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Exercise for Obese People

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4 min read


Regular exercise is helpful in the reduction of obesity. This article discusses exercise for obese people.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Atul Prakash

Published At November 16, 2022
Reviewed AtNovember 16, 2022


Obesity is a common reason for developing diseases like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, and other metabolic diseases. People suffering from obesity are unhealthy and inactive. Sometimes obesity causes joint problems, and people cannot move or do their household things. Getting rid of obesity is important for a healthy life. There are many ways to lose weight but exercise is the best. Exercise has an important role in any weight loss plan, but it can be tough to get started with exercise. Obesity occurs at any age.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical concern in which excess body fat accumulates to the point where it may have serious health effects. The most common type of obesity is called adult-onset obesity. Adult-onset obesity occurs when a person becomes obese during adulthood. This type of obesity accounts for about 90 percent of all cases of obesity in adults and children.

In addition to adult-onset opacity, other types of obesity are classified as childhood-onset and adolescent onset. Childhood-onset is rarer than adult-onset and occurs when a child becomes obese before reaching puberty, whereas adolescent onset occurs after puberty and before adulthood.

Obesity can also be divided into severe, moderate, and mild. Obesity means that someone's body weight is more than a hundred pounds over what would be considered healthy for their height. Moderate means that someone's body weight is between 35 and a hundred pounds over what would be considered healthy for their height, and mild means that someone's body weight is less than 35 pounds over what would be considered healthy for their height.

How Does Obesity Affect Health?

Obese people are at risk of developing diseases more than normal people. Obesity causes lots of problems for people, some of which are listed below:

1. Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as:

  • Diabetes.

  • Blood pressure.

  • Stroke.

  • Myocardial infarction.

  • Fatty liver.

  • Sleep disorder.

  • Respiratory problems.

  • Cancer

2. Obesity causes joint problems, which results in arthritis.

3. Obesity also causes bone destruction in the legs because of extra pressure over the legs.

4. Obesity leads to inactivity and fatigue.

5. Obesity causes an unhealthy lifestyle and a lack of socialization.

6. Sometimes, obese people feel embarrassed and lack self-confidence.

What Are the Benefits of Exercise for Obese People?

Exercise helps in losing weight. But for obese people, it can be tough to start working out. This is because they often carry a lot of extra weight, which puts stress on the body and can lead to injuries. But obese people need to start exercising because it has its benefits.

  • With the help of exercise, obese people can reduce their blood pressure.

  • Exercise also helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

  • It improves insulin resistance.

  • Reduces stress and improves sleep quality.

  • Manages weight.

  • Helps in getting fit and healthy.

  • Increases activity and movement.

  • Helps in restoring self-confidence.

What Are the Best Exercises for Obese People?

Exercise is a great way to start shedding those extra pounds, but it is important to choose the right exercises. Some exercises are better for obese people than others. The best exercise for obese people is the one that is going to get their heart rates up and make them sweat. Some exercises for obese people are listed below -

  • Walking - One of the best exercises for obese people is walking. It is simple, easy to do, and a great way to increase the heart rate. It can be done almost anywhere. Ten thousand steps every day is recommended to get fit and healthy. Walking after every meal is helpful in digestion. Walking helps in burning calories and fat reduction. Obese people can start their exercise by walking and should set their goals and follow that accordingly. Walking over a treadmill, in the garden, or on the roof, any form of walking is good exercise.

  • Cycling - Cycling is another good exercise for obese people. It is aerobic exercise. Starting with a small number of rounds and gradually increasing the cycling helps a lot. Cycling improves cardiovascular health, improves blood circulation, and helps in fat reduction by burning plenty of calories. 15 to 20 minutes of cycling every day is good enough. People can use a regular bicycle to cycle, or they can use cycling equipment at home to do indoor cycling.

