Exercising While Overweight

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Exercise used to be so easy for me when I was younger and thinner. Three times a week I would run for 30 minutes straight on our treadmill. Back then I really didn’t understand how difficult it could be for overweight people to exercise. Until now.

Once, years a ago when an overweight friend said she needed to lose weight, I stupidly suggested that she start running. She told me frankly but ever so nicely that she couldn’t run. Even walking long distances were probably challenging for her.

Now I’m the one who can’t run. I’ve let myself go little by little. Even walking can sometimes bother my lower back. But that doesn’t stop me from getting some aerobic exercise.

And the best way for me to do that is by riding my recumbent bike. It’s non-weight bearing so it’s much easier on my joints and feet. I can go as slow or fast as I like. And it’s convenient. We don’t have a lot of room in our house, so my bike is on my back patio. But at least I don’t have to go anywhere to ride it-no time wasted traveling to the gym.

Usually 20 minutes is about all I have the time or energy for, but last night I did 30 minutes. But if you’re new to exercising and want to get started, even 5 minutes will be great. Sometimes just getting into the habit of exercise is more important than the length of time spent doing it, especially at first. Plus it’s easier to squeeze in a 5 or 10 minute workout rather than a 30 minute one. And the healthy feelings I get even with a short workout motivate me to eat healthier and workout the next day. It’s kind of a snowball effect.

Obviously checking with a doctor before doing any exercise is best, especially if you’re overweight. Your heart, joints and lungs need to be able to keep up with whatever workout you choose. And she may be able to give you some good personal advice too.

I do think about running again sometimes, but that’s not anywhere in the near future. But having my bike is the next best thing. And overweight or not, it’s a great exercise.

 

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