Pain and injury are making exercise impossible

I had a bad fall some years ago. Because of the spinal injur­ies and con­stant pain, des­pite sev­eral oper­a­tions, I can­not move very well and find any exer­cise almost impossible. Some days are bet­ter than oth­ers, but they are few. I have so much muscle and weight loss that I look skeletal. How can I break out of this rut sens­ibly? The local gym wanted hun­dreds of pounds to join, which I do not have...

How can I stop feeling off-​balance all the time?

I’m a lady in my eighties and have harden­ing of the arter­ies. I am very off-​balance and have falls. I take tab­lets for my bal­ance, and also a tab­let to keep my pulse reg­u­lar. My doc­tor says my con­di­tion won’t get any worse, but that he can’t make it bet­ter. Surely there must be some­thing else that can be done?...

Has running given me shin splints?

I run four or five times a week (usu­ally for about 40 minutes). A month ago I developed pains in my right shin dur­ing a long run, which las­ted for a few days. Since then, the pain returns whenever I try to run. Could I have shin splints? If so, how long will it take to heal and how will I main­tain my fit­ness levels in the mean­time?...

How can I stop comfort eating and lose weight?

My hus­band died two and a half years ago, and I have had many emo­tional prob­lems since. I have put on a lot of weight and I still keep eat­ing for com­fort. Because of my weight I have got very unfit. I am des­per­ate to do some­thing about it, but I can’t get motiv­ated...

Do I need a specialist trainer with my new hip?

I would like to know who spe­cial­ises in advising people with hip replace­ments about gym ses­sions and exer­cise. I am wor­ried in case I go some­where where they are not qual­i­fied to give advice for my needs. I need to exer­cise but do not wish to do more harm than good...

I’m fit, so why is climbing stairs so hard?

I’m 61 and very fit, but I still can’t walk up a flight of stairs without get­ting out of breath and my legs feel­ing weak. Why is this?...

I’m nervous about getting back in the pool

Three years ago I was rushed to hos­pital with hypo­ther­mia after swim­ming in a very cold pool. I’d like to give swim­ming another try (I used to go three times a week), but am wor­ried about how to “start the ball rolling”. I am 74 and reas­on­ably fit. Can you advise me?...

Which abs exercises will support my back?

What stom­ach exer­cises can I do to help strengthen the spine and assist pel­vic sta­bil­ity? I have just been dia­gnosed with osteo­porosis and osteoarth­ritis of the spine even though I do reg­u­lar weight-​bearing exer­cises, yoga, walk and cycle...

What’s the best exercise for my emphysema?

I am a single mother, aged 45, just dia­gnosed with emphysema from smoking. I get breath­less doing every­day jobs such as vacu­um­ing. I used to be very act­ive. I have no car and little money. Could you give me some advice?...

Can exercise help my weak and painful back?

I am 73. I have osteo­porosis, a slipped disc and sci­at­ica in my right leg. I recently had an epi­dural which hasn’t really done much to improve the pain. Can you recom­mend any exer­cises? Would Pilates or any other classes be of any bene­fit?...