Let’s face it: It may have been awhile since you’ve followed a workout routine (or, you know, ever). It’s never wise to go from 0 to 6,000 burpees, but it’s particularly important to take things slowly when you’ve got a lot of extra weight on your frame. “Ankle and knee injuries are more common among obese exercisers, so special care should be taken to control for this by avoiding high-impact exercise—anything involving running or jumping,” McBrairty says. (Also avoid these bodyweight exercises—they’re particularly bad for knees.) Instead, choose exercises like the elliptical, swimming, or plain ole walking on the treadmill or outside. “Biking is another low-impact option, though many obese individuals find that crouched-over position to be quite uncomfortable,” he says. Sessions lasting just 20 minutes are plenty at first—you’ll likely experience a little post-workout soreness, and the last thing you want is to be so achy that you don’t feel like doing it again.
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