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Plus Size Exercise

You're Never Too Overweight to Exercise


Updated July 07, 2014

Man Weight Training in a Gym
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Do you ever feel like you're too overweight to exercise? If so, you're not alone. There are many kindred souls out there who worry about starting an exercise program. What should you do and where do you start? Is it really possible to enjoy exercise? What do you do if you have aches and pains that stand in the way of working out? If you've struggled with these questions, I have some good news for you: It only takes a little exercise to make a difference.

Are You Overweight?

Being obese and being overweight are two different things. What doctors use to determine which one you are involves your Body Mass Index (BMI). To calculate your BMI you divide your body weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. If you're mathematically limited, as I am, you can simply use this BMI calculator. BMI is used to track body fat according to your height and your weight, but it doesn't distinguish between lean body tissue and fat. BMI can be misleading for very muscular people or for pregnant women.

A BMI between 25 and 29 is considered overweight and a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. If you're BMI is 30 or greater, see your doctor and get a check up before you start exercising or dieting.

The Problem With Obesity

Obesity contributes to a host of issues such as:

Those are the obvious problems but there other problems you may have, like joint pain caused by carrying excess weight. The good news is that if you lose weight, you can manage that pain and perhaps prevent many of these conditions and illnesses. Even better news: It doesn't have to hurt to do it.

Getting Started

Before you do anything, always see your doctor to make sure you can safely exercise without hurting yourself. If you're taking medication, find out how to monitor yourself since some heart or blood pressure medications can affect your heart rate. Make sure you get details from the doc about exactly what you can and can't do. If you've never exercised, the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself by doing too much too soon.

After you get the thumbs up from your doctor, check out the Beginner's Corner to learn how to start an exercise program. There you'll learn what a complete program is like and how to structure it. Before you get started, you'll want to learn more about your exercise options.

Next page Your Exercise Options

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