Liam Rudden: Taking on the New Year challenge of getting fit

The rowing machine is a favourite
The rowing machine is a favourite
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PREDICTABLE, I know, but the start of a new year always comes with good intentions.

After all the over-indulgence of the festive season, thoughts turn to getting fit, losing weight and adopting a healthier life-style.

Well, when I was younger, that was the case. Not so sure it still is.

My days of being able to boast a six-pack are long gone. A beer barrel? Now that’s another matter.

Something happens when you hit 40, suddenly, keeping the weight off takes that little bit more effort. By 50, well, is it even worth it?

I’ve decided that in 2018 it is, but no so much because I want to get stupidly fit, no, but because it would be great to be able to climb three flights of stairs again without having to hang on to the bannister as I get my breath back.

It has been a few years since I last explored the instruments of torture that lie in wait at the gym... in other words, weights.

Never understood the fascination with, or should that be addiction to them, but then I never wanted to be Charles Atlas.

In fact, in the past it has been weights that have proved my nemesis and brought my gym exploits to an end; usually because I’ve done my back in on the leg-press after an enthusiastic trainers assured me it would do me good.

This time around, the aim is to get the cardio sorted, which means becoming reacquainted with rowing machines and cycles.

Both favourites, usually much to the surprise of those who know me, give me either of those ahead of a treadmill any day.

Some weight loss wouldn’t go amiss either, but to be honest, I like my food and the odd tipple so the plan is to find a way to maintain that lifestyle with just a little more exercise thrown in.

That’s why Nuffield Health beckons, they promise to get my fitness levels up. Will I ever be able to run for the bus again without spending the rest of the journey wheezing away? We shall see.

Before all that, there’s an even bigger challenge to be tackled, working out what kit to wear for the oncoming exertion.

I’ve got the footwear sorted that’s one thing, thanks to my pal Sandy Bisset at Slaters Menswear, on George Street.

Sandy is a runner and has taken part in marathons and road races for years, so who better to ask for advice... hence my new pair of Skechers trainers, or as they call them in the States, sneakers.

All I need now is a tracksuit, assuming they’re still called that.

It’s a long time since I wore one of them, I recall it was a dark blue Adidas number that’s probably classed as vintage clothing these days.

One thing I’ll definitely be avoiding this time around, however, are shorts - that’s not me in the pic. Years of PE spent running around Arthur’s Seat on bitterly cold winter’s days as my legs turned bright pink then red raw instilled a hatred of the things, so a pair of baggy trackie bottoms and a hooded T-shirt it is then.

How long will I last before my back goes this time around? Well, Nuffield assure me their physios can prevent that too.

Stay tuned and wish me luck.