If you are overweight and planning to start an exercise program, doing low-impact exercise is a great way to get started.
Non-weight bearing exercise such as bike riding or swimming are excellent as is low-impact exercise such as power-walking (you can increase difficulty/ intensity by adding hills or incorporating intervals of differing speeds). Do NOT start off with running. It is a good idea to avoid high-impact exercise until you have lost enough weight for jogging to be comfortable.
Joining a gym can be rather scary, even for an experienced exerciser. It can be intimidating to walk into a room full of sweaty exercisers, who seem to know what they’re doing. However, do not ever be embarrassed to exercise, because you feel overweight. Once you know where everything is and which equipment you want to use, you wont feel overwhelmed as you’ll be focused on your exercise plan and the parts of the gym you’re using.
EXERCISE TIPS FOR OVERWEIGHT
Follow the advice below and the weight will start falling off. Rome was not built in a day. Whatever size we start from, whether we have 10lbs or 100lbs to lose, we cannot achieve our goal overnight. Transformations happen in stages. Ok, so yours may take a little longer. But, who cares? What’s important is that you get there. Your motivation to keep going is to appreciate your successes, which include the changes in your shape, the improvement of your fitness and quality of life and the reduction of any health risks. Persistence and determination will get you to the body you want.
- Walk/ power walk off those pounds either outdoors or on a treadmill.
- When you get to the fastest speed you can (power) walk, without starting to run, raise the level of difficulty by increasing incline on the treadmill, the time you are walking or by choosing a more difficult walking route with hilly intervals.
- The treadmill is lower impact compared to running/ walking on concrete and asphalt. The treadmill has some shock-absorbent ability and thus is better on your knees, hips and joints.
- If you have access to gym equipment, the cross-trainer/ elliptical trainer is a godsend for you (actually everyone!). It is hands down my favorite invention for weight loss and should be yours too. It is a no-impact exercise and most people find that they are able to burn more calories than they would running, because it feels easier.
- There is no particular level at which you should begin. The starting level is completely up to what feels comfortable to you and is approved by your health care professional.
- The general recommendation is to exercise for 30 minutes at moderate intensity several days a week. However, this may not be practical for beginners especially if overweight. Start slow. That is at a lower intensity and for a shorter duration. 20 minutes of cardio is a good starting point, which you can break up into shorter phases.
- Use a pedometer, which can be very motivating if you are walking.
- Be consistent. Consistency allows you to increase the duration and intensity of the exercise as your fitness level begins to increase. This means you are gaining better cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your joints and ligaments and increasing fat burning.
- Try exercising with friends or family, the added support will help you to keep up your exercise plan. Alternatively, work privately with a personal trainer. If you are still worried, start in your back yard doing using a stationary bike, pedal exerciser or other sports equipment, until you start feeling more fit and confident.
If you have an injury or disability that prevents you from running, or simply find running painful, either try the cross-trainer/ elliptical machine and see if that works for you or try alternative cardiovascular activities such as swimming, cycling and rowing.
Before you start exercising make sure you clear the program with your doctor first. I assure you that (s)he’ll only be too happy to help.