When you’re overweight, you likely find yourself at a point where you say enough is enough. You’re so dedicated to losing the weight that you can’t wait to get your butt into the gym. However, pushing yourself too hard before you’re ready is not only unrealistic, but risky. The slow and steady approach is the way to go.
Before You Begin
A trip to the doctor is a must. Depending on your size, you could be suffering from weight-induced medical complications such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Let your doctor know your plans to lose weight through exercise. He may offer suggestions on modifications to make until you’re at a healthier weight.
Get the Gear
Dressing right can make a huge difference during workouts. Aim for comfort over fashion. Choose supportive sneakers and properly fitting pants and shirt. Although you may want to hide behind oversize t-shirt and sweats made from cotton, this could lead to skin chafing. Chafing is painful and occurs when your skin rubs against skin or clothing pieces. Women need a sports bra.
Walk It Out
Walking is an ideal exercise if you’re overweight and new to working out. It’s easy to do and requires no gym equipment. Start out with a timed walked of 15 to 20 minutes. Each week, add another five minutes onto the duration. Keep adding time until you’re walking a total of 40 minutes or more each day.
Low Impact Exercises
Being overweight and obese puts unneeded stress on the joints of your body. To combat this issue, choose workouts that are considered low-impact. As an example, when you swim, the water supports your body weight. Do some laps in a local pool or just do some basic aerobic moves submerged in water. Not loving the idea of exercising in a swimsuit? Try a recumbent bike instead. Recumbent exercise bikes have wider seats and a back rest for added support. Find a resistance level you’re comfortable with and aim to pedal for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Challenge yourself by increasing time and resistance at each workout.
Give Yourself a Break
Feeling out of breath? Don’t be afraid to take a minute to catch your breath and slow your heart rate. Overworking your body could increase your chance of injury or muscle soreness the next day. Make time to sip water during your workout to keep your body hydrated. Also, feel free to break workout sessions into smaller intervals. For instance, if your goal is to exercise 45 minutes a day, consider three 15 minute mini-workouts.
Your initial exercise goal may be to lose weight. Although aerobic exercise burns more calories, don’t forget to make time for twice-weekly strength training sessions. When you build lean muscle mass, you increase your metabolism and burn more fat. Traditional exercises can be performed when you’re overweight-as long as you make modifications. Push-ups can be done on knees and arm curls performed seated. Other beginner exercises include lunges, squats and side bends.
When you exercise the most important thing is to stay attuned to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop it. You could always try the exercise again later. As you get your body where it needs to be, you could make your workouts more challenging.