When you’re overweight or obese, you know only too well the importance of a proper diet and exercise program. This sounds simple on paper, right? Get into the gym and start working out. The reality for many obese people is quite different.
Often, the traditional hour-long workout can present too much of a demand on the cardiovascular system. What’s more, the joints and connective tissue of an obese individual might not be able to handle the pressure of an exercise routine that goes for an hour.
If a solid hour of exercise is too much, then what’s the solution? Mini-workouts.
What are Mini-Workouts?
As the name implies, mini-workouts are segmented versions of the larger and longer workouts. The idea is to reach the same amount of time being physically active but doing so throughout the day, not all at once. What’s more, these mini-workouts are built upon exercises that are safe for the joints and connective tissue of an obese person.
How to Use These Workouts
Instead of tackling a traditional long-form workout that could last well over an hour, these bodyweight-based workouts are meant to be performed throughout the day. Best of all, these should take no more than 10 minutes each.
To add variety, the workouts change from day to day with Sunday being a rest or light cardio day. For example, go for a walk around the block.
Depending on your health and fitness level, start with two of these workouts then eventually add a third. Your goal is to meet the daily recommended amount of physical activity as suggested by the Center for Disease Control:
- 150 minutes per week (about 20 minutes per day) of moderate-intensity physical activity
- 75 minutes per week (about 11 minutes per day) of high-intensity physical activity
Mini-Workouts for Obesity
In the beginning, aim for the 20 minutes per day of moderate-intensity physical activity, or two of the following workouts. The more physical activity you do, the better it is for your health.
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY
Workout One: (e.g., perform when you wake up)
- March in Place (get your knees as high as you can): 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
- Chair Sits: 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
- Half Bent Position Crab Walks: 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
Workout Two: (e.g., perform before lunch)
- Half Squats: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
- Wall Push-ups: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
- Bent-Over Soup Can Ys: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
Workout Three: (e.g., perform in the evening)
- Side to Side Twist (with milk jug, textbook, or something that adds a bit of weight): 2 sets of 20 repetitions
- Towel Bicep Curls: 2 sets of 12 repetitions
- Soup Can Triceps Extensions: 2 sets of 12 repetitions
TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY
- Side to Side Knees: 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
- Half Jumping Jacks: 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
- High Knees: 2 sets of as many repetitions as you can
- Half Romanian Deadlifts: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
- Soup Can Reverse Fly: 2 sets of 15 repetitions
- Half Wall Squat: 2 sets of 20 seconds
- Soup Can Shoulder Press: 2 sets of 15 repetitions
- Side to Side Wall Touch Twists: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
- Standing Oblique Crunches: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
Have You Started Using these Workouts?
We want to hear about your results! Have any questions about the workouts listed above? Let us know in the comments below!
David Sautter, NASM CPT, FNS; ACE SCS