My Dad's Christmas Present

So here’s the deal. Along with trying to reach my own fitness goals I’ve now decided that its time to get my dad into shape. He is 63 years old and has gained 20lbs or so since the last time I saw him. He is not a bodybuilder by any means and is actually rather inactive - in other words he walks to the tv and the kitchen and spends the rest of his time reading on his chair. He does have a day job but most of it is at a desk or in the car. So basically he does no physical activity aside from breathing.

Here are his stats: He is 63 years old, 230 - 250lbs (rough estimate I have no real way of knowing), just under 6 feet tall, he always feels tired and sore and attributes his health problems to things other than lack of excercise, his diet also sucks - way to much sugar, he is also on high blood pressure meds - something called vaseretic (vaseretic - Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It increases the amount of salt and water you lose in your urine. Hydrochlorothiazide is used to lower blood pressure and to decrease edema (swelling). • Enalapril is in a class of drugs called angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors). Enalapril is used to lower blood pressure and to relieve the symptoms of congestive heart failure, including shortness of breath and swelling of the legs ).

So this is where he stands. I want to get him walking to start, and I plan to overhaul his diet as well. I figure that any increase in activity will do him some good. He has a treadmill in the house so he can walk and watch TV if he wants. The thing that I want to know is if there are any concerns that I should have changing his diet and getting him active. Given his state of health how slowly should I ease him into things? Also does anyone have any tips I could use to get and keep him motivated? Thanks for any help.

All is well and good…as long as he ACTUALLY wants to get in shape. I know that I have the ability to get my dad into shape, but he doesn’t give a shit. So, he remains a morbidly obese diabetic with hypertension, a sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease at early ages. If your father is amenable to the idea of changing, you’re good to go. Otherwise, just let him know that you can help him if he wants it. I’ve learned that it isn’t worth all the frustration to try to change him; he has to change himself.

C: Just wanted to add to what Eric said:

1)Your Dad HAS to have a definable goal in mind. I’m afraid that “improving ones health” should be his ULTIMATE goal. Regrettably, it tends to not be a great motivator for a lot of people.

2)Begin everything VERY SLOWLY; (both diet AND exercise). As we all know (especially if we attend a gym), everybody will rush to do everything all at once AND FAIL MISERABLY! Cut out a few things in the diet here and there; start increasing slowly his activities of daily living, like a slow walk around the block or parking at the far ends of the grocery parking lot.

3)Collect stories and pics on the Masters Atheletes. (By the way; I think Frank Zane or Larry Scott could be GREAT motivators! These two guys have Websites, they are GREAT motivators, they have personal programs they will design, and they are just GREAT GUYS!)Kelly Nelson (on the female side), is another good one. She started training at age 54, is now 70, trains and competes, and looks GREAT! (She also has a Website). Your Dad has to also know that IT CAN BE DONE!

Well…just my two cents…hope this helps!

Hey guys - thanks for the advice. I realize that this is not something I can just do without my dad wanting to change himself. I’m presenting this idea to him a form that makes it his decision to change. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Good luck. My dad throws a temper tantrum every time I bring up the subjects of exercise, diet, or general health.

Well I presented the idea to my father and he suprisingly agreed that it was time for change and he agreed to work with me. What this means is that I’m going to have to hold his hand through this because his knowledge base in this area is low. I’m gonna do whatever it takes though. I’ll keep you posted.