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Stretching helps you cool down after a workout.
Consistently exercising takes a great deal of commitment and can be especially challenging to individuals who carry excess weight. A proper warmup routine prior to exercising helps ensure safety during the workout and full range of motion throughout exercises, and prevents injuries from occurring. Stretching after your workout is crucial to preventing muscle soreness, as well as helping your body reach a level of homeostasis by returning your heart rate to a resting level.
Try a Brisk Walk
Walking is a low-impact activity that can effectively prepare your body for more strenuous exercise. Low-impact warmups are ideal for obese people because no excessive stress is placed on the joints. Rather than leisurely walking at a slow or unintentional pace, increase the speed so that your heart rate elevates, prepping your body for more intense work. Aim for 10 minutes of brisk walking, focusing on maintaining posture and rhythmic breathing. If you are just beginning to exercise or have a significant amount of weight to lose, a 10-minute walk may serve as your workout.
Treadmills provide a sturdy platform for performing your warmup routine. It may be difficult to stand for long periods of time if you are obese. Using the handrails on the side allows you to support yourself, while safely completing a warmup. Adjusting the speed to a comfortable pace, raise the incline level of the treadmill. Increase the incline slowly so your body can adapt to a more challenging height. Once you have set the speed and incline level of the treadmill, complete 10 minutes of walking. If it becomes too difficult, simply lower the incline or slow the pace.
Make Figure Eights
Figure eights increase mobility in your upper body which is often an issue for obese individuals. Completing a round of figure eights will warm up your upper body by elevating your heart rate and creating more blood flow to the muscles. With your arms held up and fully extended from your sides, begin to circle them in the motion of figure eight. Create forward figure eights and complete 15 to 20 repetitions. Rest for 10 to 20 seconds before doing backward figure eights, completing 15 to 20 repetitions.
Stretch Your Legs
After your workout, stretching your legs helps maintain flexibility and blood flow and also relieves tension in your lower back. Sitting on the floor during this stretch allows you to focus on the movement rather than having to support your weight while standing up. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs flat on the ground and fully extended in front of you. Slowly lower your upper body toward your knees. Use your hands to move down your legs, reaching for your toes. Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, taking deep breaths, before returning to your starting position. Complete one more set of this stretch.
Stretch Your Arms Sideways
Increasing range of motion is important if you are obese since extra weight impedes your ability to move about. Sideways arm stretches improve mobility in the shoulders and chest while slowly lowering your heart rate to a resting level. Begin these stretches by standing and extending your arms out to each side. Swing your arms back and forth across your body. Keep your arms straight, but do not lock your elbows. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions of this stretch before stopping at your starting position. Complete one more round of the stretch.