How to Add Exercise to Your Lifestyle
Reasons for Exercise Resistance
Inaccessibility of facilities — Physical and Attitudinal
Difficulty finding exercise clothing in larger sizes
Lack of leisure time
Lack of financial resources
Benefits of exercise are too abstract
Fear of ridicule, embarrassment at being watched
Lack of self-confidence
Difficulty performing exercises designed for thinner people
Misguided and counterproductive connection with weight loss
Memories of failed weight-loss attempts
Oppressive nature of weight-loss focus at gyms
Weight-loss propaganda focuses on diet programs, not on exercise
What-the-hell syndrome? “As long as I’m not dieting, why bother exercising?”
Benefits of Exercise
Long term, abstract:
Improved blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, circulation, heart, etc.
Short term benefits that we can actually feel:
Greater flexibility and agility
Mood enhancement, lessening of depression
Increased energy and vitality
Less chronic pain, including arthritis pain
Reduction of edema
Relaxation of tense or sore muscles
Better complexion and skin tone
How to overcome exercise resistance
Take weight out of the equation. Exercise for health, not for weight loss. Exercise because it feels good.
- Two approaches, use whichever works:
Find a form of physical activity that feels good and gives you pleasure.
Make it a routine like brushing your teeth.
Assess your needs, abilities, likes, and personality, and use techniques that will help you. Some people like to dance alone, others like a partner, others like to be part of a line dance, and others want to be in a dance class. Some people need to exercise first thing in the morning, and others do it in the afternoon. Find your own patterns.
Companionship: Walk swim, dance, or do exercises with a partner or in a group if that feels right to you.
Find a useful reason for the activity: Walk to the store: take someone in a wheelchair out for a walk.
Take classes: Find a size-friendly facility. Don’t put up with rude treatment.
Use equipment: You can get advice from a size-friendly professional to start out with.
Use videos: There are a number of videos designed for larger people.
Variety: Change what you do, watch different videos, listen to different music.
Types of Exercise
Walking (malls, streets, roads); swimming (water aerobics, freestyle, laps, water walking); dancing (classes, line dancing et al., clubs, or at home); bicycling (regular or recumbent); workouts on equipment in the gym (with or without help from a trainer); low-impact aerobics classes; home workouts with vides or on your own; yoga (classes, videos, or private practice); home equipment (exercise bicycle, recumbent or hand bike, treadmill, elastic bands, etc.); sports of all kinds.
RELATED PAGE LINKS
Facts & Figures
Health At Every Size
Take Good Care of Yourself
Exercise (currently open)
Long Term Diet Failure
Barriers to Treatment: A Patient’s View
Eating & Exercise