Obesity is a growing epidemic around the world--and often, the cause of obesity is a sedentary lifestyle. People who are overweight or obese and have a sedentary lifestyle are often encouraged to begin a light exercise routine--but where do you start? Here are three great exercises to help ease you onto the path towards great health.
Walking is a great type of exercise that is not only guaranteed to help you lose weight and improve your current health status, but can also be an enjoyable activity for people who are just beginning an exercise routine. The great thing about walking is that it can be done anywhere, by anyone, with no fancy equipment or clothing. For beginners, start off slowly, and gradually build your time and intensity. For example, start by walking for ten minutes twice a day for a total of twenty minutes. Gradually increase the time you are walking until you can exercise for sixty minutes at one time. The Surgeon General has found that exercising at least sixty minutes on most days of the week is essential for both good health and weight loss. If you are concerned about your motivation to keep walking, you may want to consider inviting a friend. Research has found that people who exercise together are more likely to stick with their routine than those who exercise on their own.
Swimming is another great exercise for people who are just beginning an exercise program. Unlike walking, which is a weight bearing exercise and may be painful for people who have knee, hip, or ankle injuries, swimming is a low impact exercise that's easy on the joints. Just like with walking, it is important to start your swimming routine slowly and build your way up. For best results, you may want to consider joining a gym that provides beginning classes for swimmers. Not only will you receive the benefit of working with a skilled professional experienced in coaching swimmers, but you'll also have the camaraderie of exercising in a group. An additional water exercise you can try is water aerobics.
Finally, for people who are looking to increase their muscle tone, wall squats are a great exercise that work muscles in the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, and thigh muscles. Strengthening these muscles will not only help to burn calories, but will ensure more mobility when walking, bending, and lifting. To do a wall squat, start by standing up against a wall with your lower back pressed firmly to the wall and your feet about one foot out from the wall at a distance of one shoulder's width apart. Slowly begin to lower your upper body to the floor, stopping when your thighs are parallel with the ground. Lift yourself back up to your starting position. Repeat this at least ten times, and then perform another set of ten repetitions.