Exercise equipment for obese people is on the market, but it is not easily identifiable. When shopping for exercise equipment, keep your ears open for identifying code words like "durable" or "heavy duty."
Companies That Fit
Companies that cater exclusively to large people are excellent resources for locating exercise equipment for obese people. One example is Living XL, which offers a collection of bikes and trikes that are easy to mount and dismount. Another is the Big Kids Exercise line of products, sold through My Size USA. They carry a number of balancing and cardiovascular workout items, along with high weight capacity bicycles.
You will need appropriate clothing for physical activity, and Junonia active-wear stepped in to fill that gap for women. They specialise in large-size workout, swim and casual wear. For men, a good option is Casual Male XL.
Try Before You Buy
Gyms that are typically welcoming to large people include the YMCA and, for women, Curves. Before investing thousands of dollars in a piece of exercise equipment, visit a gym on a free 1-day pass. You will learn which machines are most suitable for you and receive training on how to operate them. A ski machine may seem like the perfect piece of equipment, until you actually try to stand on one. If you find a machine you like, jot down the brand name and model number.
Check out the Treadmill Doctor for reviews on treadmills and elliptical machines before making a final buying decision (see Resources).
Activities that Fit
Low impact is always a good choice for heavy people. Swimming, water walking, elliptical machines and recumbent bikes are all great options. The H2O Gym is a good resource if you like the pool. They produce underwater treadmills, bicycles, stair steppers and more (see Resources).
Outside the Box
Ask your doctor if you can be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation centre. Many hospitals have state-of-the art fitness centres, with trainers on staff, and heart patients are routinely referred there. Typically they are not crowded and provide a safe place to begin an exercise routine.
If you need a walking buddy consider visiting your local Animal Humane Society, if you don't already have a dog. Dogs make excellent fitness partners, and they will not let you skip your walk.