I have an interesting, but probably not unusual, situation. I have been on interferon/ribavirin drug therapy for three months now for hepatitis C and just finished the therapy. The two drugs kept me in bed for almost two of those months, so I gained weight, lost some muscle mass and have no stamina at all. I want to slowly build up my stamina and strength, starting with walking.
Can you suggest a way for me to start this? I will talk with my doctor before beginning anything, but for the most part I am in fair health (meaning no other health factors other than the hepatitis).
I am a 47-year-old male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, and I weigh 220 pounds. I feel best at about 175 or 180. Thanks for your consideration.
After checking with your doctor and getting his or her clearance on any activity, I agree with you in starting a mild walking program to build up your endurance.
Try starting with five to 10 minutes three times a week for the first couple of weeks, gradually increasing the time to 15 to 20 minutes per session. Continuing with this slow progression will slowly build your stamina and strength. Gradually work up to 30 to 40 minutes per session four to five times a week.
To increase your lean muscle mass, I also suggest starting a weight-training program a few weeks after the walking program has begun. Perform four to six basic exercises with weights that allow you to get 10 to 15 reps per exercise comfortably. Before you know it, you will have more energy and feel better than you have in months. Good luck!