Being active if you’re overweight

Being active often seems unachievable if you’re overweight. It’s something that you’ve probably thought about in the past but making that first step is difficult if you’re not sure what you can do and whether it’s safe. This is where Fit For Me is helping to change things. We’re here to clear things up and offer you the help and support you need to start being active and feeling good, no matter what shape you’re in.

How can being active help me?

It’s not all about losing weight, some people struggle to lose weight and it can be disheartening if you start being active to lose weight and it doesn’t happen quickly. Try and look at being active as a positive lifestyle choice that will improve your health, make everyday life easier and make you feel good. If you start being active for these reasons, you should start to notice results much faster, which will help you stay motivated.

Being active can:

  • Give you more energy
  • Boost your confidence
  • Help you sleep
  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • Help you manage/lose weight
  • Fight aging by strengthening bones/muscles and improving balance and coordination
  • Help manage long term conditions like diabetes and COPD
  • Help you have fun with friends
  • Make you feel good about yourself
  • Reduce the risk of serious illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke 

Once you’ve started being active you could start to follow a healthy eating plan, which cuts down on your daily calories. Then over time you could start to add losing weight to the big list of benefits that you’ll already be feeling as a result of your more active lifestyle.

What activities can I do?

If you’re overweight it’s important to start slowly and not push yourself too hard. This isn’t a ‘quick fix’ it’s a long-term decision that will help you feel good over time. It’s better to do ten minutes every day than an hour on one day.

If you’re overweight, the key thing to remember about starting to be more active is to take your time and not put your body under too much pressure. Activities like walking and swimming are all good places to start. Visit our activities page to see if any other activities suit your needs.

If you feel self-conscious about being active in front of other people, there are lots of activities you can do at home, including our 10-minute activities, which are perfect for beginners.

Is it safe for me?

If you take it slowly and don’t push yourself too hard, you should be able to join in safely. Of course, everybody is different, so if you have any health conditions or are worried about being active, speak to your GP.

How much should I do?

If you’re overweight and aren’t active at the moment, it’s important to realise that anything is better than nothing. In fact, just reading this page shows that you’re trying to change your life for the better, so you’re already on the right track.

Try starting by aiming to do at least 10 minutes of activity where you can. Once you’ve got started, you should try working towards doing 10 minutes or more on 3 or 4 days a week. Then, when you feel comfortable, work your way up to doing half an hour or more on 5 days each week (or 2 and half hours across a week if you prefer).

It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to work up to 2 and half hours a week (or if you ever get there) the main thing is that you’re trying and you are living a more active lifestyle.