When you are already 50 or more pounds overweight the way you workout may need to be different than the “average” workout. This is because you have different needs now.
The knees and hips are affected by added weight.
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There is also the potential of developing diabetes as well as more pressure will be put on the heart.
Working out increases blood pressure anyway and additional fat can elevate blood pressure to a dangerous level. All good reasons to check with the doc before you start.
Size does matter.
Another issue is – if you are quite a bit overweight, finding machines that you can fit into and slip out of can become a challenge too. If the gym you attend or the personal trainer you hired isn’t familiar with catering to overweight beginners this can leave you without a suitable workout.
Bending, sitting, pedalling, walking, kneeling etc. are all more difficult and many exercises need to be modified to suit YOUR frame.
Choosing a Gym for Overweight Persons
Before you part with good money make certain they have exercise equipment and machines made for the larger person. First call and then ensure you can get a free trial. Also – make sure they include a few days of free training on the machines too. If a gym won’t offer this – don’t bother. Keep calling around until you find one.
The gym that is closest to you might not offer all the benefits and services you need but having to drive out of your way to become a healthier and fitter person will be well worth your time and efforts. You might be able to recoup some of your money too by referring your friends to the more accommodating gym.
Exercise Outside of the Gym
Whether you are overweight or not – you do NOT need to join a fitness centre to get the benefits of exercise. As an overweight exerciser you might prefer to lose weight even BEFORE you join a health club, especially if none in your area can support your needs at your current weight. Why not get started in your own home and neighbourhood?
The tiniest of movements will burn calories. As well as making small adjustments to your current diet will reduce calories ingested. Just by making one or two little changes every week or so will add up to improved fitness and weight loss.
As an example of types of activities you can add to your day try something like just walking to the grocery store instead of taking the car. Rather than wait until you have a big grocery list – go each day to pick up the one or two things you need. If you have difficulty walking, consider getting yourself a walker with a seat.
Other ideas are:
– wash your car by hand instead of the drive through car-wash.>
– begin gardening so you have fresh vegetables on hand. Yes you can grow tomatoes and other vegetables in buckets in the house!
Exercises to Avoid – at First
Lots of exercise accidents happen when people first starting out aren’t aware of the dangers. Many at-home exercise equipment are featured as “beginner” inferring it is safe. This isn’t the case with some. The balance ball for example requires that you be able to “balance” yourself.
If you are currently unable to “hover” for a few seconds over your chair before you sit, and instead have to drop into your seat, then the stability ball could be dangerous for you. Wait until you have built your thigh muscles so you don’t risk rolling off the ball. One adaptation that you might find beneficial is to get a Ball Chair. These have the ability to adjust the height so you don’t have to go into a full squat to sit, PLUS it will introduce your body to sitting on a ball while still providing support.
Walk before you run. If you haven’t been active in a long time and you are overweight – your knees will feel the impact. Understandably you want to lose weight as quickly as you can – don’t worry, you will still succeed by being careful in the beginning. In truth, you have an even GREATER chance of succeeding by starting out slow.
Beginner Exercises for Overweight Beginners
When you are first starting out you don’t need to add more than 30 min of new movement to your day. I am honestly telling you that you will lose the weight just as quickly if you start out slow. The big secret that most programs don’t tell you is EVERY fitness and weight loss system works – in the beginning. This is because the body will react to calorie restriction or increased calorie burning by reducing the body fat.
By starting out on a high intensity program before your body is conditioned to take the impact – you might do well for a few days – but the chances of quitting are greater than if you start out with a more gentle exercise. The key to permanent weight loss and fitness is – “progression”.
Begin with a few physical activities so you aren’t left tired and run down. Exercise uses your muscles and muscles need to repair and grow. This causes fatigue. Go slow and steady. The turtle WILL win the race.
Finding the Time to Exercise
You and I and everyone else on this planet have one thing in common. We ALL have 24 hours in the day. What differentiates us is what we do in that time. Time cannot be managed. Only we can be managed. Make your activities important. Just as important as a checkup at the doc’s.
Another biggie mistake many new exercisers make is the “all or nothing” approach. This is a major catalyst that will cause people to quit. Trying to make more than one small change at a time will leave the average person overwhelmed, moody, and confused. Suddenly switching to a new diet and adding 60 minutes of gym time all at once USUALLY won’t succeed. Its too much change.
Make the full-on health regime as the BIG goal. It is a great goal to have. Living a life of fitness and health is a good life, and a rewarding one. Hard to do in one day though.
Make that your BIG goal and then list all the things you need to do to get there. Don’t get too overwhelmed by it, just pick one thing on that list for today. For example, if you are sedentary then add some movement. Maybe make your first incremental goal one of adding an additional 10,000 steps in your week.
If your day is already packed and you aren’t sure where you are going to find the time then the easiest place to cut will be first thing in the morning. Set your alarm 30 min early. I understand that many don’t get enough sleep as it is but here is what will happen.
Why Get Started Early
When you get up and the first thing you do is throw on a hoodie (we don’t need the neighbours seeing the morning ‘doo) and sunglasses if it’s light enough out. Walk out the door and walk away from your house for 15 minutes. Now turn around and go home.
Just that one segment of 30 minutes will add productivity to your day and you will be surprised how time begins’ to free up in your workday. Your brain will start working on solving time issues and you will feel more alert.
You can progressively add to this by speeding up your pace so you go farther in your 15 minutes and are increasing the calories you burn at the same time. Calories burned is also dependent on the weight carried during your walks. This is one reason why people lose weight faster when they weight more. As you get fitter, add external weight to your walk to increase the calorie burning power of this new habit.
Make sure you are still breathing easily. Aerobic activity, even walking, should have you breathing heavier than normal but still able to carry on a conversation.
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