I am 22 years old, weigh 80 kg and 5' 7" (170 cm) in height. I have a tummy like a giant basketball, for which people make fun of me.

I wasn't always like this. I used to be VERY lean and thin until I was 18. Then things took a dramatic turn and I was on antipsychotic drugs for two years. During this time I became what I'm today.

I've got a bike and I've started riding and it feels great. I have more energy and I don't feel like a giant sloth all the time. So, I've decided to start running. I've tried to start it real slow but I failed. I can barely go 100 meters. So, I'm looking for some kind of exercise that'll will help to make my leg muscles ready for running/jogging.

P.S: Except the biking for the last few days I barely had any physical exercise(not even any sports) in the last 4 years.

EDIT: I've found this 8 week program, which seems to be very carefully structured. I'll give it a try.

  • 2
    Slowly you can increase the distance. Have confidence in yourself. You say you are riding, that will build your leg muscles and confidence as well. According to me this is enough. You will do great. Cheers.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 5:11
  • 1
    The Runners World program or something like Couch25k are definitely a great way to start. Also have a look at this question (fitness.stackexchange.com/a/70/8), which gives some tips for how to run if you're not in great shape
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 10:00
  • 1
    Here's a link to the Couch25k or Couch to 5k podcast downloads. Commented May 10, 2013 at 11:47
  • The couch to 5k program that @BackInShapeBuddy , or Galloway run/walk program was going to be my recommendation as well. Anything that is a mix/slow progression will work. Most of the time running injuries are trying to do too much, too fast on a high impact activity.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Congratulations on getting started. Now that you have recognized the benefits of exercise - having more energy and feeling better, you should have motivation to continue.

You have chosen a progressive program that combines walking and running, gradually increasing the degree of difficulty. You have some good links in the comment section to information and programs such at Couch to 5k which will get you started on the right track. Choose the program that speaks to you, then stick with it.

One thing that you should not overlook is the medical disclaimer to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Although you are young, it is still a good idea to check with your doctor to discuss your plans. Your physician will give you a checkup, evaluate your weight and give you your baseline measurements. This will help you track your improvements to your health and provide motivation to keep going.

See this q/a for some information on tracking your progress. Keeping a log of your walks/runs/time/distance etc. will help you see your progress over time. A pedometer can help.

Another important discussion to have with your doctor is your nutrition since your goal is to lose your tummy. If your "basketball" is abdominal fat, diet is an important factor. If lack of muscle tone is an issue, consider these abominal exercises instead of traditional crunches.

Other considerations to prevent injuries as you start to run regularly are a proper warm up, good shoes and a cool down period. Dynamic warm up exercises prepare your joints, connective tissues, heart and nervous system to be ready for the workout.

Best of luck with your new exercise program.

  • +1 for the distance log. Not only will it show clear progress, but it will also help you keep your mileage to reasonable levels your body can handle.
    – Evan
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 14:34

The RunnersWorld program looks like a good way to get yourself into running. It's based on time, which is good because time spent running is all you really need to focus on when you start. During the 8-week program, noticing that you're able to run longer without feeling worse will be a good enough sign of progress. You may feel discouraged sometimes during the first two weeks. If you can stay motivated through that, however, you'll start to really notice yourself getting more fit. Once you are able to run 20-30 minutes continuously, you may want to start keeping track of how many miles you run each week to make sure you don't build up too fast. Be conservative. Try not to add more than 3 miles per week as you move beyond the beginner program.

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