Starting a workout routine when you are overweight can be quite challenging. If you are starting from scratch, it may even be more difficult.
However, there are ways to overcome these challenges and put you on a path toward physical and mental fitness.
Selecting your workouts wisely is perhaps the most important factor for starting an effective workout routine if you are overweight. Having appropriate and sufficient exercise resources is also crucial in this fitness journey.
You also need to cultivate a positive mindset in order to be successful in your fitness endeavor. This post will discuss how to start a workout routine if you are overweight.
Selecting Your Workouts
Consult your doctor
Like with other major lifestyle changes, it is essential that you see your doctor about the exercise routine you plan to begin.
Your doctor will give you insights into the kind of exercises you can do, and how often you should work out.
Also, your doctor will provide guidance on how to identify signs of body strain while you are exercising.
Start off with taking walks
If you are overweight, walking is a suitable exercise with which to start your fitness regimen. Walking can vary widely in distance, speed, and intensity. You also don’t need any special equipment to walk– you only need shoes.
A 15 to 20-minute walk every day would be a good start. After about two weeks, you can then increase the walks to 30 minutes, and after that increase the length of your walks appropriately as you get better at it.
Once you’re more comfortable with walking, you may increase the intensity of your walks by hiking on trails. You may also take routes that are more hilly.
A good pair of walking shoes will come in handy.
In order to track distances and progress, you can use walking apps that are available on Android and iOS.
Look into group classes
There are many options on the group exercises you can participate in. A great group exercise that you may consider is cardio classes.
Cardio could involve exercises such as Zumba and step aerobics. You could also participate in more strength-focused group exercises. It is much fun and motivating because you do these exercises as a group.
Also, the group aspect can help you stay more focused on your goals than if you were to exercise alone. Your local gym or fitness center should have such group classes.
Start with group exercises that are at the beginner level – one step at a time. This way you will be able to get started without overstraining your body. Taking beginner-level classes that you can pull off effectively will also help avoid frustration.
When signing up for the group classes, make a point of talking to your fitness instructor and explain to them that you are just getting started.
They may be in a position to give extra advice and assistance that will help improve your workout regimen.
Yoga may be another great way to get you started with your workout routine if you are overweight.
The benefits of yoga are wide-ranging, from stretching and strengthening your muscles to improving your posture.
Check whether there is a yoga studio in your locality and consider signing up. Make sure to start with the beginner-level classes.
Some of the yoga classes (therapeutic/restorative classes) will focus more on unstiffening your body muscles, while some others will be more vigorous, such as vinyasa and hatha classes.
Like with group classes, talk to your yoga instructor before you get started. Explain to them that you’re just starting out and seek their advice on how to begin. They are usually happy to assist.
Ride a bike
Cycling is a very effective way to burn calories. The activity also improves your cardiovascular ability, and it is fun.
It is a low-impact exercise appropriate for people that are overweight. With this exercise, ensure that you start small, so you don’t overstretch yourself before you get better. You can then build up as you improve.
You may vary the intensity of this activity according to how good you get, for instance, you may ride in places with hills when you get better. You can either ride on the streets or check whether your area has bike trails.
Try water aerobics
Water aerobics are exercises that involve dancing and doing other gymnastic exercises while the participants are partially submerged in water.
If you are overweight, water aerobics is a great alternative that can get you going. It is an excellent workout for burning calories, and it has minimal impact on your joints.
Water aerobics is also fun. Check whether your area has a place that offers water aerobics classes.
Know when you are overexerting your body
When working out, ensure that you are not overdoing it. Yes, an excessive workout is a real thing. Your body can only handle a certain level of exercise, after which it starts to struggle.
An increased heart rate and sweating are typical outcomes of an effective workout, but if you experience chest pains or dizziness, you could be overdoing it.
Overworking your body can put you in danger. You should know how to recognize signs of overexertion so that you can immediately stop exercising when you notice them. In some situations, you may want to consider seeking medical advice.
Signs of overexertion include vomiting, severe dizziness, and pain. Chest pains and sustained heart pounding could also suggest that you are overdoing it.
Having the proper workout equipment can be a motivational factor for working out. If you feel good while working out, you’re more likely to push harder.
Having some good workout clothes and shoes will have you feeling comfy while working out. If your workout routine will involve using a mat regularly (such as with yoga or while core training on the floor) getting yourself a good mat would be a really good idea. Also, get yourself a water bottle that you can carry around to ensure that you stay well hydrated.
