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I'm not fit. I'm in my early 30s. I struggle to do 10 push-ups, crunches/sit-ups hurt my back, and I can't jog more than 5 minutes without feeling exhausted. I'm not too fat, just crossing the 'overweight' line in regards to BMI.

I've picked up a few health magazines, and the proposed exercises are way out of my league - I can barely do a few push-ups, much less do them between other exercises. I find gyms a little too expensive and out of my daily route and will probably quit if I have to rely on one. I've searched on the Internet, but I can't really figure how reliable those sites and blogs are.

Right now, I'm interested in just doing about 30 mins of exercises a day before my morning shower. I figure if I can comfortably maintain a routine of 30 mins of exercise a day, I'd be in shape to go higher. If possible it should be without equipment, though dumbbells or anything available at home should be fine.

I'm not so interested in strength/muscle building, but in improving stamina, not getting diseases, improving posture, and just plain feeling good.

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Seems like it may be what you're eating that's in need of an overhaul - then just add 30 mins of cardio. Running wears me out too and I make much more progress with a power walk on high incline. That should get you feeling good pretty quickly to start with. Maybe add some skipping with a rope and short jogs too. –  Marty Feb 4 '13 at 5:31
I'd say my diet is decent. I just spend too much time in front of the computer all day, and weekends. And my metabolism has slowed down since the past decade or so. –  Muz Feb 4 '13 at 6:57
Maybe try a boxing bag - thats where I started my fitness and I really loved it, which helped me stick to it. –  Marty Feb 4 '13 at 8:00
The workout progression in Robb Wolf's book Paleo Solution is pretty good, if you can get your hands on a copy. –  Dave Liepmann Feb 4 '13 at 15:18
@Freakyuser Was going to post a proper follow up answer with my routine, but never had the time with it. What worked for me is the running + walking combo - my home has some nice scenery, which is really good in the early morning. I spread it out every 2 days minimum to give time to recover. Every other day, I do a few push ups, squats, pull ups. What keeps me motivated is not so much about getting in shape, but being able to do a few extra push/pull ups than I did previously. –  Muz Jul 5 '13 at 16:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Whenever we start something, we may find it boring.
So, I would suggest you for a change of mind, i.e., try different sports.
Running is good for you at this stage. You said you are unable to run continuously for more than 5 minutes. If I were you, I would rather follow the run/walk strategy. Run for 2 or 3 mins and walk for 1 min and continue this for some 3 to 4 km in the beginning . You will definitely be able to do better than now. Later when you feel good and start building stamina, you can increase the timing (4 min run and 1 min walk).

Running alone may wear you down. You can look for other alternatives:
If you are a swimmer, swim twice a week. Cover some good distance in it, say 1-2 km a week. Swimming uses many of the body muscles and it is a very good alternative.

If you prefer cycling, cycle twice a week. Cycle in your own pace for half an hour(twice a week). The distance doesn't matter, just try and stay in your comfort zone. Cycling gives you good pleasure. Or you can cycle to work.

Another good option is to join a yoga session. Find a yoga center nearby and suit yourself. It helps you relax.

As Marty Wallace suggests, boxing is a very interesting sport and one of the best options to build stamina.

Try any of these and find your interest, later build passion in it.

P.S: I too sit in front of the computer in my office, being a software professional. I train myself for triathlon.

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After all, "Boxing is the toughest and loneliest sport" - by Frank Bruno. So it is not that easy but you can give it a try. –  Freakyuser Jun 10 '13 at 10:08

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