I began posting about exercise as part of the “Day in the Life” series. It seems to have struck a chord, at least with other very fat folks. This page is to help folks find some of my favorite exercise-related posts.
I choose to exercise for practical reasons.
- Keeping up with the man of the house.
- Being better able to lift heavy objects.
- Maintaining mobility.
The latter is the one that looms largest in my mind. I injured my knee (and/or the muscles in my leg) a few years ago and was very worried that I would not be able to walk without pain again — or at all. I rebuilt after that, but the problem came back when I lapsed into less activity. I’m fairly certain that I will not be ABLE to walk or climb stairs unless I continue to exercise. As incentives go this one is pretty compelling.
“Ah”, you may be thinking, “Doesn’t she realize that she—like everyone else—is probably only temporarily able bodied?” Yes. But I am currently able to maintain the level of activity and mobility I want to have, with a certain amount of time and effort, and I am willing to do so.
Why Not Exercise?
I have heard from people who do not want to exercise. That is fine. Some people find that exercise triggers disordered behavior for them. Others may simply not want to do it. That is okay. I exercise because of my own selfish reasons. I expect other people to make their own choices for their own reasons. I realize this may sound strange, but we are grownups! We get to make our own choices about our bodies!
Most of the women I know who became aware of exercise in the late 70s and 80s (or later) tend to think of “exercise” as “aerobics”, and that’s where we go to when we start a new exercise program.
Here’s something to think about, though: It’s a lot harder to do aerobics if your muscles don’t support easy movement. Strength training can help that. Plus, if you’re sufficiently out of shape, strength training will probably be aerobic too. That’s why I’m putting strength training first. :)
Healthy muscles, researchers say, are those that … have enough power and strength to get you through life, especially as you grow older.
— Gina Kolata, writing in the NY Times
(These posts are specifically written with sedentary superfat people in mind, but can be used by anyone.)
- Starter Strength Training Moves – no equipment necessary.
- Stretching for Flexibility – no equipment necessary.
- Aerobics at Home– most needs no equipment, but there is one item I suggest.
I also recommend to new exercisers:
- Staying Active at Any Size, published by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Updated February 2010.
- Physical Activity for Everyone, from the US CDC.
- The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts, by Hanne Blank.
- Rebuilding after Injury
- Side Benefits to Exercise
- Yoga Books & Videos I Have Known
- Is it fat or lack of exercise?
- Why Go to the Gym?
- Friday Fluff: Dream PE
- Sample Gym Visit
- What Exercise Won’t Do
- What’s Enough Exercise?
- Exercise and Weight Loss: It doesn’t work the way magazines say
- Being fat is just like carrying a heavy backpack, right?
- A Year Ago: Exercise Progress
- Exercise for reasons other than weight loss
- Research on Health Benefits of Moderate Exercise
Randomized trial of exercise in sedentary middle aged women: effects on quality of life, by Deborah J Bowen, Megan D Fesinmeyer, Yutaka Yasui, Shelley Tworoger, Cornelia M Ulrich, Melinda L Irwin, Rebecca E Rudolph, Kristin L LaCroix, Robert R Schwartz, and Anne McTiernan, published in October 2006, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Adiposity as Mortality Predictors in Older Adults, by Xuemei Sui, MD; Michael J. LaMonte, PhD; James N. Laditka, PhD; James W. Hardin, PhD; Nancy Chase, BS; Steven P. Hooker, PhD; Steven N. Blair, PED, published in the December 5, 2007 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. A related WebMD article is here.
Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve health for obese, female chronic dieters. by Bacon L, Stern JS, Van Loan MD, Keim NL. published in the March 2005 issue of Journal of the American Dietetic Association. A related article is here.
Active at Any Size, published by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Updated February 2010.
Physical Activity for Everyone, from the US CDC.
Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise, by Gina Kolata.
Exercise and Eating Disorder Recovery, By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS.
How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer, by Gretchen Renolds, in The New York Times.