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Exercise Tips for Plus Size Moms

Life as a mom is busy and often stressful. Being physically active can help to reduce stress and has many other benefits. Plus size trainer, athlete, and mom, Louise Green, joins us to chat about plus size exercise. I asked her to specifically talk about exercise tips for plus size moms. 

Please remember to talk to your care provider before engaging in a new activity.

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Exercise Tips for Plus Size Moms

Plus Size Exercise  

Where should someone who hasn’t be physically active in a while start?

I think that is a very individual question and one I am asked often.

We hear recommendations made to plus-size individuals such as: you should walk, or do water aerobics or yoga, always offering activity that is perceived as a “more gentle approach”.

The truth is there are many people who start with running, triathlon, or cycling and I think we need to widen the scope a bit in allowing people of all shapes and sizes to recognize that they are capable of many activities.

I think what is important is that people really listen to what drives them to be motivated and also listen to their bodies.

I was speaking with a client last night and she said her body just isn’t built for running, everything about it feels wrong. That’s a pretty good indication that running isn’t for her, yet she enjoys my boot camps and boxing programs.

When you are starting out and you can feel yourself smiling and you have the urge to repeat the said exercise again, then I believe that is where you should start. I’ve heard from endless clients that they haven’t enjoyed exercise but exercise is supposed to be enjoyable and most definitely can be in the right form and environment.

So, often check in with your internal compass and ask yourself these questions: Do I enjoy this? Am I having fun? Is this attainable? If the answers are yes, keep going!

However, If you have no idea what might work for you, walking is a great way to start moving. Once you do that, it can bridge you to other activities that will move you!

How can plus size moms overcome the fear of being shamed while being physically active in public?

The reality is that there are amazing, supportive people in the world and there are those who are not.

The fear of being shamed is real, it happens. I think the important thing to remember is your “why”. Why are you out there? Why do you want to be active?

Everyone has a compelling reason as to why they want more activity in their lives and I think when we are clear on our intentions, what others think becomes secondary.

As you build your confidence in the world of fitness, you will care less and less what others think because you will be so focused on kicking butt. I also believe that showing up is a form of activism, or at least it has been for me.

People don’t expect to see plus-size athleticism so showing them a new paradigm by sweating it out in your magnificent body is changing people’s views.

Activities for plus size moms

Any tips on hiring a size-friendly trainer?

There are many ways to explore fitness and one of them is to hire a trainer either one on one or in a group session. For me, finding my first Run Leader was an absolute game-changer. She worked from a Health At Every Size® (HAES) coaching position and it changed everything for me.

However, one thing I have found is that many people approach trainers apologetically, feeling shameful about their health. I want you to view the trainer/client relationship for what it is.  They work for you! 

You are the CEO of your body and you have every right to interview trainers to make sure they will satisfy your needs and the task at hand. Just like you would with a building contractor or childcare provider, research, interview, and vet for the best possible fit.  

You have every right to ask questions and lead the conversation in the best outcome for you.

We all have different health goals so your interview may vary.

Here are some examples of questions to ask when hiring a trainer when you're plus size:

Have you heard of HAES?  What are your thoughts of this health model?

If my goals are weight loss, how will you support me in healthy, sustainable, weight loss?

Have you ever carried extra weight?

How will you make modifications for me to ensure each session is a success?

Describe your training style.

Do you have any references or testimonials I can follow up with?

I believe that there is an athlete living inside all of us.  If you can find the right activity with the right support, you WILL dig out the athlete within and live an active lifestyle, at any size.


(Louise's Body Exchange DVD)

As a mom, what exercise tips for plus size moms do you have to be active with their kids?

This is also very individual but I do think it is important to model an active lifestyle for our children and how that looks in your family might be different from mine. We are a big cycling family and often enjoy riding together. We also swim a lot and ski.

It is important to find something that the whole family enjoys so that it’s sustainable. Some ideas are walking in the woods, building a garden and tending it, cycling or organized games with neighbors of Capture the Flag or Hide and Seek. All of these involve joyful movement, it’s just a matter of finding what fits for you and your family.

plus size mom exercising with kid

Ready to continue or start to apply these exercise tips for plus size moms? I hope so! If you need some inspiration, watch Louise's powerful TedEx Talk below and connect with Louise Green

YouTube video


Jen McLellan, CBE
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