Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fat or Fit? Exercise. Ugh.

So with this relay marathon coming up, I have been thinking a lot about exercise.

Plus size fitness programs are unique, in that anyone can work out, regardless of their current size. A women’s exercise program that is beyond your current level of physical capability will be frustrating, hard to stick with and could cause you to injure yourself. It’s really important to walk the fine line between pushing yourself to improvement and going overboard to injury and quitting.

Any women’s exercise program should include aerobic, anaerobic, relaxation and stretching. Each type of exercise works together to provide benefits, and to increase fitness and enjoyment of physical movement.

Aerobic exercises get your heart pumping. The goal is to move rhythmically, gradually increasing the pace until you breathe hard, but not to the point of breathlessness.
Anaerobic is muscle building activity. Depending on your current condition, even these toning exercises may make you breathe a little harder and that’s okay. You can alternate aerobic with anaerobic activity or choose a session that includes both.

Relaxation techniques come in different varieties. If you often feel nervous, anxious or worried, you may want to consider a women’s exercise program that includes yoga. Yoga is anaerobic activity that allows you to stretch your muscles and tendons. It will increase your flexibility and improve your posture. Because it is a low-impact activity, it does not put excess stress on your joints.

Stretching warms up your muscles, joints and tendons prior to exercise, and cools them down afterwards. It makes it easier to complete your exercise goals, helps prevent injury, and just feels good.

For plus size fitness, the goal is to improve your physical health, strength and endurance. Over the short-run, you will see your energy levels and your mood improve. You can expect to sleep better and generally feel that the quality of your life has improved. Over the long-run, other benefits will become noticeable – things like an improved immune system, greater physical endurance, and a more fit body.

Low-impact exercise is important for plus size fitness. Low-impact aerobics include walking, biking and swimming. High-impact activities include jumping, running, and jogging. While these activities are harder on your joints, they tend to improve your cardiovascular fitness buy getting your heart rate up. A mix of low impact and high impact exercise, like alternating biking with jogging, offers a good plan.

Using the buddy system can help you be successful. If you and a friend decide to begin a women’s exercise program together, you are more likely to attend on a regular basis. You can support each other. Usually, at least one of you will “feel” like working out and can talk the other into doing it.

Remember to set small personal goals. Goal-setting helps keep you focused on “why” you are doing this in the first place. You may have learned that your blood pressure is too high or your blood glucose levels are getting close to the level of type II diabetes. You may just want to “feel” better, but try to think of something that you want to be able to do next month. For example, climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath or bicycle for three miles without resting.

Plus size fitness is possible, and imperative. It doesn’t matter what you weigh, how old you are, or what size you wear. With just a little effort, you can be successful.

1 comment:

  1. Where are you Owlette? Just stumbled upon your blog. You haven't written in awhile. I hope you are still running and exercising and eating right. How is NY right now? Take care!