Exercise is critical for treating obesity in men and women alike. A medically-sound plan can reverse obesity and improve quality of life. Creating an exercise plan is especially important, as obese individuals require a long-term solution to improve health.
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Initial Doctor Consultation
Obesity comes with risk, and monitoring your health alongside a professional is important. Consulting with a doctor before creating exercise plans is imperative to ensure you approach the new plan safely. The doctor will help determine how much stress your body can handle, while monitoring the condition of your heart and other important health metrics.
Starting with an initial consultation, and stating your objective to engage in an obese workout plan, is extremely important. The doctor will likely want to test your blood pressure while taking blood samples on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on the risk level and severity of obesity. Blood tests and strict weight and body fat monitoring are also very normal.
Shop around for the best doctor to help. A May, 2012 study conducted by the Journal of Obesity examined 500 physicians and their impact on obesity treatment in patients. The study found that doctors with a normal BMI are more effective at treating and prescribing treatment for obese patients.
After the initial doctor consultation, begin the workout plan, but make sure to schedule follow up visits. Coordinate between your doctor and a personal trainer as well, if possible. When everyone is working towards the same goals together, the transition into a new lifestyle can run smoothly.
Taking Baseline Metrics
Your doctor will conduct a number of measurements, but a gym or professional trainer is better utilized for body fat, lean muscle mass and ideal weight statistics. As an obese male, these are not always fun metrics to obtain, but they are very useful in the goal-setting process, and will help to show and reinforce your progress. Seeing weekly improvements is exciting, and will ultimately help to motivate you and help you continue through the process.
A few other baseline metrics to consider are starting points for simple exercises. How far can you walk before becoming tired? How many push-ups are possible? If you can walk for 10-minutes in the initial session, a month of workouts can potentially double that figure. With a few months of consistent training, you can drive up results to the point where timing a walked mile is possible, and you're setting new goals beyond what you ever imagined.
Continue renewing your body measurements every month while monitoring your weight. Do not be discouraged when weight loss fluctuates. Obese individuals might experience large amounts of weight loss in a single week, or zero progress over the same span of time. In the long run, aiming for a comfortable 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week, on average, is an achievable and consistent number according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read More: 10 Ways to Reduce Body Fat Percentage Fast
Obese Workout Program
The actual exercise plan for obese males must be custom fit for the individual. Levels of obesity and physical capabilities vary greatly, and most plans will begin with very basic movements. Building core strength and increasing flexibility are a great start to a path away from obesity. The workouts will progress with walking, light weight training, and low impact exercises, with weekly and monthly revisions based on progress, setbacks, injuries and life events.
Low impact exercises that increase the heart rate without placing excessive pressure on the joints are vital in the early stages of an obesity-specific workout plan. Riding a stationary bicycle, swimming, walking on a treadmill and even weight lifting for obese men, with small amounts of weight, are all great exercises. The big-picture path for the first several months of training should focus on setting the stage for a lifetime of improved physical fitness and weight management.
Building the actual exercise plan is best done with a professional trainer to customize and fit each week to your current needs. Exercising while obese requires tweaking and adjusting the plan based on physical condition and health risks. An already-conditioned person knows how their body responds to exercise, but as an obese man, you are learning and gaining that connection to the body over time.
Combine the workout plan with the intake of healthy foods. You can find some examples of this on the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate that will put you on-track to shed weight and fight obesity.
Lifestyle Changes for Obese Men
Exercise is a key weapon when fighting back against obesity, but workout plans are limited to specific time-frames. Making changes to your general lifestyle has a positive impact on health as well. Harvard Health recommends simple changes, like standing more throughout the day, to fight obesity.
They analyzed a study of more than 7,000 normal individuals and found that men who spent more than one-quarter of the time standing were more than 57-percent less likely to become obese. While these individuals were not yet obese, applying the same lifestyle principals to obese men is productive.
Increasing general activity throughout the day without defining this activity as a workout is important. Consider walking to work, or invest in a standing desk, and take regular breaks to move around and engage in activity. Take the stairs when possible, and look for opportunities to move and exercise as an incidental part of your life. This can even mean taking on fun and valuable projects at home, like a new landscaping design that requires moving rocks and planting trees.
Find Groups and Partners
Exercising alone is entirely possible, but utilizing partners can really help with accountability, and having others to empathize with, while getting in shape. A dedicated workout partner is great, but small groups with multiple individuals also works well. Walking groups are common, and you might even find potential friends while spending time at the gym.
Another way to go about group workouts is by joining a class. Spin classes, beginner yoga and general fitness classes with an emphasis on beginner workouts are all great ways to enter a group setting. Group workouts might be intimidating at first, but a good group is encouraging, and the workouts are often filled with positive energy. A group that operates under professional supervision, to help with form and safety, is ideal.
In the case of extreme obesity, the doctor may require supervision for workouts. In this case, follow the orders to ensure you are exercising safely until released for unsupervised activity.
Fitness Trackers and Other Tools
Accountability and metrics are always good for reference. Fitness trackers and calendars with information detailing each workout are useful tools in the exercise program. They also help with general lifestyle changes like meeting a minimum daily step count, and burning a desired amount of calories throughout the day with incidental activity.
The exercise plan itself can live in a journal with notes about pains, injuries and other concerns, or you can carry a sheet with the workout detailed on it into exercise sessions. This is a useful practice when lifting weights, because you have an easy reference point and can also record the number of reps and weight lifted after each set. Ace Fitness also has a list of mobile apps that are great for tracking workouts and meals.
Lastly, invest in a comfortable pair of athletic shoes and clothing that is not restrictive. The ability to move freely is important, and carrying extra weight requires loose fitting clothes to make this possible. Running shoes are fine, when the fit is right, but a pair of cross-trainers will have more stability and a wider footprint that does not encourage placing all the weight on the ball of the foot.
- Harvard Health: "Obesity is complicated - and so is treating it"
- Harvard Health: "Stand More to Lower Your Risk of Obesity"
- Ace Fitness: "Fitness Technology Devices and Mobile Fitness Apps"
- PubMed: "Impact of Physician BMI on Obesity Care and Beliefs"
- Harvard School of Public Health: "Healthy Eating Plate"
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: "What is healthy weight loss?"