Active at any size
Celeste Hebets, P.T., program coordinator
Would you like to be more physically active, but are not sure if you can do it? No matter what you weigh, you can be physically active and have fun and feel good doing it.
Those who are overweight or who have been sedentary for a long time may have additional challenges when it comes to being active. Physical activity does not have to be hard or painful. Anything that gets you moving even for only a few minutes a day is a start to getting healthier. You don’t need special equipment or clothing, just a desire to feel better, get stronger and healthier. Remember to start slowly and listen to your body.
Walking is a great aerobic activity. Follow these easy “steps” to start a walking program:
- Start with walking only half of what you think you can do. If you think you can walk 10 minutes, walk five minutes the first day. If you feel fine the next day, add one to two minutes on to your walk. Slowly increasing the time you walks, gives your heart, lungs, muscles and joints time to adapt and get stronger without creating pain or soreness.
- Wear comfortable supportive walking shoes. If you walk frequently, you should buy new shoes six months.
- Wear garments such as tights, sweats or spandex shorts to prevent inner-thigh chafing.
You don’t need to know how to swim to work out in water.
- For shallow-water workouts, the water level should be between the waist and chest. If the water is too shallow, it will be hard to move your arms underwater. If the water is deeper than the chest it will be too hard to keep your feet on the bottom of the pool.
- For deep-water workouts, most of the body is under water, giving the whole body a good workout. For safety and comfort, wear a foam belt or life jacket.
Bicycle indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a road bike. Biking does not stress any one part of the body because the body’s weight spread among your arms, back, hips, legs and feet. Upright bikes tend to be easier on the knees and recumbent bikes tend to be easier on the low back.
You don’t need benches or bars to begin weight training at home. You can use a pair of hand weights or even two cans of soup or elastic exercise bands. You can work out sitting in a chair or standing, whichever feels best. Exercises should feel “somewhat hard to hard” without straining your joints. This allows your muscles to get stronger.
- Weight-training tip: If you cannot lift a weight six times in a row, the weight is too heavy; if you can easily lift a weight 15 times in a row, the weight is too light.
- Start with half the repetitions and weight you think you can do. If you think you can perform 10 repetitions with 10 pounds of weight, start with five repetitions and five pounds. This will allow your body to adapt and get stronger without pain or soreness. Slowly add more repetitions or weight.
- Always work within the mid-range of each motion. Never fully bend or fully straighten any joint. This will ensure you don’t strain the joints.
- If purchasing a home gym, check the weight rating (the number of pounds it can support) to make sure it is safe for your weight.
- If joining a fitness center, shop around for one where you feel comfortable.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program, especially if you have a chronic disease or risk factors for a chronic disease such as asthma or diabetes; or high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a personal or family history of heart disease; are pregnant; or are a smoker.
Considering weight loss surgery?
If you are considering weight loss surgery, FMC’s Bariatric Surgical Weight Loss Center requires you to attend one of our free information sessions prior to making an appointment with our surgical staff. The information session is held the second Tuesday of every month from 6 - 7 p.m. These sessions include a presentation by our surgical staff on the causes of and complications related to morbid obesity, as well as the types of surgeries available. To register to attend a free information session, call 928 214-3737. To learn more about the program, visit FMCBariatrics.com.
FMC’s Bariatric Surgical Weight Loss Center has been nationally recognized with a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® designation by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.