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Sheltering Arms Blog

Is Your Body Saying “No” to Weight Loss?

Posted on: April 3, 2019 by Clinicians Editor

By: Meredith Dunford, PT, MSPT, OCS, Cert. DN

More than 68% of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. Many experts believe this phenomenon is of epidemic proportions and that it is the biggest health risk facing Americans.

Being overweight can lead to serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gall bladder disease and even some forms of cancer. It can also negatively affect energy levels and place excessive stress on all joints contributing to chronic back pain, osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Weight-loss plans must consist of both diet and exercise, but your body may be physically telling you no to the exercise component. You may have weak muscles, problems with balance, or arthritis pain in your knees, hips or spine, which makes it difficult to begin a traditional weight-loss exercise program.

So, where do you start? Here are some things to try and get moving in the right direction:

  • Go to a store or mall where you can use a shopping cart to help with balance while walking for 10-20 minutes
  • Practice sitting from a standing position without using your hands to strengthen your hips and knee muscles; you may need to add a pillow to the seat
  • Avoid running and instead try gentler movements that do not put pressure on the joints such as swimming
  • If you aren’t a swimmer, use a community pool to do exercises or walk in the water; it is often an easier place to get moving
  • Use a seated bike or stepper, which allows you to work for longer periods of time
  • Perform resistive exercises; start light on weight and higher on the repetitions aiming to do three sets of 10 repetitions

Evidence shows that strengthening your muscles can help you improve balance, decrease arthritis and exercise for longer periods of time. If you have tried some of these tips and still can’t get going with a weight-loss program because of pain or just because it seems too daunting, a physical therapist can help set goals, begin, advance, and maintain an exercise program customized to your abilities.

Sheltering Arms physical therapists are experts in exercise testing, prescription and implementation to help you exercise safely and effectively. Click the button below or call (804) 764-5275 to learn more about the fitness and wellness services available to you at Sheltering Arms.

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