First of all John, don't feel bad. We all have fitness ups and downs. The key is that you want something better for yourself. I myself in in a rebuilding phase. I was injured before hunting season and as soon as I got well, I focused all of my energy on hunting. Now that things are winding down in the woods, I am amazed at how much a 2 month break can set you back when you are pushing 40.
Okay, back to your question. I have a few basic ides that I think are fairly universal.
- Start slow. Nothing will kill your will to get back in shape like extreme muscle soreness, or worse yet, an injury.
- Cardio is a good place to start. Get your legs back under you for a week or two by doing some walk/jog/run stuff. If that's no good for you, swim, jump rope, or ride a bike. Just get your wind and your legs ready for a while.
- Train strength with body weight first. Free weights and machines are great but should not be used until a person can move their own body weight around efficiently.
- Keep your workouts short. Intensity is the key to fitness success, not quantity.
- Do "total body" exercises. There are a lot of ways that you can build strength in multiple body areas and push your cardio with basic movements. It is efficient and intense and will leave you more free time. Check out some of these ideas: http://forum.deeranddeerhunting.com/tm.aspx?m=22014
I wish you the best in your efforts and I hope you come back and share your progress!