You can get some incredible workout clothes and shoes from your local department store or by ordering online. While at the store, consult with a representative about the most suitable outfit for your workout needs.
Use a personal trainer
Working with a personal trainer is perhaps the best way to get into shape and achieve your body goals. A personal trainer will use their expertise to tailor-make a workout plan that will be most effective in meeting your needs.
A good personal trainer will be there for you as you experience the physical and mental stress that accompany exercise, providing encouragement, motivation, and feedback. They help you gather staying power even when you want to quit.
While starting out, workouts will definitely feel extremely straining, and having a personal trainer can help a lot with overcoming this experience.
Charges for personal training services vary widely. If you look keenly within your area, you are likely to get an affordable training service.
Look for gyms and classes in your area
You will have to look for gyms and studios that will accommodate your exercise needs. Whether you plan on engaging in strength training, taking group fitness classes or participating in yoga classes, you can always find someplace that can accommodate you.
You can start by performing a basic online search for gyms and studios in your area. If the results show some websites of various gyms, visit those websites to check out what they have to offer and at what rates.
Your search query can be specific depending on the particular type of exercise you are looking for.
If you plan on trying new exercises, such as yoga, it is advisable to do that in the presence of an instructor, for safety and proper guidance.
Do not sign up for lengthy periods (for instance, a 1-year contract) at a gym that you don’t know much about. It is advisable to pay for short periods at first, and then you may pay for longer periods once you have experienced good services at the gym.
Without tying yourself with long-term contracts, you keep your flexibility – you can try different gyms until you identify your favorite one.
Some gyms may offer you some free cases before signing up. Take advantage of that as well.
Create a schedule
If you want results, you have to maintain a consistent and effective workout routine for a reasonably long period. To maintain your weight loss, you also have to stick to the workout schedule that you have created, along with other factors such as proper diet.
You should take your workout routine seriously just as you do with appointments and meetings. Your workout schedule needs to be comprehensive and clear – every activity should be allotted a specific period. Failure of sticking to your workout makes one feel discouraged, and it could have you lagging behind.
Having support may be a motivating factor that could help you push harder and stick to your fitness routine. A fitness partner can offer a lot of support.
Try to get someone who is also serious with working out and encourage each other on this journey. Online forums can also be a source of much-needed support.
Many social media sites offer platforms where you can connect with people that have similar goals with yours. Your workout apps may also provide user platforms that can provide support.
Cultivate a Positive Mindset
Before you even start working out, it is important that you stop beating yourself up about your overweight situation. Yes, you don’t need all that negative energy, and, in fact, it could hold you back from getting in shape.
If you begin your fitness routine with a self-judging mindset, you are very likely to fail. So, cut yourself a slack and be compassionate to yourself. It doesn’t matter how you got where you are, what matter is that you are there, and you want to fix your situation.
Also, take one step at a time in this workout journey, and be proud of the baby steps you make toward your goal.
If you make a mistake such as missing a workout (as you will most likely do), don’t beat yourself up. Instead, try to avoid such mistakes from then on.
Don’t Obsess with Immediate Results
Avoid focusing on short term results such as weekly weight loss, because this can make you lose focus on the main goal, which is a healthy lifestyle.
Your focus should be on having a lifestyle change that will lead to a healthier life. When starting out, avoid checking your weight and taking measurements. Instead, focus on your physical and mental feelings.
A healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint.
Keeping a health/exercise diary could be helpful – write down the workouts you did each day. Also, it may be useful to write down how you feel physically and emotionally, such as what your mood is like, and how you slept.
Consistency over intensity
Focus on being consistent with easy or moderate exercises, instead of trying to do high-intensity exercises now and then. Being consistent will lead to better results in the long-term.
When you are overweight, doing high-intensity exercises is not suitable – it could be a health risk due to overexerting your body, and you are likely to fail which could lead to unnecessary mental discouragement.
Your fitness routine should entail easy exercises that you can perform every day without any overexertion.
When you acquire higher levels of fitness, you can then increase the intensity of your workouts, but for now, focus on baby steps.
Starting a workout routine when you are overweight might be challenging, but it can still be done successfully. It is important that you pick appropriate workouts to get you started.
It is also crucial that you acquire the right workout resources because your success depends on it.
Having a positive mindset will help you overcome the challenges that you are bound to meet on your fitness journey.