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I am a larger woman. Can I be physically active?

Yes! You may face special challenges, but you can work hard to overcome them. You may not be able to bend or move in the same way that other people can. It may be hard to find clothes and equipment. You also may feel self-conscious being active around other people. But you can get past these hurdles. Keep trying different ways to make physical activity a part of your life. It is important to your health!
Activities such as swimming or exercising while seated put less stress on your joints because your legs are not supporting the weight of your body. If your feet or joints hurt when you stand, nonweight-bearing activities may be best for you. Ask your doctor for help in coming up with a physical activity plan that's right for you.
Remember that physical activity does not have to be hard or boring to be good for you. Anything that gets you moving around—even for only a few minutes a day—is a healthy start to getting more fit. Over time, you will be able to work out longer and vary the types of activity you can do.
If you commit to being physically active on a regular basis, your body will thank you because it can make a big difference to your health. Even if you do not lose weight, you will still lower your risk of getting many diseases by being physically active. And if you do lose weight, you'll get even more health benefits!
This answer is based on source information from National Women's Health Information Center.
Yes, yes... and again, Yes!  As a "shrinking" larger woman myself, let me tell you that many larger women are embracing fitness regardless of our size, and some of us are out in the world participating in events like marathons and triathlons! 

Larger women may face some unique challenges, but an experienced trainer can help you overcome them.  For example, you may not be able to comfortably fit into the standard weight machines in the gym.  An experienced trainer can suggest alternate exercises using inexpensive resistance bands and other items you may already have at home. You might also be more likely to stick with a home-based exercise plan if you feel self-conscious about going to the gym.  It might be necessary to start with non-weight-bearing exercises such as stationary cycling or water exercise.  Are you mortified by the idea of shopping for a swimsuit?  An experienced trainer will also be able to suggest sources for plus-sized fitness clothing for women-- something which is not particularly easy to find!  

Research shows that obese people may begin to see the medical benefits of exercise after doing about 30 minutes of moderate activity 3 times per week.  Often those medical benefits may occur even if you do not lose any weight. Don't use your size as an excuse to stay on the couch-- your size does not have to stand in the way of embracing an active lifestyle.  
 

As a larger woman, you can absolutely be physically active! Water aerobics are a great place to start because of the un-weighting effect the buoyancy of water has on your body. When submerged in water up to the neck, your body weight is reduced between 75 and 90%. This is great for people that may have difficulty performing exercises on dry land, and also those with chronic conditions and other muscle, joint, or bone related problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.