Exercise Plan 1 - If You're Overweight

1. Overcome Barriers

Before setting yourself an exercise program, you need to address all the reasons that will stop you from doing it!

I'm too busy - don't have enough time
It's all a matter of priorities really... If something is important enough to you, you will make time for it.

I am embarrassed about the way I look when exercising
Find a friend to do it with you or exercise at home.

I'm afraid of injury
Many people start out and do too much in too little time. Find exercise that suits you - and begin with something gentle (i.e. walking).

I don't have access to any fitness equipment
Walking is something that can be done anywhere, as is home exercise DVDs.

I'm too overweight to exercise
Over time physical activity will become easier. Some exercises are more suited to larger bodies than others (such as swimming, walking, treadmills, and elliptical trainers).

2. Make A Plan

If possible, make a plan of exercise goals, a basic timetable of when, where, and how, you will stick to it.

3. Phasing In

Start with whatever you can achieve. Aim for 20 minutes of walking. If you can't achieve this, then stop when you can. Your goal is to walk 20 minutes a day for 5 days a week.

This works! Research shows that even a 30 minute walk can be as effective as something longer.

Make sure you have good shoes! This can make all the difference. If you are not used to exercising, your joints and muscles will take a short while to get used to it. Expect to have a few aches or pains the first week (note that anything more significant - you should consult your doctor).

4. Mixing It Up

The human body is remarkably adaptable. The best way to keep your exercise efforts functional is to add variety. Here are some other cardio alternatives:

Walking
There are many smartphone apps that will track your walk or your step count. Aim for a weekly increase of 500-1000 steps. Research shows that this kind of exercise is critical for maintaining weight loss. Don't quit! Make it a part of your lifestyle.

Swimming
This can be a low-impact exercise that has minimal impact upon your joints. Swimming strengthens the upper body as well as involving the lower body.

Jogging
Very popular form of exercise, but not particularly well suited to you if you are a larger person. Jogging and running place significant stresses on bones and joints. However, it is one way to fit more exercise in a shorter space of time! Stretching is essential.

Cardio Equipment
One of the most popular methods of exercise today is by using fitness equipment. Treadmills, rowing machines, elliptical trainers, and stationary bicycles are just some of the options available.

Most of this equipment is available in you local gym or fitness center. However, for many of us, going to these places can be disconcerting. Purchasing your own equipment is an option.

Try a more advanced exercise plan

References

  • Richardson, C. R., Newton, T. L., Abraham, J. J., Sen, A., Jimbo, M., & Swartz, A. M. (2008). A meta-analysis of pedometer-based walking interventions and weight loss. The Annals of Family Medicine, 6(1), 69-77. Link
  • Bond, B. J., Perry, A. C., Parker, L., Robinson, A., & Burnett, K. (2002). Dose-response effect of walking exercise on weight loss. How much is enough?. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 26(11), 1484-149 .Link
  • Wing, R. R., & Hill, J. O. (2001). Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual review of nutrition, 21(1), 323-341.Link
Last Updated 30 Dec 2014