How To Exercise When You’re Obese

CoachMel Exercise 5 Comments

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. ~ Carol Welch

There are millions of plus-size people in the world, but do you sometimes feel like you’re the only overweight person?

Feelings like this often lead to isolation. And, rather than going out with friends or your partner, you stay home—further impacting your isolation.

Most people bury these feelings. Some deal with them by eating to feel better, albeit momentarily.

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It’s certainly common behavior in both men and women, and so very difficult to stop (but not impossible!).

The thing is, you probably know you need to change your thinking, but it can feel pretty overwhelming. “Where to begin?

Isn’t it a shame you can’t just snap your fingers and make it all go away…

Unfortunately that isn’t possible, but realizing change begins with you is the first step.

You must want to change—not because someone told you to lose weight, or because your doctor gave you a warning, but because you want it for yourself.

So, back to that question again, “Where to begin?”

Eating a healthy diet is important, but research shows those who eat well and exercise regularly are most successful in maintaining a healthier weight.

Even if you haven’t been active for a long time, you can still do something today to begin the process of losing weight.

It doesn’t take a gym membership, fab workout clothes, special equipment, surgery, or worst of all, gimmicky weight loss pills (which often do more harm than good). You just need to start moving your body.

We’re just talking about beginning somewhere, right? Not some complicated plan, which will make you feel more overwhelmed.

How to begin exercising when it’s been a while

Start slowly

Warm up by stretching. Try swinging your arms from side to side. Step in place, or begin a leisurely stroll from room to room in your home for several days. When you feel comfortable enough, try walking the perimeter of your home outside.

The next step is to walk around the block close to your home. Try to exercise at least 5 to 10 minutes per day, a few times each week, and then increase when you feel able to do so.

Walking, or doing basic household chores like cleaning, gardening, or washing your car can also help get you going.

Although these steps may seem so small they feel pointless, the aim is to build up your endurance, confidence and ability to exercise. Gradually you’ll find yourself able to workout more than you’ve done in years.

Let’s face it, doing a little bit has to be better than doing nothing at all, don’t you agree?

If you are overweight or obese you may be limited in your movement, and therefore it’s difficult to workout using traditional exercises. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Obesity exercise

Aerobic exercises

This type of exercise increases heart rate, tones muscles, and gets your breathing rate up.

Go for activities such as walking, swimming, dancing, and low-impact aerobics classes.

Strength training exercises

Weight lifting will help to increase your bone strength and build muscles, which boosts metabolism and burns more calories.

Exercise bands are especially good if your movement is limited, since you can work your muscles even while sitting in a chair, if need be.

Flexibility exercises

Help to stretch the muscles and keep joints flexible.

Pilates is an excellent choice.

Exercise machines

This includes machines like cross-trainers, which are great if your movement is limited and you need extra support while exercising.

Some of the newer machines are designed to provide a healthy workout for people who weigh up to 400 pounds, without adding too much joint stress.

Exercise balls

Can help improve balance, stability, posture, and abdominal strength.

Start out with very basic exercises, such as sitting on the exercise ball and alternating leg lifts, then progress from there when you gain confidence.

Remember, to get the greatest benefit from your workout you need to be consistent.

Unfortunately, it does take time for the benefits to be noticeable. But, don’t give up because you haven’t noted immediate changes—under the surface you will be getting stronger, more flexible, leaner, and healthier.

Incase you forgot, besides losing weight, exercise also helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, not to mention improved quality of life.

Isn’t it worth giving a go?

Remember, none of this can happen if you don’t take the first step.

The old cliché, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” may be trite, but it’s still very true!

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Comments 5

  1. Cathy in NZ

    In New Zealand there is Green Prescription for anyone who fits the category. This is how I started my fitness/weight loss journey at Mt Roskill Aquasport.
    I wasn’t obese but I certainly was more than I should have been. There were participants who were obese followed by others who had got into fitness problems through all manner of reasons. Each week there was a ‘talk’ on various things – specialist type people from say Heart Foundation, Diabetes Foundation, Nutrition. Then there would be some form of exercise in a group setting – if you tired you could take a rest. Later you could either go in the Gym or do Aquasize. Many of the people had obviously become friends and they were all friendly towards me. I learnt alot and I did begin to lose weight.

    But it didn’t really have a 1-1 basis…one size fits all in the Gym setting. Not enough ‘others’ but it gave me a taste of what a Gym could do and when it went into Summer Recess I joined the Gym and got some really good help. And the weight dropped off, I gained so much confidence in my ‘little’ abilities that the trainer decided I was ready for the ‘weight’ room where the guys really lifted big weights! But they were great…they loved watching me select the 5kg and then later the 10kg weights….sometimes I had to ask them to remove something large. The day I actually managed to take a 20kg weight off a machine and put it back – I was soooooooooooo chuffed and so were they (the big boys!)

    I regularily water walked and if no one was in the lane I would do a sort of water aerobics….and then it just got be 3x a week. I did go with a friend but he was a real fitness person, pushing the envelope way past mine but he was supportive in my little attempts.

    Later, when I decided to go to University I gave it up as the gym was really out of my way…I tried out at a few other Gyms but it wasn’t the same. I gave the Uni gym a go 2008/09 but found that difficult to manage as well – taking class stuff and gym stuff.

    So anyone, who knows someone – “who should be watching their weight” or is that “minding their weight” – then it is possible. Inquire at your local Medical Centre to see if your town has a Green Prescription or something similar 🙂
    .-= Cathy in NZ´s last blog ..Not into making ‘lists’ really =-.

    1. Melanie

      Hi Cathy,
      Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so interesting, and great that you found this help to beneficial.

      It would be so great if Medical centers around the world were offering help like this.

    2. Donna maggard

      Hello. I fibromyalgia and RA, I am unable to do any high impact exercise. I know there are water exercise. . I have no self-esteem. My meds make me hugrey all the time. I have no friends to done this so hard to do myself
      O have no disapine. I am on so many meds including steroind. I did buy a stationary bicycle though. Wish me luck

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