5 Great Exercises for Overweight Women
September 26th, 2016 by Lauren Tharp
Here at FabFitTravel, we believe nothing should get in the way of having your next big adventure! We encourage women of all ages and fitness levels to exercise, eat well, and live life to the fullest.
However, we also realize that sometimes that’s easier said than done.
For those of us who are obese – or even just slightly “overweight” – starting an exercise program can seem like a near-impossible task! Typical fitness regimens just don’t jive with our body types…
For instance, if you’re overweight, jogging can do more harm than good. It can really mess up your joints! And that’s just no good.
So what do you do if you want to get fit…?
Below are five great exercises to start you on your path to fitness, no matter what your weight is now.
Some Precautions Before You Begin
We want you to get fit, but we don’t want you to get hurt doing so! Here are some great tips from Dr. Stacy Schmidt to help you as you get started:
- Ease into your workout. Start slowly for the first five minutes to give your body time to adjust to the activity.
- Work at a comfortable pace that allows you to talk without too much difficulty.
- Focus on increasing duration first, then increasing intensity.
- Slow down for the last five minutes to allow your body to ease back into its resting state
- Finish with stretching exercises.
- It is important to gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercises, while understanding that you will have to build up to longer and more strenuous workouts.
- Jogging can cause stress on the knees and joints and is generally not recommended for the obese because of risk for injury. Instead, stick to lower impact aerobic activities until you are in better shape.
- Obese people should be especially careful about heat exhaustion given that they are less able to adapt to temperature changes. Wearing light clothing will allow for better heat exchange while exercising.
- Hydration is very important for the obese, since they are susceptible to dehydration. Be sure to drink fluids frequently before, during, and after exercise.
- Slow down or stop if you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, pain in the neck or jaw, or major muscle or joint pain.
Now that that’s out of the way, here are five fantastic exercises that you can start out with:
Jogging might be a big “no no,” but walking is a huge “YES!” It’s the number one exercise recommended by the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health because it’s a low-cost, low-impact, aerobic exercise that can be done almost anywhere — even inside on a treadmill.
Take your first steps toward a healthier lifestyle: Literally!
And because those of us who are overweight have to exert more energy than a “normal” weight woman, we burn extra calories when walking. Not a bad bonus benefit!
2. Use an Exercise Ball
Traditional workout machines at the gym can be difficult for overweight women to use. Either the backrests are too narrow or they just conform badly to our shapes – especially for those of us who carry our extra weight around our midsections!
However, getting rid of that midsection weight is important. Carrying around excess abdominal weight is ultimately very bad for your heart. So getting your abs engaged in your fitness routines is crucial.
Exercise balls can be used for abdominal crunches by lying on your back, setting your ankles onto the ball, and lifting upward with your core. Try keeping both arms behind your head for extra support.
Note: Be sure to buy a ball that’s “burst resistant.” Not all exercise balls are created equal – so look for one that’s made to carry your weight (some balls can withstand weights of 2,250lbs!).
3. Water Exercises
Water makes you feel lighter by helping to support your body weight. It also lessens the impact on your joints.
In addition to swimming, try walking from one end of the pool to the other for a few laps. And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, try getting some lightweight dumbbells and doing underwater biceps curls.
Feeling shy about strutting around in a bathing suit at the public pool? Don’t. You have every right to be there, same as anyone else. You’re gorgeous inside and out, and working to improve your health is nothing to be ashamed of!
4. Seated Stationary Bike
Cycling exercises different muscles than walking. By alternating between cycling and walking, you’ll have a great aerobic workout routine in place.
Upright stationary bikes can be rough on your lower spine if you’re overweight. However, seated stationary bikes provide great back support and less stress on your abdomen, so you can exercise better for longer.
5. Group Exercise Classes
One of the reasons we encourage women to bring a friend on their FabFitTravel destination vacations is because, well, it’s more fun, but it also helps keep them motivated during our daily fitness itineraries.
Having someone (or a bunch of someones!) with you who all share a common goal will help you in your journey to becoming more healthy.
Don’t let obesity stop you from having the time of your life.
Remember: “Fat” is temporary. Adventures last a lifetime!
Your life is a precious gift. Get out there and make the most of it!