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Baby steps to get in shape; the easy way to a healthier version of you

Paulo Laureano
Paulo Laureano Health

I am a lazy 52-year-old man. As a teenager, I did a lot of "casual sports", from football (or soccer if you are in the US) to Karate. Then, in my early 20's, I stopped exercising. Instead, my love for computers took center stage in my life, and I spent the last three decades mostly sitting down with a keyboard in front of me.


"You need to lose weight!" my wife repeated herself over the years. "You snore like a pig, and I miss sleeping with you instead of laying awake by your side." Finally, this spring, she had enough of it; we both joined a local gym. I bought a static bike to exercise daily at home and started swimming twice a week.

I started slowly for two weeks. I walked to the gym and back (3 km) twice weekly with 15 minutes of playing around in the pool (300 m). Every other day I did 30 minutes on the static bike while watching youtube videos. According to my Apple Watch, I burn 300 KCAL daily when exercising at home and 450 KCAL on gym days.  

When I felt my body could stand it, I increased my daily exercise to 500 KCAL minimum and doubled that occasionally. I currently swim for 30 minutes (around 600 m) with the occasional stretch to 750 m. The static bike workouts now last one hour. Instead of youtube videos, I see full episodes of TV series.

I made no change in my diet, and I am losing weight. I love eating and enjoying my meals. My wife cooks like a goddess, and I am not interested in starving or living on salads. Will it take longer to get to my ideal weight? For sure, but if it is sustainable, that is how I want to go. 

Keeping track of my physical activity is essential. So I bought an Apple Watch, which has proven to help keep me on track. I share my data with my wife, brother, and niece. We all have different exercise targets, and we help each other keep our motivation levels high by looking at each other's accomplishments. 

One of my favorite excuses not to exercise was that I did not have the time. I had a 9:30 to 18:30 job, and I was exhausted by the end of the day. Fast forward to the present, I now wake up around 7 A.M. and do my daily exercise before work. To my complete surprise, I am not as tired by the end of the day. Go figure.

Consistency is key to get the results you crave. Start slow and listen to your body. If you are uncomfortable you are probably doing it wrong.