Exercises to try when you’re plus size

Exercise is something we should all be doing, regardless of our size. However when you are plus size, it can be intimidating. You can feel fear of trying something and failing, fear at going to the gym and feeling people judging you.. all around fear at the very thought of doing anything related to exercise. After all as plus size people society conditions us to believe we shouldn’t be seen in a gym until we’re already skinny otherwise we’ll be ridiculed.

If you are interested in exercising more, but aren’t sure what to try or where to go, here are my tips.

At the gym

The gym is the first place people think about when it comes to exercise and you can get gym memberships fairly cheaply these days. My local gym costs me $15 a week, which I think is pretty affordable.

When you first sign up to a gym, most of them will offer you a complimentary session with a personal trainer to get a program up and running. It’s totally up to you whether you take them up on it, I prefer however to set my own program based on what I’m trying to achieve.

If possible it’s also great to have a friend to go to the gym with for accountability. If you set a regular schedule of when you’ll meet each other at the gym, you’re more likely to follow through.


I really enjoy the elliptical trainer as a low impact machine for running/jogging. I’ll only use it for about 5-15 minutes for a warm up, but it’s a great way to get your heart rate going quickly.

I then switch to other cardio machines like the bike and will set myself a goal of distance or time. I’ll then do some light weights either using the weight machines or free weights. If you’re unsure how to uses these machines then it may be worth utilising you first free personal trainer session to getting a lesson on how to use all the equipment.


Gyms also have classes like yoga, zumba, body balance and more. Personally I’m not a huge fan of dance based classes, I’m way to uncoordinated for that. I prefer body balance and yoga which is all about stretching and light weights. If you don’t like classes though don’t feel pressured to have to go to them.

Individual training. Plus sized woman working out with personal trainer. Selective focus.

At home

If you’re on a tight budget or prefer exercising in the privacy of your own home, there’s nothing wrong with skipping a gym membership. There are heaps of ways you can do exercise at home.


There are lots of machines you can buy to use at home like a bike, elliptical trainer or treadmill. However these are really expensive options and I wouldn’t be investing the money in buying one unless you really felt like you were going to get the use out of it.


You can find great exercise programs on YouTube that you can watch and mimic in your lounge room. I’d just recommend you get a yoga mat to do them on as it’s much more comfortable than doing it on a hard surface.

I love doing yoga from the comfort of my lounge room, so one of my favourite apps is Yoga Studio which allows you to set up your own program based on time and skill level.

woman looking out at ocean


There’s a plethora of ways to exercise outside of your home and the gym. I have three dogs which are great for motivating me to exercise. Taking them for a walk around the local lake or neighbourhood is easy and free!

Some cities and towns also have exercise parks which you can take advantage of, they’ve got machines you can use instead of paying for a gym membership.

Hiking is also really great, especially for your butt muscles! Most places have great hiking trails and if you google them you’ll also get information about what fitness level they’re for and roughly how long they’ll take.

If you live near a beach, swimming in the ocean is another great way to utilise what’s around you. Even switching out walking or hiking with bike riding.


How do you like to exercise?