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Answer Provided by:

Cardiologist
Experience : 15 Years
United States

Question:

I am female, 31 years old, 5'10" tall, and about 330lbs. A co-worker of mine is "training" me on Crossfit, but I am not sure that it is exactly safe for someone of my weight. The first day out, he had me running up and down a hall, and then up four flights of stairs, and I could not complete it. I do not have days in between to rest, as he has me working out everyday, and by the third day, I could barely move (i.e. could hardly walk, get into bed, etc.) and he said this was a good thing. I am afraid if I keep doing this workout that I will suffer some serious medical problems. Bottom line, is Crossfit a safe exercise for people who are considered morbidly obese like myself?

Answer:

Thank you so much for your inquiry. First of all, I must complement you on the fact that you are willing to exercise and take steps toward a healthier you. On the other hand, I am somewhat familiar with Crossfit as I am a certified group exercise instructor. I do believe given your current physical condition, Crossfit is too much for you. I always recommend exercise, but it must be done in stages. One must start slowly with a walking regimen perhaps 20-30 mins daily and then perhaps add 1-2 lb weights to build muscle while losing fat. Of course a diet rich in fruits and veggies and low in sat fats and carbs is a must. Other exercise regimens appropriate for you would be yoga and pilates and water aerobics if you have access to a pool. It is always best to cross train so as to keep things interesting and keep your muscles working at different intensities.
I recommend losing 1-2 lbs a week which means if you cut 500 calories a day or burn off 500 calories a day that's 3500 calories a week or 1 lb of fat. You ideally need to lose about 150lbs which of course is not going to be overnigh....you have a long road ahead of you. Please speak with your PCP about your concerns as well and make sure he or she has worked you up for possible underlying reasons for your obesity such as hormone imbalances and sleep apnea. Again, keep moving...just start slow and work up to the Crossfit intensity. Exercise should be fun and motivating, not painful. Find a work out buddy, that also helps. It's been a pleasure, Mia, consulting you. Best of luck in your endeavors, Dr Cullen