The Secret (II) – E x e r c i s e rules for the overweight/obese

Being Obese isn’t easy” – either physically or mentally, there are many reasons as to the cause of this condition, but I am talking here about the nuts and bolts – Diet & Exercise.

Elements playing a part may be

– lack of sleep
– stress
– medications
– lifestyle
– medical/hormonal

But, at the end of the day, we are designed to move, and that my friends is exactly what we need to do. Looking at the obese or overweight this can be easier said than done, especially as there can be additional health problems associated with this condition. If you are obese then you need to start with the diet, this will begin the weight loss process, as it progresses, you will then be able to add in exercise (- the level however, would depend on your individual starting point).

Walking is the best way to start, but for some even this can be extremely difficult, even to stand for 5 minutes may be uncomfortable, so a walk round the block could be out of the question.

Swimming as well – easy if you have a pool in the backyard, but quite intimidating if you’re larger and have to wear a swimsuit at the public pool.

Gyms can also be intimidating – even for the fittest of people, let alone if you’re paranoid about your shape – add to this that you don’t know what to do once you get there, plus most of the machines are not even built for ‘plus’ size people. Not perhaps the best place to start!

This brings up issues of stability & balance, particularly on gym benches and even the recumbent bikes (ones you sit low down on) are often too small to sit on.
Other machines may exacerbate existing conditions around potential knee or other joint issues (e.g steppers).

So, first things first – what do you do….starting in the home

F u n c t i o n a l Exercise

This focuses on some basic movements in life, stepping up & down, bending or squatting down, reaching high, lateral and side movements – these also work on your balance, mobility and strength.

  • Stepping:- basic but effective, start with a 10-15cm step, start standing near a wall for support, increase repetitions over time and speed. As balance improves, move away from your support. Alternate the feet you begin to step with as well. Hold extra weight to increase intensity (either actual dumbbells or cans of baked beans!)
  • Stand Up & Down (squatting):- again it sounds simple, but you do it all day, from chairs, lounges, the toilet and in/out of cars – you need strength & balance to do this, repeat many times throughout day (in addition to regular times). Use a dining chair for example, again increase reps and speed as you go – mix it up. Ways to progress?…almost sit down, pause then stand, after a while your thighs and glutes will really feel it!
  • Stretch & reach:- again a movement done everyday, try picking something up from the floor (or low table) to the side of you and place in somewhere higher to the opposite side. Repeat..and repeat, as often as your body will allow you too.

H o m e Workouts

You can then progress to working on specific muscle groups of the body by doing seated weight training, start with movement only, then introduce actual dumbbells – you can target..

  • Shoulders / triceps / biceps / back and chest – plus a whole lot of leg exercises (click here to view video for home workout).
  • By maintaining and improving mobility and strength you will have more energy to move more, drop more weight, have MORE energy overall to be able to build a more intense and varied regime over time.
  • The next step, would be to ad more outdoor training, utilising many of the outdoor facilities that we have around parks and beaches – include more cardio as you drop the weight and improve your confidence.

Once you begin to see the weight decrease you may now be ready to join a gym! Here there will a myriad of different classes for you to try, join with a friend and at least initially, employ a PT to show you the ropes and get your technique down pat – use them either for the first month or so, and/or periodically – you can’t lose! You may be more comfortable going to a PT studio where you get a more personalised service and can be monitored better to track your progress better.

So, with the right mindset, then the right diet and exercise regime, you should be able to greatly improve both your health and fitness…

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