  • Weightlifting - Obese people can easily incorporate weightlifting into their routine. Weightlifting helps burn calories, decrease fat, and control muscle buildup. It also provides toning and strengthening of muscles. Weightlifting can be done in the gym or at home. Proper guidance is important for weightlifting; otherwise, people get injured during exercise. Obese people can use dumbbells of different weights or water bottles for the initial phases.

  • Swimming - Swimming is a great exercise for fat loss. Obese people may find it difficult initially, but after some practice, they will be able easily to do swimming. Swimming involves almost every muscle of the body. It helps in burning calories, toning muscles, and fat loss. It also helps in blood circulation and improves respiratory problems.

  • Plyometrics - Plyometrics is a combination of exercises like running, jumping, pushups, lunges, kickboxing, and skipping. It is good exercise for obese people. It involves all the muscles in exercise and helps improve resistance, strength, agility, and endurance.

What Are the Points To Keep in Mind During Exercises?

Here are some tips for obese people who want to start exercising:

  • Start Small: Do not try to do too much too soon. Just start with a few simple exercises and gradually increase.

  • Find an Exercise Buddy: Having someone to exercise with can help keep anyone motivated and on track.

  • Set Realistic Goals: Do not try to lose a number of kilos in a week. Set realistic goals, and they will be more likely to achieve them.

  • Be Patient: Losing weight and fat and getting in shape happens over time, so people should not get discouraged if they do not see results right away.

  • Stay Positive: Always remember, the more exercise anyone can do, the more weight they will lose and the better they will feel overall.


Obese people can improve their health by adding exercise to their routines. Many different types of exercise can be effective for obese people, and it is important to find one that is enjoyable and fits into their lifestyle. Exercise can help obese people lose weight and improve their mood and energy levels.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should an Obese Person Exercise Every Day?

Yes, exercising every day is important to burn off the extra fat accumulation. Obese individuals are highly susceptible to heart diseases. Some examples include atherosclerosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. So doing cardio and exercising daily can be highly beneficial.


What Is the Duration an Obese Person Should Exercise?

Doctors recommend daily exercise for at least 1 hour. Individuals who do not find time should at least exercise for 20 minutes. Skipping exercise and workouts can affect health drastically.


Should an Obese Individual Lift Weight?

Initially, an obese person is given limited exercises to mobilize the joints and improve their functionality. Gradually after three months, they are advised to lift weights. However, directly lifting weights without prior training may result in muscle injury.


What Should an Obese Person Avoid?

Avoiding the following can help to reduce weight.
- Sweet beverages.
- Fruit juice.
- Junk foods.
- Red meat.
- Sweets.


What Exercises Should Obese Individuals Avoid?

Avoiding the following exercises will help prevent potential injury and balance issues.
- Running.
- Jumping.
- Plyometrics.
- Low-impact exercises, like walking, hiking, and swimming, can be followed during the initial stages of training.


What Is the Best Time to Walk to Lose Weight?

The best time to walk is during the morning, especially before breakfast. Walking helps to improve the calorie deficit, thereby igniting the body’s ability to burn fat. It is better to take almonds or nuts before walking for better energy.


How Much Water Should an Obese Individual Drink to Lose Weight?

Every individual has different water needs. However, drinking water is essential to keep the body hydrated. It is recommended to drink half the body weight in ounces of water.


Is Walking Recommended for Unfit Individuals?

A brisk walk can help to sweat away unwanted fat and help burn calories. It also improves oxygen circulation and blood flow in the body. Walking is the best exercise to start for an obese person.


How Do Obese People Train?

Obese people may consult a dietician to understand their body's requirements and make changes in their diet. Also, it is important to start with warm-ups and easy exercises that help to stretch the muscles. Gradually, high-intensity exercise may be recommended for better results depending on the body's adaptability.


Why Do Obese People Have Trouble Walking?

Generally, obese people tend to have difficulty walking due to irregular fat accumulation. As a result, they may have gait (walking style) issues, and the body may lean towards one side. Some obese patients may also have trouble standing up.
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Dr. Atul Prakash
Dr. Atul Prakash

Orthopedician and Traumatology


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