Begin an Exercise Program?
Before beginning a new exercise or diet program it is essential to speak with your doctor. Medical intervention is necessary because your doctor may want to help you stay within certain guidelines to better manage any illness, disorder, or disease. Having appropriate information related to current health limitations can literally save your life. If you are managing an illness, medications, or physical limitations, exercise is extremely important and the benefits of regular exercise within the parameters of your existing limitations far outweigh the risks of exercise in most cases.
Most people, who are not obese, can’t really understand what it is like for a person to be extremely limited in activities of daily living. Daily tasks, taken for granted by most people, are very difficult if not impossible for obese and morbidly obese people. For example, many obese people cannot tie their shoes, get in and out of chairs, seats, and vehicles. In fact, an astonishingly high number of morbidly obese people cannot leave their home. That said—exercise is possible for all people who can move.
Perception of obesity vs reality of healing and healthier living.
One of the biggest misconceptions about obese people is that they are lazy people. Obesity is an epidemic and limits many people substantially, for sure. However, people challenged by all limitations, and illnesses have one thing in common—we all have an opportunity to change public perspective. Whether or not the public thinks a person is lazy because he or she is obese has almost nothing to do with personal perception of ability. Now, let’s think perception—how do you see yourself? Do you feel lazy or do you feel unable? After many years helping people change their personal perception of obesity, ability, and problem solving, we,—you can help others to form a perspective responsible for encouraging, helping, and changing the lives of countless people challenged by obesity.
Once we have a mindset for meeting our challenges, face-to-face, we can move forward to plan to accomplish whatever goals we set. After we establish the difference between laziness and ability, we can move forward and act on goals related to fitness and health. Of course, planning an exercise program can be daunting for people of all ability levels—let alone a morbidly obese or obese person. So, let's get started with a few tips for planning a safe, effective, and fun exercise program for obese people of all ability levels.
Getting started with simple exercises.
Define your limitations and work within them – if you can move your extremities, start with simple movement of your arms. From a lying position, a person can press their arms out away from the body in a consecutive number of repetitions forming 'sets.' Each consecutive number of repetitive movements equal one set. From a seated position, a person can pull the hand toward the shoulder or chest performing a 'curl.' The lower body leg muscles can be exercised by extension of the lower leg at the knee, commonly referred to as ‘leg extensions.’ In a seated position, starting with contracted abdominal muscles and erect posture, lift your foot towards the ceiling until your lower leg is extended in front of your body. Remember, it may not be necessary to use weights. The weight of your involved extremities may be sufficient to start. The bullet list below can be a good starting point for arm and leg movement exercises:
- Seated overhead press – works the muscles of the shoulders, triceps, biceps, along with stabilizer muscles in the core, neck, back, and chest.
- Seated lateral arm raise – works the muscles of the core, shoulders, neck, back and chest.
- Seated biceps curl – works the muscles of the core and arms.
- Overhead triceps extension – works the core, shoulders, triceps, chest, and back muscles.
- Leg extension – works the muscles of the core and upper legs.
- Foot flexion and extension – works the muscles of the core and lower leg.