”Regular exercise will make you fitter and can help you lose weight”
Being overweight should not be used as a general excuse for avoiding exercise, although it may influence the type and amount of exercise that can be undertaken. Unfortunately, many overweight people are too embarrassed to get involved in the sport. Regular exercise, however, makes it much easier to lose weight. It will also make you fitter and improve your general health, no matter what your size.
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Before you begin an exercise programme, see your doctor to make sure your blood pressure is not abnormally high and that your heart, lungs, and joints are healthy.
Pick an activity that you will enjoy, that your state of health will permit, and that will fit easily into your lifestyle. Otherwise, you are unlikely to stick with it. Gentle walking and swimming are good choices, as they avoid putting too much strain on your spine and joints in the hips, knees, and ankles. Jogging is not a good choice, every time your heel strikes the ground the force through your foot is between three and eight times your body weight. Overweight people carry a greater load and therefore have a higher risk of developing an injury when they jog.
If you are overweight, you are putting extra stress on your heart, lungs, and joints. Being more than 20 per cent the maximum normal weight for your height and build increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and a high cholesterol level, all of which make you more likely to suffer from angina, heart attacks, or strokes later in life.
Added stress on your joints means that osteoarthritis, caused by wear and tear on the cartilage surfaces, is more likely to occur with advancing years.
Regular exercise will help reduce your body’s fat reserves by converting the into energy.Exercising at least three times a week makes you burn up more calories while you are exercising. It also raises your basal metabolic rate, which is the energy your tissues use up while your body is resting.
Exercise can help weight loss by taking your mind off food. Some people, however, find that exercise makes them hungrier. If this is the case, eat sensibly, choosing fruit, vegetables, and high-fibre foods that are low in calories. To lose weight you must control the amount, and more importantly, the types, of food that you eat.
If you are excessively overweight, vigorous exercise is likely to make you extremely breathless almost immediately. You must therefore be prepared to start off exercise programme at a slow pace. Walking and swimming are probably all that should be attempted during those first few months, until you have begun to lose some weight, and there has been some improvement in your fitness level.
As you get fitter, try a variety of different activities to reduce the risk of injury and to keep up your interest. Proceed at your own pace and do not let others rush you.
Gradually increase the speed at which you exercise, walking or swimming faster over several weeks. Increase the time you spend exercising too. Be careful not to overexert yourself, as the resultant pain and exhaustion will only sap your motivation to continue.