How to Exercise with Obesity

How to Exercise with Obesity

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  1. The Ugly Statistics

    Finding the motivation to exercise can be challenging. Finding the motivation to exercise when obese can be nearly impossible. According to a 2009 survey by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 34 percent of adults in the United States are obese. Obesity is growing at an epidemic rate in the U.S, and the number of Americans with obesity-related disease is growing steadily.

    The Solution

    A mix of diet and exercise has been widely accepted as the best method to shed unwanted pounds. Fad dieting in its many forms typically will yield positive results if followed exactly as prescribed because weight loss is simple economics: calories in, calories out. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Exercise is an essential portion of this equation. Exercising while obese, however, can be painful and potentially dangerous.

    Getting Started

    Always consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Calculate your Target Heart Rate by subtracting your age from 220 for men or 226 for women.  Begin with a gentle warm up exercise such as a brisk walk to break a sweat. Seek to build your heart rate to 50 to 60 percent of your target heart rate during a warm up. When you begin your exercise, your original goal should be to complete an aerobic exercise such as walking or riding on a stationary bike for 30 to 60 minutes up to five days a week. Your heart rate should be between 70 and 80 percent of your target heart rate. Ease into this regiment in five minute interval increases every session until you are exercising to a good sweat. Consistency is more important at first than intensity. Try to alternate activities to avoid monotony and find an exercise partner for accountability. 

    If There is Too Much Pain 

    If you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, sharp muscle pain or any similar symptom, consult your physical immediately. If you are unable to continue this regiment due to sore joints or muscles, try alternating exercise types every other day and add other forms of exercise for the same time frame. Many obese exercisers find that swimming or water aerobics helps relieve joint and muscle pain. Consider sitting in a chair to exercise as needed. Such exercises as knee lifts and arm circles will raise your heart rate as well. Remember, the more you exercise and raise your heart rate, the more you will lose and the easier it will become.    

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