Plus size exercise equipment and tools used for non-weight bearing exercises are recommended for larger people who face special challenges when they make up their mind to exercise for better health.
Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercise makes a difference in overall health. Becoming physically active has been shown to help protect individuals from:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
For those already diagnosed with these health problems, taking steps to be regularly active could improve your symptoms. Other benefits associated with regular exercise include:
- Diminishes stress
- Aids in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar
- Builds healthy bones
- Improves strength, movement, balance and flexibility
- Builds muscle and healthier joints
- Improves heart and lung function
- Builds self-esteem
- Gives you more energy
- Helps you sleep better
Challenges for Plus Size Exercisers
It can be difficult to get started, and often plus size people get discouraged when they sign up at a local gym because they soon realize they aren't able to bend and move like other members. On top of this, equipment at the gym is often too narrow and seats at the strength machines are not designed for people with a little extra padding. This adds to a feeling of self-consciousness and often works to overcome good intentions, leading the frustrated would-be exerciser to retreat to inactivity.
If this has happened to you, don't give up. There are programs, tools and plus size exercise equipment designed to encourage people of size. One thing you can do is talk to the gym's management to see if you can arrange private personal training. And before you start, be sure to shop for quality bras that support and clothing that fits comfortably.
Types of Plus Size Exercise Equipment
When you hear the term exercise equipment, you may be thinking of those bulky gadgets collecting dust in your garage or attic, or maybe even functioning as a clothes horse in your bedroom. Plus size exercise equipment includes items that help individuals to complete non-weight bearing exercises.
An exercise ball is a versatile piece of exercise equipment, and today a number of manufacturers offer burst-resistant balls designed to hold 600 pounds or more. These exercise balls can usually be found at your local department store. Two quality brands to watch for include:
|Your Height||Recommended Ball Size|
|4'11" - 5'4"||55 cm|
|5'5" - 5'11"||65 cm|
|6'0" - 6' 7"||75 cm|
These balls can be used for:
- Weight training
- Abdominal training
- Improving balance
- Increasing flexibility
Find a sturdy, straight-back chair without arms to use for sit-down exercises. Sitting exercises are used to build basic muscle strength. Sit-down, strength training and toning includes:
- Arm raises
- Leg lifts
- Bends and leans
If you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate and have your own pool you won't have to fret about walking around in your plus-size swimwear if you're not comfortable doing so. But if you don't have a pool, don't let that stop you. Check with your local YWCA and ask if they offer a class on water aerobics. Swimming and pool fitness is the perfect alternative to get your heart rate pumping with reduced risk of injury and much less stress on your joints and bones. A wide variety of water aerobics fitness equipment is available, but you can also get started without these tools to see how you like it. Some of the basic exercises include:
- Standing breaststrokes
- Standing arm swishes
- Leg lifts
- Leg kicks
Elliptical Exercise Machines
Treadmills are an excellent way for many people to exercise, but if you have knee problems, the treadmill won't do you any favors. Another option is an elliptical exercise machine. If you're looking for exercise equipment built for plus size people, you'll want to search for a machine designed to accommodate your weight. This is important, especially when you start to get fit and use the machine more vigorously.
If you decide to go with an elliptical trainer as your machine of choice, be sure to schedule a maintenance program to inspect the welds and bolts so you can tighten or repair things as needed to minimize your risk of injury.
There's no need to struggle in discomfort on small exercise machines when specialty equipment will allow you to work out in relative comfort. Whether you're looking for the right exercise clothes, equipment or motivation, these resources should help you get started on your quest for better health: