Where to Work Out:
You can do many activities in your home. But there are other fun places to be active, including health clubs, recreation centers, or outdoors. It may be hard to be physically active around other people. Keep in mind that you have just as much right to be healthy and active as anyone else.
|Active at any size|
|Where to work out|
Weight Training (Weight Bearing or Nonweight Bearing)
Weight training builds strong muscles and bones. Getting stronger may also help prepare you for other kinds of physical activity. You can weight train at home or at a fitness center.
You do not need benches or bars to begin weight training at home. You can use a pair of hand weights or even two soup cans. Make sure you know the correct posture and that your movements are slow and controlled.
If you decide to buy a home gym, check its weight rating (the number of pounds it can support) to make sure it is safe for your size. If you want to join a fitness center where you can use weights, shop around for one where you feel at ease.
Weight Training Rule of Thumb: If you cannot lift a weight six times in a row, the weight you are lifting is too heavy. If you can easily lift a weight 15 times in a row, your weight is too light.
Bicycling (Nonweight Bearing)
You can bicycle indoors on a stationary bike, or outdoors on a road bike. Biking does not stress any one part of the body—your weight is spread among your arms, back, and hips.
You may want to use a recumbent bike. On this type of bike, you sit low to the ground with your legs reaching forward to the pedals. This may feel better than sitting upright. The seat on a recumbent bike is also wider than the seat on an upright bike.
For biking outdoors, you may want to try a mountain bike. These bikes have wider tires and are heavy. You can also buy a larger seat to put on your bike. Make sure the bike you buy has a weight rating at least as high as your own weight.
Stretching (Weight Bearing or Nonweight Bearing)
Stretching may help you:
- Be more flexible.
- Feel more relaxed.
- Improve posture.
- Keep your muscles from getting tight after doing other physical activities.
You do not have to set aside a special time or place to stretch. At home or at work, stand up, push your arms toward the ceiling, and stretch. Stretch slowly and only enough to feel tightness—not until you feel pain. Hold the stretch, without bouncing, for about 30 seconds. Do not stretch cold muscles.
Yoga and tai chi are two types of stretching. They help you breathe deeply, relax, and get rid of stress. Your local fitness center may offer yoga, tai chi, or other stretching classes. You may want to start with “gentle” classes, like those aimed at seniors.
Lifestyle physical activities do not have to be planned. You can make small changes to make your day more physically active and improve your health. For example:
- Take 2- to 3-minute walking breaks at work a few times a day.
- Put away the TV remote control—get up to change the channel.
- March in place during TV commercials.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Stand or walk, rather than sit, while talking on the phone.
- Play with your family—kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc.
- Walk to your coworker’s office rather than use the phone or email.
Even a shopping trip can be exercise: it is a chance to walk and carry your bags. In addition, doing chores like lawn mowing, leaf raking, gardening, and housework can count as activity.
Applaud yourself! If you can do only a few or none of these activities, it is OK. Appreciate what you can do, even if you think it is a small amount. Doing any movement—even for a short time—can make you healthier. Remember, each activity you do is a step toward a more active lifestyle.
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