If you're a big guy who wants to make some lifestyle changes and get into shape, it's important to start your exercise regimen on the right foot. To lose weight, you need to get your heart pounding and your body moving, starting with exercises that place little strain on your body. The best exercises for bigger people are those that maximize fat burning and build muscle mass without putting excess stress on the joints. Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
Hit the Ground Walking
Walking is a low-impact exercise that virtually anyone can do. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 185-pound person can burn up to 178 calories walking for 30 minutes at a moderate pace. Start slowly, and gradually increase to a pace that's comfortable for you. As your body gets used to walking, the speed and intensity of your walks will increase. Walk at least three times weekly, and once you feel comfortable, incorporate short bursts of brisk walking into your exercise program, as intense exercise can have a dramatic impact on weight loss, says Gregory Florez of the American Council on Exercise.
Swim to Get Slim
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that swimming can cut your mortality rate in half, improve your health and prevent disease. As a no-impact exercise, swimming is an ideal way for overweight people to lose weight because it will not stress the joints or cause muscle strain. Swimming is an exercise you can do every day without increasing your risk of injury, and it has the potential to burn hundreds of calories per hour.
Move Those Muscles
Muscle burns fat when you're awake and when you are at rest, so the more muscles you add to your frame, the faster you will lose weight. Strength training may seem daunting if you are significantly overweight, but you don't have to go to the gym to increase your muscle strength. Start at home with a pair of hand or ankle weights. Wear the ankle weights while doing chores around your home, and use the hand weights to do arm curls. You can also grab light hand weights before heading out for your daily walk. Strength train at least twice a week, and increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts as your strength builds.
No More Couch Potato
Move your body at every opportunity throughout the day. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is a good idea to expand your definition of exercise. Park far away from the grocery store, and walk the extra distance. Take the stairs instead of using elevators and play with your children more. These small things add up during the day, allowing you to burn more calories. Make a concerted effort to incorporate more activities into your daily life.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: Be Active Your Way
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise
- National Institutes of Health: Weight-Control Information Network: Active at Any Size