Tips for exercising when you are overweight

Although we would like to encourage body positivity and acceptance, we also need to consider the stigmas around weight as well as the health implications. Excess body fat may not only strain the organs but also put extra strain on the hips and knees. This makes exercise even harder, and can often be discouraging.

Tired? Try again later

It is beneficial to get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. You can divide this any way you want, for instance 30 minutes per day, five days per week.

It can be very tiring to do 30 minutes right from the start. It’s hard to keep going when you are exhausted after 10 minutes. However, there are ways to train around this and build your endurance over time.

Start with 10 minutes of exercise instead, but don’t limit yourself to once per day. You can do it three times a day.

In the morning you can do 10 minutes of jumping jacks or jump rope. During your lunch hour, take a fast-paced walk around the office building. After dinner, do 10 minutes of crunches and push ups.

As your endurance builds, you can increase the time spent exercising to a time of day that suits you best.

Knee friendly exercise

Your knees carry your body weight, and exercising can be challenging and even painful on your knees. It may be a good idea to either lose weight before you train strenuously, or opt for exercises that will support or avoid using your knees.

  • Swimming
  • Use an exercise ball
  • Sit or lie down while lifting weights
  • Use resistance bands to strengthen your knees


Motivate, don’t procrastinate. Do so with the following steps.

Get an exercise buddy. They will keep you motivated and vice versa. Your friend or family member can motivate you to start when you don’t want to, keep going when you are tired, and finish when you want to give up.

Routines are key to motivating yourself. You have to get up to make a smoothie. After your morning smoothie, comes your workout. No exceptions.

Changing your lifestyle to be healthier will automatically motivate you to keep at it. If you stick to healthy foods, with less sodium, cholesterol and sugar, you will want to keep exercising to get the best benefits, and vice versa.

Any activity is an opportunity to exercise. Need to clean the house? Do so, vigorously. The dog is bored, take her for a walk. Play outside with your children. Dance with your loved one.


If you feel any chest pains or you have injured yourself, stop immediately. If your chest pain persists, contact your doctor immediately. Light muscle injuries should be given a few days to heal before you continue your exercise regime.

Read more: Are you treating your injuries the wrong way?

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