Exercising can be tough for even the fittest and healthiest people. Many of us find it extremely hard to start a new workout routine, especially when obese. Women with larger waists approximately 80 cm+ or 45 kg/100 lbs/7 stones overweight are considered to be obese. If you fall into this category, daily activities can be a huge task, never mind exercising!
Unlike people with a healthy body weight, those who are obese are confronted with many challenges when deciding to work out. Firstly, a larger body makes movements difficult due to exerting more pressure on the joints. Secondly, most fitness studios and gyms can make a person feel especially intimidated. Thirdly, it can be confusing and challenging to create your own exercise programme. That is exactly why I have created the most amazing programme out there, The Body & Mind Programme, to help educate and get you on the right path.
Everyone, especially so if one is obese, needs to exercise. Why, you ask? To improve your health and benefit from the results that exercise brings! Exercise can help you lose weight, improve your mood and change the way you feel in and about your body. In addition to reducing your weight, exercise can lower your blood pressure, enhance insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It can also help prevent heart disease, sleep apnea, and depression.
You may think that it is impossible to exercise as an obese woman, or that you definitely need access to a gym, but this isn’t strictly true. You can still engage in workouts that don’t exert excess pressure on the joints in the comfort of your own home. It is important to make sure you are healthy enough to withstand the rigours of any physical activity before you start a new exercise plan. It is advised that you talk to your doctor about your new exercise regime, as well as limitations that may apply to you.
Let’s have a look at a few exercises you can do, along with some recommendations and benefits for each one.
Walking is one of the best exercises for getting into shape and is a favourite among people of all ages, sizes and shapes. Walking is great for many reasons. It’s not location-specific, making it easy to do anywhere you like and requires no equipment apart from your walking shoes and some clothes. Walking is also a low-impact exercise that places a small amount of pressure on the joints, making it ideal for people who are obese. Walking improves mobility and strength in the lower body, and the intensity of the workout can be changed easily.
If you experience back, knee, or hip pain, walking can be difficult. That is why you should aim to start walking. Take it easy, literally step-by-step! Strive for progress, not perfection.
Start walking for about 10 to 15 minutes 2 to 3 times per day and continue to increase the duration every week. The most important thing here is to walk regularly. With time, and as your fitness level improves, you can increase the speed and intensity of your walk. You can buy a cheap pedometer, an activity tracker, or even use your smartphone to monitor your progress. The more you walk, the more calories you can burn, the more your aerobic system is improved, and the fitter you become.
Water activities such as swimming are ideally suited for people who have difficulty moving or painful joints. Swimming burns calories and trains the aerobic system without placing too much stress on your joints. It delivers a full-body workout, meaning that every part of your body is involved in the activity. Apart from swimming, aqua aerobic classes can be great fun and make time pass a lot quicker.
Strength training provides many benefits for overweight exercisers. Strength training works the muscles and joints. It can help correct postural defects arising from a heavy body weight, which puts pressure on the hips, knees and ankle joints. Training with weights can also increase your range of motion and muscle mass, which also boosts your metabolism, helping your body become more efficient at burning fat during exercise and while you rest.
To make the most of strength training, it is always best to invest in a coach. It doesn’t have to be an in-person trainer, an online coach like myself can provide you with the correct programme along with video tutorials. You can do strength training at home, if you are able to invest in weights and have space, or you can also join a gym. Remember to start slow and increase the frequency and intensity as your fitness level improves.
Being obese doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. In fact, it makes it more important to engage in physical activities. By working out regularly you’ll not only improve your body weight but also your mindset, your relationship with food and reverse/reduce the risk of health conditions.