Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oh My Aching...Weight Loss Tips

Do you have any body parts that ache once in a while? How about most of the time? How about all the time?

Truth is, if you are extremely overweight you probably do. And if you don't (yet) then you will, unless you do something about it. Consider losing weight as a way to improve your health...and have fewer aches and pains.

So while you are working on your health and fitness, be sure you take care of your body.

I had 3 knee surgeries, so those are obviously issues for me. Knees are a common pain spot for overweight people. No wonder. There is a lot of pressure placed on these joints. Painful feet are also a common complaint. With painful knees and/or feet it can seem like a challenge to exercise, but there are options that won't stress your joints.

Of course swimming is one option...but a lot of people who are overweight are shy about appearing in public in a swimming suit. While I encourage you to go to a pool, I know not everyone will.

Why are swimming pools great places to exercise? The water is buoyant, so you feel lighter, there is less pressure on those aching joints. The water also provides resistance against your even if you can't swim, you can get a really good work out in a pool just by walking in the water. Check out your local pools...they may have classes in water aerobics, water walking, or swimming...and some will even have special classes for the obese. Pools with these special classes may offer them at times when the pool is closed to the regular public. If you can't find a program like that in your area and it sounds like something you'd be interested in, contact your pool manager and ask about the possibility.

But you don't have to get all wet to get gentle exercises in...isometric exercises are another option that is easy on the joints while building muscle. If you missed it, earlier this week I got some great tips from a personal trainer on isometric exercises

I also had problems with my back...hmmm, do I think that maybe the extra weight I was carrying in front might have had a little to do with that? I sure do...and do exercises to strengthen my abs may help, but they don't reduce the stomach. Yes, your abdomen is your back's back, so making it stronger will help your back, but you also want to stretch your back. The best tip for an aching back that makes you want to not exercise...keep moving! Even if you have to move while laying on your bed or sitting on the couch. Start wherever you are. Every little bit that you move will help.

Look, it is never too late to lose weight and gain health. You can't be too old. You can't be too heavy. You don't have to exercise like a is small changes that yield big results over time.

While you are making these changes, take care of yourself. Take care of your feet. Stretch. Take warm showers and baths. Get massages once in a while. Your body is working hard just carrying you kind to it. You want to prevent injury...that is one of the biggest reasons to take things slow if you haven't been working out in a while. Injuries will keep you out for a long time and can really set you start small.

And on days when you just don't feel like exercising at all...just do 1 minute. If you are doing okay after that then do one more. Even if you only do a couple 1 minutes exercise "breaks" scattered throughout the day...if you are doing a few more minutes than you did before then you are taking steps in the right direction!

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