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The thought of taking up an exercise program for someone living a sedentary lifestyle can be quite intimidating. But for someone who is also obese – it can be absolutely terrifying. And they have good reason for that.
Exercise for obese women is not the same as exercise for women who weigh, for example, 120 pounds.
When you are obese or overweight, not only can some exercises can be more difficult to perform, but they can also be painful and physically uncomfortable. Which is why obese women should be extra careful when taking up a new exercise program.
The good news is that there are many safe ways to exercise for obese women. And they’re very effective too!
But first thing’s first…
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes vigorous aerobic activity. Or a combination of both!
If you break this down, that’s 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days per week.
Now, I know what you are thinking… How am I, an obese woman living a sedentary lifestyle, supposed to start working out this much?! Here’s the trick – work your way up.
The key to exercising regularly is setting yourself small goals, instead of looking at the final goal – which can be intimidating.
So take your time. Results don’t happen overnight. Marathon runners also started with small goals of, for example, running 1/2 of a mile before they went for 15 miles.
What Kind Of Exercise Should You Do?
Not all kinds of workouts are suitable for obese women. For example, running would not be a good idea as it is bad for your joints. However, there are tons of exercises that you CAN do!
The American Heart Association, physical activity is anything that moves your body and burns calories. That said, anything from walking to cycling to heavy yard work counts as exercise!
Here are the best ways to exercise for obese women:
Walking for weight loss has to be one of the most underrated forms of exercise. What many people don’t know is that walking is actually one of the best (and easiest!) ways to burn off body fat.
Unlike jogging or jumping rope, walking is a great exercise for obese women. Plus, it’s free, moderate-intensity, and can be done anywhere!
If you are morbidly obese, walking may be difficult but 100% doable. Just start with some assistance until you can do it on your own!
2. Water Aerobics
The next exercise for obese women is water aerobics.
Water aerobics is extremely beneficial for obese women because the water reduces the impact on your joints. This means, you can exercise in the water without feeling that annoying pain in your hips and knees that you feel on the ground.
So, consider enrolling in a water aerobics class near you!
Yoga is the perfect exercise for obese women. It’s simple and can be done from the comfort of your own home!
Plus, it helps with a lot more than just weight loss. Yoga is great for improving flexibility, reducing stress, soothing back pain, and just your overall health in general!
4. Stationary Bike
Biking is also a great way to burn some calories with less pressure on the joints.
Seated, stationary bikes are a good choice for obese women because they offer support for your back. This way, it is less stressful on the lower spine.
Start out slowly, don’t push yourself too much, and gradually increase the duration of your pedaling interval.
5. Strength Training
Last but not least on how to exercise for obese women is strength training.
There are so many reasons why strength training is a good idea for weight loss. First of all, strength training can help correct your posture. Secondly, it can help your joints. And, lastly, it helps you build muscle, which ultimately helps boost your metabolism .
Plus, strength training offers an “afterburn” unlike other forms of exercise, such as walking. By this I mean that after performing strength training, your body continues to burn fat even after the workout. This is because of the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Basically, the the more intense your workout, the more oxygen your body consumes afterwards, and the more calories you burn.
I must point out that if you don’t know how to strength train correctly, I highly recommend working out with a professional trainer so you do not injure yourself.
Some Tips For Success:
- Set small goals instead of focusing on a big goal that may seem impossible at first.
- Take it slow and gradually increase your workouts.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember that everyone started out where you are now – as a beginner.
- Track your progress for extra motivation.
- Try to workout at the same time every day. This will help build a healthy habit. They say you only need 21 days to build a new habit…
- Believe in yourself! When it gets tough, don’t give up. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and just do your best – you will get there!