I am curious as to how the progress went for those who started working out late in life, say after age 60. I am 65 and feeel my strength and endurance starting to really fall off. I tend to get discouraged as I feel I tire out before I really get a good workout in. My thinking now is maybe I need to concentrate on less strenous but more prolonged activity and increase the strength training very gradually. Things like pushups will tire me out for several hours if I push myself too hard.
At age 62-ish I had retired and begun sitting on the couch. I had gained a bunch of weight. I hated my shape. I could not lift much. I started walking. First about 30 minutes 5 days a week, finally worked up to 60 minutes. Then after moving to TX I joined a gym as no one can walk outdoors when it’s 100 degrees out, and they have a bunch of weight machines. I started using a couple of machines three days a week. All of a sudden I can lift stuff. I can put the 30 pound bucket of cat litter in the car and take it out again without help or without strain. I’m 67 now and in better shape than since I was around 40 and had a physical job. All those years of office sitting had left me weak and tired. I think weights are wonderful because I really get fast results; if I get lazy or miss some days through being sick as I did this winter, I get it back in a short time, which is motivating. Now I usually walk 90 minutes five days a week and lift weights two or three days. I feel a lot better and as a bonus my blood pressure is down.
Good luck, HoneyBadger, and don’t give up. You might not be in 30-year-old shape but you can for sure be stronger and healthier and have more endurance.
So yeah, what you are experiencing is the norm. But the good news follows -
So yes, adding in resistance (strength) training gradually but progressively is important. Aerobic should get up to at least a moderate level (brisk walking counts, generally hard enough that while you can talk you cannot sing) at least 3x/wk consistently. If all moderate you want to add up to at least 2 1/2 hours worth a week. Less is considered as good if the intensity is higher, down to half as much time if intensity is more vigorous, e.g. running … mix it up and aim to hit at least somewhere in the middle.
While I don’t have relevant personal experience to offer perhaps you’d be interested in what the experts say. This from the Position Statement of the American College of Sports Medicine: Evidence category A is the highest rated evidence.So yeah, what you are experiencing is the norm. But the good news follows -
That was interesting, I did physical work throughout my life so I did maintain a good deal of muscle mass. Into my second year of retirement and much less physical work I can see a rapid decline if I don’t take action now. I can feel my legs after just a few blocks walking, if I carry something heavy 50 feet or so I am breathing heavy.