Exercises for the Sedentary & Morbidly Obese

A man is weight training on his floor.
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Sedentary adults tend to get little to no exercise. This not only affects your level of fitness, but also increases the likelihood of obesity and even morbid obesity. Obesity is often characterized as a body mass index between 30 and 39.9, while morbid or extreme obesity is a BMI of 40 and above. Treatment for obesity always entails some type of weight loss plan, and physical activity is an important facet of this plan. It's especially important in preventing weight gain after weight loss, as well as reducing the risk of weight-related health complications, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.


For both sedentary and morbidly obese adults, walking is an easily accessible option for exercise. According to the National Institutes of Health, it's best to start off at a slow pace, walking for about 30 minutes at least three days a week. As your endurance and fitness levels improve, build up to 45 minutes at least five days a week. However, don't keep the same pace as before. Try to increase the intensity of your exercise by picking up the speed of your steps.



Swimming is another viable option for exercise in morbidly obese adults, notes the National Institutes of Health. Like walking, swimming is a low-impact activity that increases heart rate, yet causes little to no strain on the ankles, knees and hips. The recommendation is the same for this athletic pursuit, starting off at a slow pace for about 30 minutes at least three days a week. From there, work toward 45 minutes at least five days a week.


If you have the resources, you can choose to bike as a way of increasing your level of exercise. Biking is considered a moderate-intensity physical activity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should work toward at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Taking a 30-minute bike ride five days a week can get you to this amount. Plus, biking is relatively low-impact, so you're looking at little to no strain on your joints. If you're concerned about the size of the seat, you can invest in a special bicycle seat or a modified bike that has a seat that resembles a lawn chair.


Competitive Sports

Physical exercise needn't be a solitary activity. You can also include competitive sports in your exercise program as an interactive way of helping you lose those excess pounds, advises the National Institutes of Health. Almost any sport is beneficial. Choose tennis, volleyball, basketball or soccer, to name only a few. Whatever your interest, there's typically a sport for you.

Strength Training

As you incorporate more aerobic activity into your daily routine, you should also find time for strength training. Both sedentary and morbidly obese adults can benefit from this type of activity. Lifting weights helps improve muscle strength, making it easier to engage in other athletic pursuits. It also increases muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. You can increase the number of calories your body burns by adding muscle to your frame.