Everyone has a hard time starting an exercise program. But the process can be especially hard if you are overweight. These are just a few of the reasons that an overweight exerciser might struggle at the gym:
Why Workouts Are Harder for Overweight People
Equipment doesn’t fit. Some exercise equipment is not appropriate for larger bodies. Weight lifting machines, for example, may not accommodate a bigger body and that can make using the machine both uncomfortable and ineffective.
Different movement dynamics. People who carry more weight move differently than people who have smaller frames. The center of gravity is different for an obese body and for that reason, taking some group exercise classes may be less comfortable. Overweight exercisers may have a hard time keeping up with the tempo of a fast-moving class, not because they aren’t coordinated but simply because it takes more time for them to move through the steps.
Trainers aren’t qualified. An exercise program for an overweight client needs to specially tailored to their body type. Exercises that require them to lay on the floor – like abdominal crunches – are generally not appropriate for larger bodies. But not all trainers are qualified or aware of these special considerations.
Intimidating environment. Let’s face it, going into any new environment is challenging. But going into a gym when you feel out of shape and out-of-place is especially challenging both emotionally and physically.
Tips to Start an Exercise Program if You Are Overweight
So how do you start an exercise program if you are overweight? Use these tips to make the process easier.
Find the right workout. Not all workout formats or classes work well for bigger bodies. Use my list of the best workouts for overweight exercisers to find an activity that you enjoy. But don’t be afraid to try different styles and types of exercise. For example, functional training is helpful for people who need to burn more calories each day through NEAT. The best workout for you is the one that you do on a regular basis. So find a workout that fits with your lifestyle and your schedule.
Get properly equipped. What’s the best way to prevent injury and stay comfortable during your workouts? Equip yourself with good shoes and proper workout attire. Visit a local shoe store to get personalized attention and expert advice about the best shoes, socks and workout apparel.
Ask for help. If you are new to a health club or exercise class, introduce yourself to the instructor or trainer and ask for help. When exercise specialists know that you are open to feedback, they’ll be more willing to interact with you during your visits and provide advice and support.
Take small steps. Remember that weight loss and improved health take time. But your commitment is worth the effort! Set SMART goals to guide your weight loss journey. Then, as you make progress, adjust your goals as necessary.
Give yourself credit. You’re going to have good days and bad days at the gym. But remember that even a “bad” workout is a worthy accomplishment. Remember to give yourself credit just for showing up on a regular basis.
Track your progress. Record important data about the type of workouts you are doing, the duration of each session and the workout intensity. Also include notes about how you felt during each session. Review your weight loss journal if you need to make adjustments to your program or if you need a reminder of the hard work you’ve already accomplished.
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Remember that your workouts will help you to lose weight, but they will also help you to sleep better at night, improve your health and reduce your risk of disease. Even on the days when you don’t feel like it, stick with your plan and you’ll reach your goals.
This article talks a lot about workouts at the gym, but I find that the gym isn’t a good place for beginners. You’ll feel out of place unless you go with a buddy who is a regular. But if you are alone and want to go, I suggest you sign up with a trainer the first day. Some trainers will work with you a day at a time, some a week at a time and so on. Try out your trainer on a short-term basis to see if you can work together. See if your personalities fit. If not, find another.
Most newbies will try to get in shape before they sign up for a membership in a club. Walking is a great exercise for beginners. You should walk every morning for at least 30 minutes. Do some warm-up and remember to cool-down after your walk. No money to spend walking just use a comfortable pair of shoes. I was a mall walker, it never rains, it’s nice and cool and quiet when you go early. You won’t be the only one, mall walking is very popular, my mall opens at 6 am for walkers.
I know it might not be what your friends want to do, but I think if your going to join a club think about the YMCA. The reason I mention the Y is because you won’t always feel like exercising and the Y has multiple programs for you. Sport teams, classes in lots of things, a pool and some have tennis, even volleyball. Hundreds of people and kids belong to the Y and your more likely to find like-minded people.
If you really want to lose your body fat than look for my e-books at the websites listed below. You’ll get information on Healthy eating, exercise, and diet. Instead of spending hours on the internet reading dozens of posts, you can save time by picking up one of my e-books.
There are two e-books. “How Bad Do You Want To Lose Weight?” is available at all the online bookstores selling for $1.99. Go to any of the websites below and search the title to find my e-book. This book gives you all you need to lose weight without spending money on gym memberships, diet plans or meal plans. Look for my book. at Amazon.com, B&N.com, iBooks, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, or Gardner Books in the U.K.
My new e-book is available on Smashwords.com, just type “getting to a Healthy Weight” in the search box at the top of the home page.