Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fat Problems... the continuation

Now that I have talked about one problem with being fat/overweight/obese and trying to lose weight - I am going to talk about another issue.

EXERCISE

This really ought to be a four letter word. Most of us hate to exercise. While we might EVENTUALLY enjoy it - it is hard to get to that point.  I feel like the overweight are sabotaged.  Think about the types of exercise.

Walking - This seems to be everyone's answer to overweight people. "Just walk 30 minutes a few days a weeks." It sounds simple but there is SO much more than just walking. First - if you are overweight, and especially if you severely overweight - walking hurts. Knees, ankles, and hips all bear the brunt of our weight and the extra weight puts added pressure on these tender joints. So again, while we KNOW we could just walk - for some people this isn't an option due to severe pain. 

Other options would be something with lower impact. There are plenty of things that are lower impact but they have their own issues.

Water exercise - these are incredibly low impact, but unless you have access to a heated pool all year (or even just in the summer) it is going to cost.

Biking - This is a great exercise and one that my DH and I enjoy. But getting a good bike (which I now know is important) can be expensive as well.

Any home equipment - This is sometimes the option we pick. We will get a elliptical, or bike, or something that is lower impact, or something we can at least due in the privacy of our homes! But if you get to looking, most of this equipment has a weight MAX limit of 250-300 lbs. 

Then you have to consider the gear. With something exercises, you just need something to wear. But it can be very upsetting to go to a fitness store and realize you can't fit into anything! I have yet to really see fitness clothes for plus size woman (unless you order them online). So while our skinny counterparts can buy the yoga gear that is fitted enough to NOT flash everyone when you change a pose - we have to wear our baggy t-shirts and shorts and tuck everything in. Forget needing something special for an activity (like padded biking shorts) - they are NOT at the stores - I had to buy men's so they would fit - and the padding isn't quite right if you know what I mean!

Lastly - I personally think overweight people (woman specifically) aren't getting the right information about exercise! Yes, we need to move to burn calories because weight loss created by a calorie deficit.  However, most of us who are overweight have very poor muscle tone. Some of this can (and will) be built with cardio exercises, but strength training is (in my personal experience) MORE important. While increasing my heart rate will increase my metabolism for a while, if I build a muscle that needs more calories to function all day - I get that burn all day. The MUSCLES are what burns calories - so if you don't have much - that increase in heart rate and respiratory rate is only going to get you so far!!

So that is my rant. I'm sure I'll have something else to comment on later.  Do any of you have situations where you feel you were sabotaged before getting started?