Weight Training (weightbearing or non-weightbearing)
Weight training builds strong muscles and bones. You can weight train
at home or at a fitness center.
You don't 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 pay attention to your posture,
and that your movements are slow and controlled.
Before you 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.
You can bicycle indoors on an exercise bike or outdoors on a road bike.
Biking does not stress any one part of the body-your weight is spread
between 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
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 (weightbearing or non-weightbearing)
You don't 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. Don't stretch cold muscles.
- make you more flexible (to help keep you from getting hurt)
- make you feel relaxed
- improve your blood flow
- keep your muscles from getting tight after doing other exercises.
Yoga and tai chi are types of stretching. They help you breath 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.
Your activities do not have to be planned. You can make small day-to-day
changes to improve your health. For example,
Doing chores like lawn mowing, leaf raking, gardening, and housework
can also improve your health.
- 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.
- Sit in a rocking chair and push off the floor with your feet.
- Walk the dog.
- Walk while you talk on a cordless phone.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Try these tips to exercise safely.
Stop exercising right away if you:
(Ask your health care provider what to do if you have any of
- have pain or pressure in the left-chest or mid-chest area-or left neck,
shoulder, or arm
- feel dizzy or sick
- break out in a cold sweat
- have muscle cramps
- feel pain in your joints, feet, ankles, or legs. You could hurt yourself if you ignore the pain.
- Slow down if out of breath. You should be able to talk while exercising
without gasping for breath.
- Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise (even water
workouts) to replace the water you lose by sweating.
- Do not do hard exercise for 2 hours after a big meal
(but a 5- to 10-minute walk is OK).
If you eat small meals,
you can exercise more often.
Wear the right clothes:
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting tops so you can move easily.
- Women should wear a good support bra.
- Wear supportive athletic shoes for weight-bearing activities.
- Wear clothes made of fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your
- Never wear rubber or plastic suits. These could hold the sweat on your
and make your body overheat.
- Wear a knit hat to keep you warm when you exercise outdoors in cold
- Wear a baseball cap in hot weather to help keep you cool.
- Wear sunscreen when you exercise outdoors. Cover all areas of exposed
Healthy, fit bodies come in all sizes. Whatever your size or shape,
start exercising now and keep moving for a healthier life!