Our expert says:
I think that in a case like this, diet will have the bigger FIRST impact than exercise. So the best thing you can do, short-term (with long-term benefits) is to consult a dietician and get yourself a decent eating plan.
The exercise becomes important in the short and medium term, and here is where, with your current situation, the safest bet is medical clearance - there are risks (I'd be misleading you if I said there were not), and so it's important to know that you are cleared to exercise.
ONce that is done, then any exercise is OK. However, given your back problems in the past, walking and running may cause problems. So might cycling. There is always some risk.
That shouldn't put you off exercise, it just means there are boundaries that have to be "respected". My advice is that you need a goal, a target of some sort, like for example a 5km race that you aim to do in 8 weeks, and then build gradually towards it. Gradually, is the key word. If you can do that, then you'll be OK.
Home exercise is tough, no denying that, because it's so convenient that often, it's too easy to put off until next time. There is actually benefit to having to go out of your way to exercise, and home machines deny people that "incentive". So you have to be careful, because if you get a treadmill (which is a good choice), there's a high chance it becomes an under-used machine in a few months. That's a question of discipline.
Frankly, the best thing you can do is find a group of people who will share in exercise with you. There is no better motivation than another person, waiting for you at 6pm every second day, to get you going. Now that summer is on us, this is the best advice you can use - get outside, with friends and take control of exercise.
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