Bed Exercises for Weight-Loss in the Obese

Bed Exercises for Weight-Loss in the Obese

Weight loss is challenging in any case, but it is particularly difficult when you are confined to bed. If you are obese, it is imperative that you exercise to help you reduce your body weight and increase muscle mass so you can get out of bed again. Also, exercise is vital for you when you are bed-bound because your inability to ambulate results in a severe drop in physical activity, which can lead to a variety of health issues including cardiovascular disease, stroke, blood clots and depression. Understanding how to safely and effectively institute a bed-based exercise program will help you to improve your overall health and well-being.

Precautions
Always consult your medical professional before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have been bed ridden for an extended period of time without exercise. Consider asking your doctor for a referral for in-home physical and occupational therapy to guide you in devising a safe home exercise program. Discontinue any exercise that causes dizziness, chest pain or severe shortness of breath and opt for a less strenuous exercise, progressing over time to more challenging ones.

Using a Pulse Oximeter
Use a pulse oximeter, which can be purchased at a pharmacy or medical supply store or as an adapter and app on your smart phone to help you monitor you heart rate and oxygen levels. This device ensures you are exercising safely. Exercise to the point where you have elevated your usual heart rate by 10 to 20 beats per minute and make sure that your oxygen level is always greater than 90%. Discontinue any exercise that pushes you out of these ranges and rest until you have returned to a safe level.

Arm Bike
Using an arm bicycle that can be placed on an over-bed table can effectively improve your cardiovascular health and physical endurance. You can even place it on the floor next to your bed and sit on the side of the bed to use it. However, if you are unable to purchase one, then perform the bicycle movement in the air with either your arms or legs. Pump your arms or legs around in circles, moving at a slow, steady pace to allow you to exercise for at least 25 minutes at a time. Build up to that time gradually if necessary. You can even "cycle" your arms or legs in reverse.

Add Muscle
Because muscle burns more calories than fat tissue, adding muscle can help you to lose weight. Begin with a gentle range of motion in your arms and legs and if you are able, hold light dumbbells in your hands or attach lightly weighted cuffs to your ankles for added resistance. You can even resist the movements by wrapping a towel around your moving limb and using your free arm to hold the ends of the towel and pull against the movement. Exercise with arm punches up, arm punches out, elbow bends, wrist bends, knee bends, leg lifts and ankle pumps.

Replacement Exercises
Exercise while in bed by using replacement exercises. For example, perform the jumping jack movements with your arms and legs while lying on your back. While sitting on the edge of the bed, march your legs up and down or twist your abdomen side to side. Whichever exercise you do, challenge yourself to work for two to five minutes before taking a break to maximize your calorie and fat burn for weight loss.