9 Exercises for Obese People: Easy and Effective Workouts

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Excessive body weight may pave the way for countless chronic health problems, from simple knee pain and backache to diabetes and heart attack.

Obesity is one of the effects of passive lifestyle changes powered by inactivity and poor dietary choices.


Obesity has become quite prevalent among children and teens, especially during and post-pandemic. The isolation, uncertainty, anxiety, work from home, and chronic stress have facilitated the pandemic weight gain.

However, it does not have to be a permanent condition. The only thing to remember is that since you don’t gain weight overnight, you can’t lose it overnight.

Implementing effective strategies into your fitness journey will improve your self-perceptions and health, paving the way for inner peace and self-confidence.

Scroll down to discover more about being overweight and simple exercises to beat it for good!

But before that, one word of caution:

If you have any bodily aches or pains, please get that treated first – before trying any new form of exercise. Doing exercise with any lingering pain can cause more distress.  You must do any form of exercise only after consulting your physiotherapist to know if it’s OK for your health condition.

Best Beginner Exercises for People Who Are Overweight

People tend to ignore exercise as many don’t find sufficient time to join the gym. Don’t look beyond if you seek to shed some pounds promptly and effectively.

Here, we have listed the best exercises for obese people, which require no equipment.

1) Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises get your heart rate up and increase blood flow throughout your body. These exercises are great for people who are overweight as they are low-impact and help burn calories, which can lead to weight loss.

Beginner-friendly exercises for obese people include walking, stationary cycling, swimming, and bicycle cycling. However, running is one of the most effective cardio exercises that help you burn calories.

Alternatively, you can walk during the lunch break, take stairs instead of elevators, and stroll during the evenings to increase your step count.

Cycling is another exercise that increases your fitness level and aids in weight loss. Even though it is an outdoor activity, you can install station bikes to pedal in the comfort of your home. Experts have stated that regular cycling practice will help you shed pounds and increase insulin sensitivity and overall health.

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2) Surya Namaskar

Also known as sun salutation, Surya Namaskar is a yoga pose that can be a great beginner exercise for obese people. It helps improve flexibility, strength, and balance.

It also increases energy levels and reduces stress. This exercise can be done at home or in a yoga class, and modifications can be made to suit different fitness levels.

Surya Namaskar can be a low-impact exercise, which is ideal for people who are overweight and may have joint pain or mobility issues. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar can also help with weight loss and lead to an overall improvement in physical and mental health.

3) Squats

Squats are a form of lower body exercise for obese people that aim to target the quadriceps and hamstring. Here are the steps to perform squats easily.

To do a squat, you have to stand on your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, lower your body in the position of a chair, maintaining your heels on the ground and your knees aligned with your toes. Try going as low as you can and return to the original position. Aim for 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

4) Push-ups

Push-ups are exercises that aim to work on multiple body muscles such as chest, triceps, shoulders, and the core. This exercise reduces the strain on the upper body while targeting the chest, arms, and core. Gradually work your way up to full push-ups as your strength improves.

5) Partial Crunches

Partial crunches are an effective choice for the abdominal muscles while applying less stress on the lower back. Lie on your back while bending your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

Place your hands behind your head or crossed on your chest. Engage your core and lift your shoulders off the ground, and try to touch your elbows to your knees. You must exhale as you lift up and inhale as you lower yourself back down.

6) Superman Exercise

The Superman exercise is a good exercise for obese people. It strengthens the back muscles and improves posture. To do the superman exercise, lie down on the floor with your face down and arms extended in front of you.

Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground simultaneously. Hold the position for a few seconds and gently lower yourself down. Repeat in sets and gradually increase them as you become more comfortable.

7) Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are ideal exercises for activating and strengthening the gluteal muscles, which can often be weak for those who have obesity.

Glute bridges can be performed by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

Hold for a moment and slowly lower back down. Repeat it while focusing on squeezing your glutes.

8) Bicep Curls/ Tricep Curls

Bicep curls and tricep curls are a form of resistance training exercises that build muscle and increase overall strength. They are simple yet effective that target your arms.

You can use dumbbells to perform these exercises. Start with a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form. Focus on controlled movements and gradually increase the weight as you keep learning.

9) Flexibility exercises

Integrating flexibility exercises into your daily routine is essential for maintaining joint mobility and preventing injuries. Stretching exercises such as toe touches, quad stretches, and seated forward bends can help improve flexibility.

Remember to warm up your muscles before stretching and avoid bouncing movements, as these can cause strain. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat several times on each side.

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Health Complications From Exercising if Overweight

Although working out to lose weight is a good trend, most people don’t approach it rationally, leading to a surge in frequent cardiac arrest and heart attacks. In other words, it’s essential to organize workout sessions to avoid overstressing and facing health issues.

According to Dr Manthan Mehta, Program Head (hypertension and CV), Fitterfly, one should be aware of the health complications indicating the cessation of the workout,

  • If you are tired or out of breath
  • If you have an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations (if the pulse rate is above 120 beats even after resting, seek medical assistance immediately)
  • If you are experiencing severe pain in the joints, chest, and any region of the body
  • if you sweat unusually or feel dizzy or lightheaded

The experts recommend that overweight individuals should prioritise exercising to stay healthy rather than solely aiming for a ‘perfect’ body. Hence, it is important to avoid peer pressure or comparing yourself to others. You should focus on your overall health and well-being through regular exercises and a balanced diet.

To avoid overexertion, one has to try to add at least 1 day of rest in a week to their fitness routine. Steadily increase your frequency, duration, and intensity under professional supervision.

How Much Exercise Is Needed to Start Losing Weight?

Exercise for obese people isn’t a challenging task. It is a regular, fun activity you must look forward to daily. People often consider exercising as lifting weights and sweating in the gym. It is just an aspect of exercise but not limited to it.

There are various ways to incorporate simple yet effective exercises. From swimming to jogging, you can engage in your favourite physical activity for at least 30-45 minutes daily to burn excess calories.

Despite the type of exercise you choose, staying consistent is one of the great essences of a weight management program. Doing the exercise for some time and then going off for the next few weeks will not help you to achieve the cause. Hence, maintain regularity and take active measures to keep your weight loss journey on the right track.

Other Critical Factors That Play a Role in Overcoming Obesity

Apart from performing the chosen exercise for obese people, one must also consider other lifestyle factors to achieve and sustain their weight loss results. Some of the critical aspects are mentioned below.

1) Eat Right

A balanced diet constituting healthy foods will give your body essential nutrients. To manage an ideal weight, you can incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Foods that contain high amounts of salt, sugar, and fried foods can affect your weight and overall well-being. Also, consume your meals frequently instead of taking a huge gap. It will help you track your calorie intake.

2) Maintain Sleep Time

People often consider sleeping as merely getting rest. Well, it isn’t the case. A quality sleep regime offers countless benefits to your body and mind.

It influences glucose metabolism and enables smooth functions to induce the weight loss process. For instance, if you have poor sleep practices, then it will affect the secretion of appetite-related hormones. This means you will be overeating, which will ultimately result in obesity.

3) Beat the Stress

Stress can mess with your physical and mental well-being in multiple ways. Crumbling with stress will induce metabolic imbalances, leading to obesity.

Overcome the stress-causing factors in your life by implementing relaxing techniques like yoga and meditation, especially in PCOS weight loss programs.

4) Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is an effective way to lose weight and prevent the risk of obesity. It also aids in maintaining healthy skin, removal of toxic elements, and keeping you energetic throughout the day. Ensure to take at least three litres of water every day.


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- By Fitterfly Health-Team