a lot of men I had ignored the signs that all might not be well consequently my cancer was at a pretty advanced stage and needed very aggressive treatment both chemo and radiological.

The upshot was I went from a fit, strong a tad over weight man with cancer to a incredibly unfit,puny guy without it,thus far. It took me around 2.5 years to get over the treatment as I had very bad side affects and due to mistakes in my treatment I have been left permanently impaired with the inability to swallow solid foods.

THE NHS currently do nothing to help patients once treatment is complete and there is little follow up help or advice, well not by my local health board anyway.

I am now aged 59 and would like to regain a decent level of fitness, though I accept that I will never be as fit as I would like. I would like to return to some form of work but it is unlikely that I could ever be able to return to the physical demands of the heating and ventilation industry but perhaps a courier or some such would suite.

But I need to get a lot fitter, in an ideal world I would use a gym, this is not financially possible when I include travel cost. I have thought of cycling but there is absolutely nowhere to store a bike.

I have tried walking and in he fine weather this is OK but incredibly boring, I have never enjoyed walking as a pastime.

So looking for suggestions on exercises that I might do at home with a view to building up overall fitness and strength.

I have thought perhaps a Cross Trainer might be useful but I believe that these might be prohibitively expensive for a decent one anyway.

  johndrew 09:48 26 Jul 2013

At 59 I would suggest that any high level exercise should be avoided as, regardless of how fit you were 3 years ago, you have had a massive shock with chemo and radiotherapy, your body has aged the time plus an addition for treatment and, as you say yourself, things have slipped.

You could contact a trainer who has experience in people of your circumstance, or perhaps look at your diet and calorie intake to gently reduce this and at the same time gently increase exercise. Even a bit of gardening uses a good bit of energy and flexes muscles; have you considered an allotment?

Another option is swimming if you have a decent local pool.

Personally I dislike cross trainers and prefer to walk the dog. A couple of miles a day helps me.

  Quickbeam 09:50 26 Jul 2013

I'm the same regarding boring fitness regimes and gym equipment. Cycling does get you much further afield thereby creating an interest in the locality that you didn't know was their, but if storage is at a premium, would a folding bike solve that problem?

You're right about the need to get fitter to feel better, my dad was only 3 years older than I am now (57) when he died after never having had an out of the office interest, which is why last night I did this downhill circuit with my young (14/17) nephews. I'm their cool Gt Uncle, but I wasn't anyway near as fast as those in the video!

  Quickbeam 09:52 26 Jul 2013

And that probably answers HB's meaning of life conundrum, live it...

  Chronos the 2nd 10:00 26 Jul 2013

I did see a Pro(?) at a council run gym but to be honest he did not seem to be particularly interested handed me a log sheet and basically said do what you can do on the various pieces of equipment. I think he was more into posing or trying to impress the girls.

Perhaps I was unlucky with him and I should perhaps try somewhere else or someone else.

As my thread says, I cannot swallow solid food which means that I only can take liquids. Which in my case is Fortisip, theses things. Fortisip and my dietician was advising me to have a P E G refitted but due to ongoing problems I am having with my local health board I am not prepared to have this fitted. I do have a slight problems with micro-nutrient intake as I also lost my sense of taste so virtually everything tastes unpleasant so I do find it difficult to drink these Fortisip liquids.

  Aitchbee 10:18 26 Jul 2013

Your local library or charity shops might have simple keep-fit videos which would only need some clear floorspace infront of your TV and perhaps 20 minutes-a-day of your time. Also, your local college might have evening courses on Yoga, Tai Chi etc which usually start up in September.

PS. I have tried all of the above ... even clearing a bit of floorspace [now] in my living-room would burn up a few [thousand] calories ;o]

  Chronos the 2nd 10:27 26 Jul 2013


Due to circumstances I will not go into, I live in one room with access to a bathroom and kitchen, not that I need the latter so much these days. So space is also at a premium and bouncing around to a keep fit video would I imagine cause some consternation to my elderly neighbour below

I am currently looking at a book called Convict conditioning, exercising in confined spaces and working on a program suited for my situation.

  woodchip 10:40 26 Jul 2013

Talking about Equipment, whats wrong with what you already have at home! you do not need to go out spending money two plastic pop bottles filled with water for barbells and chairs etc to use for exercising' plus most of the above is boring but do you want to get as fit as possible give what johndrew said above?

  fourm member 10:44 26 Jul 2013

I'd echo the idea of swimming, if you can access a local pool. Our pool has dedicated sessions for over 40s and over 50s so there's no problem with youngsters getting excited plus people meet people so it becomes a social event.

If swimming is out of the question then what about walking but with an audio book for company? I believe Stephen Fry lost a huge amount of weight doing this. You just have to be disciplined about not listening if you are not walking. This means, when the book gets exciting, you go round the block again because you can't wait to hear what happens.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:50 26 Jul 2013

Yes I do want to get as fit as I can, yes my body had a massive shock and yes my reaction to the treatment was extreme. But there was a recent report concerning the lack of real help or advise to patients trying to recover a decent level of fitness following long term medical treatment.

I certainly like the idea of plastic bottles filled with water as improvised weights and it is this sort of advise I am seeking. It is my aim to get back to some sort of work but to do this I must have at least a reasonable level of fitness and strength.

  wee eddie 10:58 26 Jul 2013

May I suggest that you start with Yoga.

Beginners Classes are available in most towns and it will get your muscles working with very little risk of injury.

You might then consider, walking to and from the class. It has been known for the NHS to subsidise (pay the Class Fee) such a regime as it is cheaper, to them, than physiotherapy.

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