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When it feels like your weight makes it so much harder for you to get moving, or your fitness levels make even a few minutes of exercise a struggle, you may need to take a step back and start at the very start. Remember that it takes time and practice for your body to get used to moving again, and so having a gentle approach is probably the best way to go for beginners.

Let’s look at some easy beginners exercises that you can do no matter what your size or shape.

Get up to get moving

Sit to stand

Forget the fancy equipment, all you need for this exercise is a sturdy chair with armrests and the ability to stand up from a seated position. You may need to push up with your arms to help you at first, but the more you practice the closer you will get to being able to complete this exercise with just your lower body.

Make sure your feet are pointing straight ahead, and that you avoid any jerking movements. Try and stand up using mostly your legs, and keeping your spine as straight as you can. Once you are up, slowly lower back down. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable with. It may only be a few times to start with, and that’s fine. You can do three lots of three sit-to-stand’s spaced throughout the day and build this up over time.


Get on some comfortable and supportive shoes and walk for 2-3 minutes. This could be up and down your hallway, around your house, or up the road and back again. Use a walking stick for balance if you need to, or have a support person walk with you to help out if you feel a little wobbly on your feet or aren’t used to walking.

If you can tolerate more than a few minutes then fantastic! Walk laps around the block until you have had enough. If a few laps around the lounge is all you can manage, try short walks a few times a day, building up to hourly.

Sit down to get moving


Recumbent exercise bikes can be a particularly well tolerated for beginners. You can start off with just a light resistance to push against, and it takes the pressure off your knees and hips as you are in a seated position with back support. Start with a few minutes to start with, and work to either increase the duration or the resistance each week.

Seated exercises

Seated leg lifts, heel touches, biceps curls, overhead reaches, arm circles, heel lifts, and step outs can all be done in a seated position. See if you can do 10 of each, give yourself a break in between as needed, and work to build it up by 1-2 reps each week or two.

Credit where credit is due

If you have the added challenge of extra weight impeding your range of movement, causing pain, or making exercise more difficult then well done for making the decision to just get started. Taking baby steps towards improving your fitness each week is a positive step and any exercise at all will be positive in terms of your health. Just start from where you are, and make little improvements all the time. You’ll be amazed how much progress you can make in a month, six months, or a year.

Combine this with healthy and nutritious food and sensible portions, and you may find your weight starts to drop making exercising easier for you. If you are really struggling to lose weight and get fit on your own why not check out our proven weight loss program here.

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