Is it better to be fat and fit, or skinny and unfit? The answer may surprise you...

Is it better to be fat and fit, or skinny and unfit? The answer may surprise you... teaser image
As the new year unfolds, many readers will be knee-deep in the latest fad diet in an effort to shed those unwanted kilos.

But the awful truth is, most of those diets will fail. And worse still, fad diets tend to wreak havoc on your metabolism - your body's natural process of converting food into energy - causing it to slow down and store fat.

What people don’t realise is that no matter your size, those with higher cardio-respiratory fitness levels run a lower risk of premature death than sedentary people.

So making movement your new year priority will pay much better dividends in the long run.

Not just that, but making realistic activity goals that see you get up off the couch – especially if you are obese – is often easier to achieve than strict dieting.

Think about it for a minute: doesn’t setting a goal to walk 30 minutes a day sound much easier to achieve than losing 10, 20, 30 or even 50kg?

From there, it’s simply a case of increasing your output as things get easier and incorporating a variety of enjoyable exercises into the mix.

Obsessing about your weight also detracts from positive changes you are making toward good health, such as the exercise, managing mental health, better sleep, increased social activity and eating a balanced, nutritious diet.

Why it’s better to be overweight and fit, rather than slim and unfit

By incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you won’t just enjoy overall better health and likely lose some weight, but you can expect these benefits as well:
  • Lower risk of chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer
  • stronger muscles and bones
  • better mobility as you age, reducing the risk of falls
  • lower risk of injury
  • a stronger heart
  • better mental health
  • lower risk of premature death
  • reduced pain
  • better sleep and energy levels
  • a boost to your self-confidence and belief
  • a healthier immune system
  • better quality of life
  • improved productivity and creativity
How to get started when you’ve been inactive for a while

After a few years of inactivity, the thought of undertaking a committed exercise routine can be daunting. But it shouldn’t be!

It’s all about taking small, but ongoing, steps forward to meet your goals. And it won’t take long before you enjoy the benefits.

Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the elevated mood and noticing little changes, such as better balance and mobility, and that you’re not getting nearly as puffed.

So while starting a new fitness regime can be challenging, the key is not to give up. Before you know it, the year will be over and you’ll be thrilled that you kept going.

For overweight beginners, here are seven highly effective exercises to get you started on your fitness journey:

Walking: A commitment to starting with brisk walk 30 minutes a day is one of the easiest things you can do for good health. Plus, you can do it anywhere, it gets you outdoors and is free. All you need is a pair of training shoes and a water bottle.

Swimming and other water exercises, such as aerobics: Don’t have a pool at home? No problem, most councils and shires have at least one public pool near where you live with fitness and swimming classes on offer. This form of exercise is ultra-low-impact, and perfect for those with weak knees and ankles. Sign up for the beginner’s classes and you’ll be enjoying the benefits in no time.

Riding a stationary bike: Here’s one you can do at home, no matter the weather, and it’s great for heart and lung health. You can start with 30 minutes and increase as your fitness improves, throwing in some interval work (try sprinting in rotations of 30 seconds, followed by cycling moderately for two minutes). However, since this is a lower-body workout, it wouldn’t hurt to incorporate one or more of the below exercises into your routine.

Squats: The humble squat is one of the most effective exercises you can do, working way more muscles than any other.  It conditions your lower body, trunk, shoulders and back - meaning it simultaneously builds muscle and burns fat due to its high metabolic demand. For more on how to safely do this king of exercises, please check out this useful Agility Rehabilitation blog here.  

Modified push-ups: To make push-ups easier, but still highly effective if you are overweight, you can perform this exercise from a standing position with your hands pushing against a wall or table, instead of the floor. As you make progress, you can try doing your push-ups on the floor, but supporting yourself on your knees, instead of the toes. Keep at it and you’ll be doing traditional push-ups in no time.

Knee lifts with medicine ball or dumb bell: This exercise will do a great job of working out your core and can be a good workout to try if you're overweight. Plus, you can perform it seated or standing, depending on your fitness level. Start by holding the ball above your head, with legs waist-width apart. Slowly bring the ball down in front of you, while at the same time raising one knee up to meet it. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other knee. Try to do at least 10 repetitions.

Call us at Agility Rehabilitation 
For any questions on these or other subjects, please give our expert team at Agility Rehabilitation a call today on (08) 6162 8145.