Lifestyle obese man running

Published on December 12th, 2013 | by Joe Starks


Morbid Obesity – Take Back Your Life: Working Out

In the precious articles we talked about how to get started on your weight loss journey and which first habits you should try to break. In this article we’ll tackle a very serious issue as well: how a morbidly obese person should work out. This is by far more serious than most people believe. You will hear many telling you to just “get moving”, but the fact is that it is never that simple. One rarely becomes morbidly obese without a serious aversion to constant exercise and healthy eating. Just trying to fight your own habits and nature can be extremely hard and will most times fail. This does not mean that there is no hope; it simply means that it isn’t as easy as to “just get moving”.

The first steps

Even if the weight hasn’t affected your health yet, it is by far more dangerous to train as a morbidly obese person than if you are just overweight. A slightly overweight person can just go to the gym and hop on a spin bike. This is not the case for the morbidly obese. It is not only about will, but also about ability at this point. If you go from zero to full effort you are in serious danger of damaging a knee or tearing a muscle, because of the large weight your body already carries.

Here is a list of exercises that are perfect for those who need to start out slowly:

  • Chair exercises. You can begin exercising safely by doing some movements on your chair. Lifting up your feet, while keeping your legs straight, can be a great exercise. Hold your feet high for as long as you can. Rest and repeat. You can also lift very light weights, like a bottle of water. Make it a habit to lift that bottle while you watch your favorite series etc.
  • Gentle floor exercises. Sit down on a soft and comfortable surface (a carpet or bed is perfect) and reach out for your toes. You don’t need to be able to go all the way, just go as far as you can, then relax and try again. This will train your abdominal muscles gently without hurting your legs or back.
  • Go swimming. And by swimming I don’t mean you have to do the butterfly strokes. Just enter the water and start moving your legs up and down. Try to reach your chest with your knees. Again it isn’t about achieving contact, just about trying. Move your arms in circles and do some relaxed gentle strokes if you feel up to it.
  • Walk a few steps more every day. Whatever your daily walking distance is, try to up it just by a few steps every day. If you only walk a 100 steps make it a 102.
  • Try to do more things by yourself. If you accept a lot of help from family and loved ones to take care of you, try to do some of those things yourself. It isn’t about succeeding immediately; it is once again about trying.

As you can see one thing becomes clear when we talk about morbid obesity training: you have to try! You can fail as many times as you need and like. It doesn’t matter, just try again afterwards.

Extremely important: Rest!!!

People will have called you lazy plenty of times if you are the typical morbidly obese person. This often drives morbidly obese people to overexert themselves when exercising. However, working out insanely hard is the absolutely wrong way to tackle the issue. You should rest every time you exercise and it is best to work out in small bouts during the day than to fatigue yourself.

You have to love your body, even with all the extra weight. Your body should not be pushed over its limit. Just imagine placing a 100 pounds weight on the back of a skinny person. Would you make them do some terrifying hard exercise with the load on their back? No, you’d be afraid they’d snap under the weight! The same goes for the morbidly obese person as well!

Whenever you exercise you have that serious weight on your back and should restrain yourself accordingly.

Exercise always brings discomfort and pain. It is up to you to learn to discern a gentle soreness and an overworked muscle. At the beginning just avoid training the muscle group that hurts you the most. There are plenty of exercises for the rest of your body to do while those muscles rest.

I understand the urgency most morbidly obese people feel when they want to lose the weight, but urgency can cause serious injuries, which will impair you from doing any exercise at all.

The first thing you have to learn to become a fit person is this: know your body and never over-train. Rest and wait patiently for the next time it is time to exercise. Make a plan that includes both rest and exercise in equal measures. Take it slow and you will be amazed by the results. You already are a strong person that needs to get stronger!

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