I'm 53 and have been trying to get more conditioned after a couple years of really being a couch potatoe. I walk for about 20 minutes every day, which is pretty minimal activity. I had a stress echo-cardiogram a year ago and checked out just fine, but I'm very deconditioned right now.
I recently bought an elliptical trainer (a Lifefitness 9500). I find that after 3 minutes on level 1, my legs are burning and my heart rate is about 145 or even 150. I don't know if its good to exercise that hard for very long when just beginning, but I'm not sure how to really get started, since this is the lowest setting on the machine. Should I just keep doing a few minutes a day and see if I get better? I have friends who talk about going for 40 minutes on an elliptical, and I can't even imagine doing that now.
It seems like most of the information about conditioning is either aimed at very athletic young people, or at very elderly people. I'm not sure where to go for advice on someone my age who wants to get into condition.