Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but for many people even the simplest exercises seem impossible due to the fact that they are so heavy. Running is out of the question, even walking is hard on the joints, and the exercise machines at the gym are not designed for severely overweight people.
Because of these limitations, the people who need to start exercising the most, the severely overweight and obese, often give up before they even get started. However, there are plenty of simple exercises that even the heaviest person can use to get started on the track to a healthier and longer life.
Sitting Exercises for the Obese
“If you are an obese or very overweight individual, your exercise regimen will probably differ to that of a normal size individual,” celebrity personal trainer and author of Celebrity Body on a Budget Cornel Chin told Suite101. “Seated exercises make ideal options. These sorts of exercises can be useful in promoting basic muscle strength. While seated in a chair, individuals are able to perform a variety of arm raises, leg lifts, and bends and leans. All of these gentle exercises will help to build great foundation strength for future exercise attempts.”
Chin recommends the following exercises while can all be completed from a sitting position by obese or overweight people:
- While sitting straight in a chair, raise each leg separately straight out from the body holding for three seconds and repeat for a set of ten on each side.
- Raise both arms straight from the shoulder and hold for three seconds and repeat for a set of 10.
- Bend from the waist as far as you can without causing pain, holding it for three seconds before returning to a sitting position. Repeat for a set of ten.
- Lean to each side as far as possible without causing pain and hold for three seconds before returning to a sitting position. Repeat for a set of ten on each side.
“After one week, try to increase to two sets of 10. Repeat the two sets of 10 every day until it no longer is uncomfortable to do and becomes almost effortless,” Chin recommended.
Simple Movement Exercises for the Obese
If the exerciser feels comfortable standing for a period of time, then it is time to start trying some simple movement exercises. Fitness Expert and Confidence Coach Stephanie Mansour recommends these simple exercises for the obese and severely overweight:
- Push-ups on your knees: Barely bend the arms as you lower the chest about an inch only closer to the floor, then press back up.
- simply marching in place to a favorite song
- punching to the right, then punching to the left to the beat of a favorite song
A key part of any fitness routine is cardio, exercises which raise the heart rate and get the blood and breath going. Movement exercises such as these over time will increase endurance and make all other exercises a bit easier.
Exercise for the Obese Safety Considerations
As always, before beginning any exercise routine it is best to consult with a doctor. Exercise causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and a doctor can help establish how much someone can safely push themselves. The doctor may also provide additional advice on diet and joint strain considerations.
No one knows their limits better than exercisers themselves. If dizziness sets in or their heart feels like it is racing too fast, then breaks should be taken and a less strenuous exercise should be tried until they work their way up to the more difficult challenges.
Exercising for the Obese and Overweight
Exercise is something that is needed and can be enjoyed by everyone, even the severely overweight and obese. In addition to the obvious health benefits, exercise also increases confidence and self esteem. No one, regardless of how heavy they currently are, should shy away from exercising. Just because someone cannot run a 5k or do 50 sit ups a minute doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t enjoy the same benefits as everyone else.