It’s so easy for the skinny Instagram influencers to show off their workout routines that their able-bodies gracefully perform. But what if you’re morbidly obese? Those workout routines are too hard for a body held back by excess fat. For this reason, I recommend you start with walking. It’s low-impact, easy to do and can help you establish an exercise routine. Gradually increase your intensity and length of your workout. You’ll reap all the benefits of exercise, including increased range of motion and endurance. There’s a lot of options to exercise if walking doesn’t sound appealing to you. Get motivated, and start moving today! The best exercise routine for obese women is walking.
Before You Start
Exercise isn’t always something we look forward to doing. We get hot and sweaty, plus we’re tired from our long days at work. Exercise is probably the last thing we want to do. Sometimes it’s fear holding us back because we don’t know where to start. We give up before we even begin. I get it. I’ve been there.
However, a key component to any good diet program or weight loss surgery program is exercise. Remember, we need to burn more calories than we consume. Exercise is key to reaching this goal.
Before you start though, remember that an exercise routine for obese women doesn’t look the same as those skinny Instagrammers. No matter if you’re obese or of a healthy weight, you need to get your doctor’s permission before starting any exercise program. You want to make sure your heart, lungs and joints can handle the workout.
It’s also a good time to invest in proper walking shoes. Since the best exercise for obese women is walking, having sturdy walking shoes is essential. If you’re wearing old, worn sneakers, you could injure yourself quite easily. A lot of sporting goods stores will have associates that can help you choose a proper fit.
Benefits of Exercising
I hated exercising. It wasn’t fun for me, it was hard, and I didn’t like to sweat. I was also too lazy to exercise. So how did I go from a person who never exercises to one who runs obstacle races for fun? I started by walking. Previously, I started exercise routines but always had a hard time committing to it. This time with my bariatric surgery, I vowed it would be different.
It was. You see, I started to appreciate all the benefits of exercise. I found it boosted my mood after a long day. It became my escape time. At this point in my life, I was still in my abusive marriage, had an extremely stressful job and more financial problems than you can count. Exercise allowed me to put all of that out of mind and focus on the movement of my body.
My health also started to improve, and the weight started falling off. I lost 17 pounds in my first four weeks of starting to transform my life. These factors kept me motivated to keep going.
Once you start exercising and focusing on the improvements in your life from it, you’ll start to appreciate the sweat and the heat you generate. You’ll start to crave it. I like to say I’m an emotional exerciser now instead of an emotional eater. It’s my way of dealing with my emotions and what happens to me. It can work for you too. You just need to start.
The Best Exercise Routine for Obese Women
I suggest starting with walking. Walking is low-impact, doesn’t cost anything and is a great way to get moving. If you’re like me and hate the cold during the winter months, you can purchase DVDs that allow you to walk at home. My favorite is Leslie Sansone. Her videos are so encouraging, and she incorporates other low-impact moves, like knee lifts and sidesteps, into her routine. But no worries if that’s too much for you. Just march in place, and you’ll still get a safe and effective workout.
However, if you don’t mind the cold or it’s warm where you are, take a walk outside. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Listen to the bird’s chirp. Watch how the sun hits the grass and glimmers across it. Listen to kids laughing while they play. Smell the fresh air. Learning to appreciate what’s around you can make your walks more meaningful.
Take It Slowly
Follow the advice of your doctor as far as frequency and intensity. I recommend a very new exerciser start twice a week for 15 minutes. The American Heart Association suggests adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. However, if you’re obese this amount can do more harm than good. Start slowly and increase your time gradually.
Walking Schedule Example
For example, if you decide to start with walking, I’d schedule it this way:
- Week One–15 minutes, twice a week
- Week Two–20 minutes, three times a week
- Week Three –20 minutes, twice a week and 30 minutes, once a week
- Week Four–30 minutes twice a week and 20 minutes, once a week
- Weeks Five through Eight–30 minutes, three times a week
- Weeks Nine through 12–30 minutes, three times a week and 20 minutes, once a week
- Weeks 13 through 16–30 minutes, four times a week
- Weeks 17 through 20–30 minutes, four times a week and 20 minutes, once a week
- Weeks 21 through 24–45 minutes, five times a week
- Weeks 25 through 28–60 minutes, five times a week
If you are a little more advanced than a beginner, you can increase the number of days or length of time you are walking. When I first started at 428 pounds (morbidly obese), I walked for 30 minutes, three times a week for the first four weeks, then increased it to 30 minutes, three times a week and 40 minutes, once a week for the next four weeks. You have to do what works best for you. The point is to start!
Other options for an exercise routine for obese women include taking classes, like Zumba, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates or Country Heat. These classes are really fun, and you can find other like-minded people who are looking to improve their lifestyle as well.
If working out at home is more your speed, there are tons of free exercise videos on YouTube you can find and follow. There are some paid sites if you wish to join those. If you have Comcast, they even have workout videos On Demand. You could also check out your local library to see if they have any workout DVDs to follow at home.
I think walking is your best choice for beginners. It’s low-impact and can help you establish the necessary workout habit you need to be successful at bariatric surgery.
Getting Motivated to Workout
The key to getting motivated to start your exercise program is just to start. Find something you love doing and start easy. Slowly work your way up with frequency and intensity. As always, I suggest writing down your schedule and making an appointment in your planner to exercise each week. I like to sit down once a week, usually on a Sunday and plan my week out as far as the time I spend working, exercising, appointments and self-care.
As you start to see the benefits of exercising, you’ll want to continue doing it. You’ll start to get stronger and what was once hard is now much easier to do. These little realizations will motivate you to keep going. You may not ever become a 5k runner or a mud/obstacle runner like I did, and that’s OK. The important thing is that you are exercising and burning calories. It’s one of the secrets to bariatric success.
An Exercise Routine for Obese Women
The most important part of our exercise routine is getting started. The best exercise routine for obese women is walking. It’s low-impact, can be done anywhere and requires little to no special equipment. Gradually work your way up to 150 minutes each week for optimum results. You’ll reap the benefits of exercise and increase your endurance. You can add other variations too, like fitness classes. Stay motivated and be consisted. It will pay off!
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free eBook with the 10 Habits to Change Before Bariatric Surgery, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
Walking is the best exercise to start. It’s low-impact, doesn’t require any special equipment or membership, and can be done anywhere. However, any exercise that you enjoy and can do consistently is best to start a workout routine.