The Best Ways to Get Fit if you’re Overweight or Obese
The first thing to mention if you’ve made the decision to lose some weight, is that you have to commit to a healthy eating plan as well. You can’t beat a bad diet and you have to start your journey by eating properly as well.
That said, exercising when you’re overweight or obese can be a monumental challenge. Things that are easy for the average person can put too much stress on your joints causing knee or hip pain. Also, things that are easy for an average person to maneuver, such as a stationary bike or a ball, may not work with a larger body size.
Cardio or Weight Training?
Already, going to a gym can be a big step, but once you are there, what do you do? Doing aerobic (cardio) activities, such as running, cycling or group gym classes is a good way to tap into your energy reserves. But, on the other hand, weight training or muscle strengthening is also key to a slimmer, more toned body.
Researchers at the American Physiological Society found that aerobic exercise was generally more effective for weight loss. This study was carried out on overweight and obese people. Also, a person who is used to doing little exercise may benefit more from cardio to lose weight since weight training is more technical, certain skills are needed to work out at the same level. That said, each person is different. Some people lose weight more easily than others depending on many factors, such as age, gender, metabolism and occupation.
Whatever the choice, to continue making progress, you will need to vary the exercises to surprise the body and force it to adapt to new stress. You also only lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume, this is called “caloric deficit”.
So, let’s take a look at some exercise choices that work best for overweight or obese people.
The number one choice of doctors, fitness professionals and most average people is simple walking. It is a low impact program that is easy to do and accessible to everyone.
You don’t need a gym membership or a trainer. Just get out of the house or look for the nearest mall or grocery store and take a few steps inside. Remember to start small. Even 2 to 5 minutes a day for the first week is a good goal. After that, you can add 2 minutes every three days.
The Recumbent Bike
A recumbent bike is another way to avoid having too much impact on your joints. Of course, the first thing that may come to the mind of an obese person (and most other people for that matter) is the obnoxiously small size of the bike seat. But I’m not talking about a regular straight bike with the small seat. Look for a recumbent bike and look at your workout from a different angle. The recumbent bike leans backwards, taking the weight of the body off the back and allowing you to move your legs from a reclined position. Your feet are in front of you, which makes circulation easier and has no impact! Plus, the seats on these bikes are larger, so they won’t be as awkward.
Exercising in Water
Gravity can be a fickle friend when you are overweight, which brings us to the beauty of aquatic exercise. Water reduces the gravitational load on your body by up to 90 percent!
Exercising in water makes your joints much happier and allows a greater range of motion. In addition, water brings with it a wide variety of choices. Water exercise classes abound and can be a fun choice for the social creature in you. Check your local gym, recreation center or high school to see what might be available. Many communities offer low-cost classes for residents. Would you prefer to do it on your own? Walking in the water or jogging is an excellent choice. Or maybe you can take swimming lessons to revive your past. Swimming puts your whole body to work and gives you a feeling of freedom that you won’t find anywhere else.
A large fitness center may not be your first choice. However, different strokes for different people and if you are not afraid to go into such a facility, you’ll have a big advantage. There are a variety of exercise machines that provide an opportunity for low-impact training.
Perhaps the most popular and effective of these is the elliptical machine. Although these machines come in many varieties and they all look a little different, they are essentially the same. Your legs and arms move back and forth, raising your heart rate allowing you to use your time efficiently. Keep the resistance low to moderate to protect your knees and move at a comfortable and easy pace for a while.
Strength training is important for people of all sizes. Strengthening your muscles will help to stimulate your metabolism and remove some of the excess fat. Using light weights to start is all you need to get the ball rolling. Look for dumbbells that weigh no more than 3 or 5 kilos.
A Sports or Gym Coach to Help with Weight Loss
If you are overweight or obese, a healthy, balanced diet is key to losing some of those excess pounds, so you should not only focus on sports, but also on your diet. It is often difficult to choose an eating plan adapted to your needs, which is why it may be worthwhile to call upon a professional
Good luck, and remember, a person who works out three to four times a week is more likely to get closer to his or her goals than a person who works out only once a week.