Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. ~ Carol Welch
There are millions of plus-size people in the world, but do you sometimes feel like you’re the only overweight person?
Feelings like this often lead to isolation. And, rather than going out with friends or your partner, you stay home—further impacting your isolation.
Most people bury these feelings. Some deal with them by eating to feel better, albeit momentarily.
It’s certainly common behavior in both men and women, and so very difficult to stop (but not impossible!).
The thing is, you probably know you need to change your thinking, but it can feel pretty overwhelming. “Where to begin?”
Isn’t it a shame you can’t just snap your fingers and make it all go away…
Unfortunately that isn’t possible, but realizing change begins with you is the first step.
You must want to change—not because someone told you to lose weight, or because your doctor gave you a warning, but because you want it for yourself.
So, back to that question again, “Where to begin?”
Eating a healthy diet is important, but research shows those who eat well and exercise regularly are most successful in maintaining a healthier weight.
Even if you haven’t been active for a long time, you can still do something today to begin the process of losing weight.
It doesn’t take a gym membership, fab workout clothes, special equipment, surgery, or worst of all, gimmicky weight loss pills (which often do more harm than good). You just need to start moving your body.
We’re just talking about beginning somewhere, right? Not some complicated plan, which will make you feel more overwhelmed.
How to begin exercising when it’s been a while
Warm up by stretching. Try swinging your arms from side to side. Step in place, or begin a leisurely stroll from room to room in your home for several days. When you feel comfortable enough, try walking the perimeter of your home outside.
The next step is to walk around the block close to your home. Try to exercise at least 5 to 10 minutes per day, a few times each week, and then increase when you feel able to do so.
Walking, or doing basic household chores like cleaning, gardening, or washing your car can also help get you going.
Although these steps may seem so small they feel pointless, the aim is to build up your endurance, confidence and ability to exercise. Gradually you’ll find yourself able to workout more than you’ve done in years.
Let’s face it, doing a little bit has to be better than doing nothing at all, don’t you agree?
If you are overweight or obese you may be limited in your movement, and therefore it’s difficult to workout using traditional exercises. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of options to choose from.
- Aerobic exercises — increase your heart rate, tone muscles, and get your breathing rate up. Go for activities such as walking, swimming, dancing, and low-impact aerobics classes.
- Strength training exercises (weight lifting) — help increase bone strength and build muscles, which boosts metabolism and burns more calories. Exercise bands are especially good if your movement is limited, since you can work your muscles even while sitting in a chair, if need be.
- Flexibility exercises — help stretch the muscles and keep joints flexible. Pilates and yoga are excellent choices.
- Exercise machines, such as cross-trainers — great if your movement is limited and you need extra support while exercising. Some of the newer machines are designed to provide a healthy workout for people who weigh up to 400 pounds, without adding too much joint stress.
- Exercise balls — can help improve balance, stability, posture, and abdominal strength. Start out with very basic exercises, such as sitting on the exercise ball and alternating leg lifts, then progress from there when you gain confidence.
Remember, to get the greatest benefit from your workout you need to be consistent.
Unfortunately, it does take time for the benefits to be noticeable. But, don’t give up because you haven’t noted immediate changes—under the surface you will be getting stronger, more flexible, leaner, and healthier.
Incase you forgot, besides losing weight, exercise also helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, not to mention improved quality of life.
Isn’t it worth giving a go?
Remember, none of this can happen if you don’t take the first step. The old cliché, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” may be trite, but it’s still very true!