The fitness and weight loss industry is a multi-million dollar corporate world. People spend thousands of dollars a year on gym memberships and exercise equipment. However, when viewing the advertisements and reviews of these things, most seem geared toward an already-fit populace. There are no obese or overweight people bouncing in an aerobics class or using the latest fitness machine.
The final type of exercise that is appropriate for the obese or severely overweight is walking. Most fitness magazines focus on thirty minutes every day, or maintaining a four mile per hour speed. For some obese and overweight individuals, that is simply impossible.
When beginning a walking exercise regimen, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Number one: get good walking shoes. Obese and overweight individuals need high quality sneakers with good shock absorbing qualities. Number two: bring water. People in poor physical condition tend to sweat more when exercising and thus need their liquids replenished frequently. Number three: however far you go, you still have to get back. Pushing yourself to go too far is never good. Do not be ashamed to take breaks, sit down, or walk a very short distance to begin with.
If you’re looking for a way to get a good cardiovascular workout while avoiding placing added stress on your ankles, knees and hips, you may want to take up cycling. You can try this exercise on a stationary exercise bike or you can take your routine outside on a traditional bike. Either way, you’ll strengthen your legs and improve your cardiovascular health without having to place too much weight on your lower body. You may want to consider trying a recumbent bicycle at first – a type of bike that has a “bucket seat” and allows you to extend your legs in front of your body – because the recumbent seat is larger and nicely padded, making the ride more comfortable. Calorie burn will vary based on how fast you’re cycling, how much resistance you’re using and your personal weight, but you can expect to burn roughly 300-500 during a 30 minute routine.
It’s a classic cliché that swimming is the best form of exercise, but there’s something to it, especially if you carry a lot of extra weight and already put extra strain on your joints and ligaments. In water, your bodyweight ceases to be much of a factor, enabling you to get a good workout without suffering knee and lower back pain. You can choose to swim laps, join a group exercise program or simply walk in the water. Every option is a good one – just make sure you continue to push yourself for maximum results.
Exercises for Less Stress and Pain
For the severely overweight and obese, as well as older people and those with mobility or balance issues, sit down exercises are good options. These types of exercises can be useful in building basic muscle strength. While seated in a chair, individuals are able to a variety of arm raises, leg lifts, and bends and leans. All of these gentle exercises, especially on those who are quite obese, will help to build necessary strength for future exercise attempts.
Hitting the gym for a traditional strength training routine may feel overwhelming at first, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find a way to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. Instead, try setting up a home-based circuit training routine or check with your local fitness center to see if they have an easy circuit routine set up that you can follow. Circuit training essentially combines a cardiovascular workout with strength training. By performing strength training exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between, you’ll increase your heart rate and work your lungs while also increasing muscle mass.
You can set up a circuit at home using dumbbells, exercise bands and stability balls. You can also follow a fitness center routine that usually consists of a series of machine weights set up in an easy-to-follow design. If you’re not sure which exercises to perform, consider trying circuit training example workouts on a group exercise DVD or ask a certified personal trainer for assistance. According to Discovery Health’s Activity Burn Rate Calculator, a 300 lb. person can expect to burn more than 500 calories from circuit training over the course of 30 minutes.