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Exercise Tips for Someone 30 lbs. Overweight

author image Teresa Bergen
Teresa Bergen writes about fitness, health, yoga, travel and the arts. She is the author of "Vegetarian Asia Travel Guide" and has written hundreds of articles for publications online and off. Bergen also teaches yoga, spinning and group fitness classes, and is an ACE-certified personal trainer.
Exercise Tips for Someone 30 lbs. Overweight
An overweight woman is doing planks. Photo Credit: GeorgeRudy/iStock/Getty Images

If you’ve calculated your ideal weight and deduced you’re carrying 30 extra pounds, you might decide to adjust your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re already active -- exercisers come in all shapes and sizes -- but if you don’t exercise, ease your way into this new habit. A slow, sensible approach to exercising can keep your joints safe, give you more energy and help you drop that 30 pounds in approximately six months. Talk to your doctor about your exercise plans, especially if you have risk factors such as hypertension, smoking or a family history of coronary artery disease.

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Work Into Working Out

Both thin and heavy people can get too gung-ho about a new exercise program, then burn out or become discouraged. But heavier people have more odds stacked against them. Sometimes they feel extremely self-conscious and out of place at the gym. Those extra pounds of pressure on your feet, ankles and other joints might also lead to injury, especially if your workouts are too ambitious or high impact. With each step, an extra 10 pounds increases the force on your knee by 30 to 60 pounds, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. So that extra 30 pounds you're carrying is increasing this force by 90 to 180 pounds. To keep yourself safe, start slowly and work up to longer durations and more intense activities.

Low Impact

Safer low-impact exercises include walking, swimming, bicycling and water aerobics. Save the running for later. If you have balance problems, treadmills and stationary bikes are both good options. Give yourself five to 10 minutes to warm up during cardio sessions, and spend a few minutes cooling down at the end. A steady, consistent routine will help you take off those 30 pounds. Starting a resistance training routine with free weights and weight machines will also build strength safely and make you feel healthier.

Get Support

Social support can make a huge difference in adhering to a good new habit. Hang out more with people who encourage, rather than discourage, a healthier you. Neighbors, coworkers, family members or friends can all be workout buddies or cheerleaders for your exercise lifestyle. If you find somebody else with a similar weight loss goal, you can lose your 30 extra pounds together. To change your life, you need to believe in yourself. This is much easier if you surround yourself with others who believe in you, too.

Remember Nutrition

Exercising is a positive, healthy pastime. But don’t use it as an excuse to eat twice as much and then wonder why you’re gaining weight. Unfortunately, calories are much easier to ingest than to work off. One pound equals 3,500 calories. That’s a lot of water aerobics classes. Complement your workouts with healthy whole-food, low-fat meals. If you want to lose weight, aim for 1 to 2 pounds per week. That means a realistic goal for shedding 30 pounds is four to eight months.

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