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How to get an overweight and sedentary 48-year old woman into shape?

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  • How to get an overweight and sedentary 48-year old woman into shape?

    Hi everyone. No, the mentioned person isn't me hehe it's my mom. She seems quite keen to get her body into shape after several failed attempts with the usual CW crap (her Slimfast attempts even resemble Kelly Korg's in The Primal Blueprint!) and I said I'd help her.

    I want to ask what you guys would recommend would be best to start getting her into shape, because obviously a full-blown exercise routine with free weights,Olympic lifts and sprints is out of the question. My idea is to focus it around machines (lats, chest/shoulder press), squats with exercise balls against a wall, stationary bike sprints, etc, but I'm not sure what's best!

    Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Grok on.

  • #2
    Uhm. Start with diet. Tell her to cut out all grains (including corn), and reduce carbs (such as potatoes and fruit) while she's trying to lose weight. Tell her to try that for one month.

    For exercise, I would recommend long walks at first. That's it. No lifting, no squats. Just that diet for a month + walks. In one month, if she likes the results (and there will be results) you can start slowly adding to it. If you want this to last, don't rush her, and don't make it so hard she wants it to fail.



    • #3
      lol yeah of course diet, forgot to mention that but that's already sorted. I do most of the shopping and cooking for the house so when we eat together it's always tasty (my culinary skills are slowly improving!) and healthy. She said she'd only start if she could still have her weekly pizza haha. Walks sound like a good idea. She also likes swimming and goes very occasionally, so with that and walking for a few weeks to start could be a plan. I'll try it, thanks!


      • #4
        I would recommend a solid yoga class that is set up for beginners. A style like power yoga, astanga, or other vinyasa yoga is usually very good. Anusara is also nice.

        usually, they are 6-8 week courses to get her grounded, and then going twice a week is a great way to build the foundation of strength and flexibility. After about 3 months or so, she may want to try out the Primal Blueprint Fitness, and perhaps start sprinting as well.

        The yoga will "rehab" any problems that she has (weaknesses into strength!), and give her strength and flexibility, as well as a sense of accomplishment. And it will make moving into PBF easier.

        also, the class can keep her accountable -- she's with a group/community, and will feel the desire to attend.


        • #5
          Get her walking. Move stuff some heavy stuff around the house. If she has been really inactive for a long time ease into it.


          • #6
            I haven't made it myself but there are several primal pizza recipes around the web. Or even meatza. I would strongly recommend that you try some of those for her instead of letting her off the wagon once a week. I've seen so many people here complain about "primal not working" for them only to find out in the end that they don't give up their weekly pizza or beer and nachos or ice cream night.

            Let her at least try the real thing for a month!
            "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
            "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
            If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

            beachrat's new primal journal


            • #7
              Look up at the top of the page where it says, "Start Here". Click on that, then find the link to download the Primal Blueprint Fitness E-book. It's going to tell you three basic rules for working out. Do them in this order, but don't worry about the second or third for at least a month:
              1. Walk a minimum of 3 hours a week.
              2. Lift heavy things a couple times a week.
              3. Sprint a couple of times a week.


              • #8
                Thanks guys, appreciate the help! I'm also looking forward to see what Mark's upcoming book has to say on the matter (it arrived a couple of days ago, but I don't get home until Tuesday, can't wait!), I'm sure it will have a sound programme to follow.


                • #9
                  primal diet



                  • #10
                    Definitely agree with switching pizza for meatza! Or at the very least, pizza made from almond-flour crust. But meatza ROCKS.
                    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**


                    • #11
                      Great idea, I've never had meatza myself so I'll definitely give it a go!


                      • #12
                        I found myself initially in the same position as your mom. Well, not as a 48 year old woman, but as a 500 lb 30-year old man... both sedentary. Quite often, when we start to truly lose weight in a long time, we have issues with hips, ankles, knees, etc. Another concern (sorry for being "gross") is heavy people often have their inner thighs rub together, causing both pain and a potentially serious rash. If your mom feels like she will have issues with joint pain or rubbing, you can skip the walking.

                        In exchange for walking, try a stationary bike or a pool. At the speed your mom should be walking, she will be burning around 1,000 calories an hour. An hour on the stationary bike should produce about 1,500 caloric burn. An hour swimming slow, steady laps in a pool will find her burning 1,500 as well. If she can amp it up slightly, until she is slightly out of breath while swimming, she will be around 2,000 calories an hour. Swimming is great because it works many different muscle groups. While many would argue it's not a "core workout," I would argue that swimming is as good or better than walking.

                        Alternately, if you are looking for more indoor activities, do some research on "Turkish Get Up," a low impact core-heavy workout. Ignore the Kettlebells for your mom, she should be working at more flexibility and core strength than anything else. If she is over-weight and sedentary, she might have problems with "Threading the Needle," the part where your raise your hips to the sky and move the non-weight bearing leg. If that happens, have her focus on that part until she masters it.

                        Hope this helps,



                        • #13
                          Great advice, Biggie. She likes swimming so will probably focus on that. I've never heard of Turkish Get Up but it sounds interesting, I will research it.


                          • #14
                            Her desire to do physical activity is going to be directly proportional to her energy level, which is typically low among overweight people. So yeah get the diet straight, and as the hormonal cascade begins to free up energy she'll be much more willing to continue doing any sort of exercises if she doesn't grow to actually like it.

                            At that point it's really finding whatever protocol fits her personality the best. It might be bodyweight exercises, might be sandbag, shovelglove, barbell training, yoga, gymnastics, running with the dog, swimming, rollerblading, dancing.... Find something she likes and enjoys and for most people that's the closest thing you'll find to a guarantee that she'll continue it.


                            • #15
                              I like pizza omlette, the long way is to cook the veg and meat separate, cook the omlette 'base' in good sized frying pan, once it's set put your pizza sauce on, I just use tomato purre in a tube, then load up your toppings (I like breakfast pizza omlette, mushrooms, bacon, sausage meat balls) then cover with good cheese, don't forget the oregeno, and stick under the broiler (least I think you call a grill a broiler in the USA) taste just as good, if not better than the 'real' thing.

                              the quicker way is to chuck the veg/meat in a pan, when cooked chuck the beaten egg on top, then when set tomato paste, cheese, herbs.

                              I also suggest walking as a start to a fitness programm, preferably outside in nature, as this is a double boost to wellbeing.
                              You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................