Skip to content


Includes Expert Content
An_248859 posted:
I am a 55 year old man that would like to start exercising but have a few questions / concerns.
But first some history:
1) I sufffered a major heart attack 3 years ago, and another mild one just recently, but have no restrictions as to what I can or cannot do.
2) My work / home schedule is sometimes chaotic. I start work at 6 AM, usually until 3 but sometimes later. Dinner during the week can be anywhere from 4PM to 6PM, depending upon when my son works and has school.
3) I am not new to exercising, just out of the picture for a while. In the summer I do golf at least once a week. I used to run / jog every now and again, but found it 'exhausting'.
So what I'd like to know is - where do I start? Going to a gym is pretty much out of the question - both because of time and cost. And when is the best time TO exercise - before dinner? After dinner? And then for how long? And best yet, what would be best for me? I'm obviously NOT looking to build muscle, but to get trimmer and lose some weight (currently 6' tall - 215 lbs).
Thanks in advance!
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi An,

Where do I start?
For aerobic exercise if you don't have any equipment at home, then you could start with walking. Here's an article I wrote on getting started:

Or you could start jogging. The Couch-to-5K Running Plan is a great program

I know you say you don't want to build muscle, but strength is always important, and you lose muscle as you age, so I hope you will think about it. You could check out exercise tubing. Tubing is inexpensive and versatile (you can do lots of exercises with them even in a chair) and a great way to get started with resistance exercise. You can start with a set of three for about $20. They come in colors to denote the tension. If you order them make sure to order the strap that allows you to attach the tube to a door (this is essential for many exercises), and if you want to work your legs, ask for leg straps. Here are some vendors that sell them.

And here's a site with great videos

Work toward 3-5 days a week of aerobic exercise for 30-40 minutes, and 2-3 days of resistance exercise, 8-10 different exercises, 8-12 reps, 2-3 sets. Here are articles
and here

When is the best time TO exercise - before dinner?
It doesn't matter. Do it when it works best for you. Your body will respond no matter when you do it.

You can post your diet-related questions to the Diet Community:

And here's the Food and Fitness Planner

Here are some excellent WebMD resources for starting exercise: (This article has superb fitness resources at the end about getting started)

The government also does a great job with physical activity resources.
I hope all that helps. Feel free to post back if you have more questions.

Take care, Rich

Featuring Experts

Rich is an exercise physiologist and certified diabetes educator. He is director of the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program at St. Lu...More

Helpful Tips

Interval TrainingExpert
Hello Everyone, I mentioned in my Losing Belly Fat post that aerobic exercise will help, and if you want to increase your fitness quickly ... More
Was this Helpful?
60 of 75 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.