By: Jen Mueller
Sticking to an exercise program is difficult no matter who you are, but if your current weight puts you in the “morbidly obese” category, starting a new routine can come with some additional, unexpected challenges. While issues that plague all exercisers—like finding the time to sweat, discovering activities you enjoy or generally feeling out of shape—will arise, those with a significant amount of weight to lose might also struggle with finding exercises they can comfortably perform or those that can be done without having to get on the floor. If you’re doubting your capabilities or think there’s no way you can start exercising, know that you’re wrong. Despite any insecurities or challenges, the benefits of regular activity far outweigh any of the negatives. You just have to take that first step to get started.
Where to Start?
The first place to begin is with your doctor to get the “all-clear” before starting any exercise program. Once they’ve given you the green light, make sure you’re prepared with proper footwear, comfortable workout clothes and a positive attitude to keep you motivated and going strong.
A well-rounded exercise program contains both cardio and strength training workouts. Walking, water exercise and stationary biking are all low-impact cardio options that are easy on the joints, which is an important consideration if you have a lot of weight to lose. By starting with a few minutes, a few times a day, you can quickly build endurance to try longer workouts as you become more fit.
If standing is an issue, SparkPeople’s Limited Mobility Lifestyle Center has both cardio and strength workouts that can all be done from a seated position. Depending on how you carry the excess weight, some seated exercises can be difficult. The strength workout below contains both standing exercises that can be done using a chair for balance and seated exercises that are comfortable for an exerciser of any size.
Use this full-body strength program twice a week, starting with one set of each exercise (eight to 12 repetitions per set) and building up to two or three as you begin to need more of a challenge. Combine this with regular cardio exercise (starting with three days per week) and a healthy diet, and you’ll be on the right track to reaching your goals!
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