The Challenges of Exercising when you are Obese.

Sometimes when we look back we wonder how on earth we got so big. I guess for some it was/is partly due to our hectic work and life. We start out when we are young just constantly running, jumping, playing and riding our bikes then along comes our Education, University (for some) work, marriage, children and somewhere along the way we got lost just living and coping with work and raising our kids. Suddenly we look in the mirror and we feel to self conscious about going to a gym or health club and some of us are just too big in the case of very obese people to even know where to start. We may even be too big to fit on machines, our joints may be too painful to stand or even walk for long periods of time. It is never too late to start. Having the right mind set I.E. wanting to change and lose weight is essential. Without the motivation and effort, nothing will change in any positive way. Feeling intimidated in a gym setting doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. Some people will feel humiliated in these settings. However, everyone can lose weight provided they have no underlying medical conditions that can affect weight loss. Most people do not. The first place to start is seeing a good dietician. Don’t waste your money on shakes, powders and pills. Get started on good nutrition that educates you about good healthy food options, serving sizes and portion control. Your allied health professional can assist, so in the first instance see a good dietician. Once your weight has reduced (even slightly) it is a good idea to partake in some weightless exercise to get you started. Swimming is a good exercise that supports your body weight and simply walking in the pool waist deep is all you need to do to get you started. As you feel stronger and more energy returns join a low level water exercise class and slowly progress through the levels at your leisure. Try not to think of exercise as torture rather an enjoyable outing that is slowly going to get you healthier and live a longer life than you would have if you stay obese. As the weight drops you may want to do some walking and again, slowly increasing the distance as you progress, building to an hour a day. After you achieve each milestone you will feel more inclined to speed up naturally as your joints become less impacted by your weight. Your ability to have more stamina and endurance will just get better. Exercise should be something that is enjoyable, so walk, swim and exercise in the best environment you can find. If you are lucky enough walk and or swim beside the beach. Walk with a friend talking and walking not only makes the time go faster it also invokes good conversation and positive habits. For those who don’t have a workout buddy trying walking and training to upbeat music that is a favorite. When you are feeling fitter and have lost enough weight to feel comfortable start riding a bike. For those who can’t ride use what is called a recumbent stationary bike which can be found in most gyms. Again, start with small steps as they say in Chinese philosophy…. “The journey of thousand miles starts with the very first step “Take one meal at a time and don’t give up. In fact it is far easier to lose the weight than actually put weight on. Most people have put on weight over many many years, yet losing as little as .5-1kg a week will see 20 kg disappear in just 20 weeks. All it takes is consistency. Start now!!… don’t leave it until tomorrow or next week. I can assure you when you reach your ideal weight you will have more energy, be much happier have good mental health and definitely live longer.

By: John Hart

Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply