There is a common feeling out there for people that are out of shape that you have to do high-intensity exercises in order to get any benefit out them. This likely comes from the fact that most people look to gurus or inspiration online and all the people that have a big audience are in exceptionally good shape. Therefore, the person who is 20, 30, or in my case more than 50 pounds overweight tries to have a go at these exercises only to quickly realize that we can not do it at all. If you are stubborn you try anyway, end up hurting yourself of the exercise is so taxing that you really start to loathe participating in it at all and therefore you return to your old ways of doing nothing at all and probably ditch any semblance of diet as well.
This is where the fitness industry really fucks up in my opinion because unless you work out all the time and truly dedicate yourself to a diet, you are never going to look like that Instagram influencer anyway and that person had to work on that for YEARS before they go to that point.
When people are just starting out or even once they have already, like me, achieved a certain level of fitness that is conducive to a somewhat healthy lifestyle, doing light exercise will actually do more than enough for your overall fitness needs, especially for weight loss.
The most common example of this is cardio, which as the old saying goes "you gotta walk before you can run."
Many people still, and incorrectly believe that walking is a waste of time as far as fitness is concerned and they are dead wrong. Simply going for a walk is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and this is why you see places like NYC or some other urban area where people have to do a bunch of walking and notice that generally speaking, these people are in better shape than folks in the suburbs who likely drive to everything because they can. I have lived in both urban and rural areas and the people in the urban areas are ALWAYS in better shape overall and this is because of one thing: Walking.
Sure running is definitely going to burn more calories but when people are first starting out or simply trying to not gain any MORE weight, walking is more than enough. It should be quite obvious but running and walking use exactly the same muscle groups and while running is definitely working those groups a lot more vigorously, it is still the same motions.
There are a lot of people that can't do even a 1k walk, but unless you are morbidly obese you can almost certainly do a 1km walk. Most people can do far more than that and if you are a bit overweight, and you have free time, how easy is it to just go outside and walk around.
You might not feel like this is a workout because you aren't huffing and puffing and sweating like crazy, but in all actuality you can burn the same amount of calories and maybe even enjoy yourself if you just get out there and walk around. You could even take this time to play a podcast which is what you might have been doing if you were sitting at your computer in your house or apartment anyway.
I first learned of the benefits of walking because of my own parents who about 15 years ago decided that they were going to alter their diets (slightly) and simply go for a 1 hour walk every day. After a short amount of time both of them lost a ton of weight and started to feel a great deal better than they did when they had just been sitting around and thinking about their next meal. They still do a lot of sitting around, don't get me wrong, but they look and feel a lot better and they never really even broke a sweat because believe it or not, it isn't necessary.
Of course my parents are pretty old so getting out there and running a marathon probably isn't in their future but i guarantee you that they are in superior cardiovascular health than a vast majority of people in their late 60s who just sit around.
Telling people that they have to feel pain in order to get benefits from exercise is why so many people don't exercise at all since the human condition dictates that we generally tend to avoid pain as much as possible.
Especially if you are just starting out focus on getting out there and just doing SOMETHING. 2 years ago I could barely run to the end of my driveway and back but even in those days I could easily walk a 5k with very little issues. If only I had known then what I know now I could have headed down the path of physical fitness a lot faster.
So if you are a bit overweight just try it one day. Walk a few km or even better put a 1 hour time limit on it and just get out there and walk somewhere, anywhere. If you have a dog take them with you - I'm sure they would appreciate it a great deal as well.
From athlete, to fat-lete, and back