Both healthy eating and physical activity are important in weight control. Most successful weight loss involves a combination of eating fewer calories and using more energy through activity. Staying physically active is most helpful in keeping weight off for life. Plus, physical activity has the benefit of lowering the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes -- beyond the impact of losing weight.
There are many other benefits of regular physical activity:
Your weight is easier to control when you are active
Physical activity can be fun
You can be with others when you are active
You'll feel and look better when you're physically active
Physical activity is good for your heart
Physical activity is a great way to burn off steam and stress and helps you beat the blues
You'll feel more confident when you are active
You'll have more energy
How much Physical Activity Should You Aim For?
For overall health and to reduce the risk of disease, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
To help manage body weight and prevent gradual weight gain, aim for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week.
To maintain weight loss, aim for at least 60-90 minutes of daily moderate physical activity.
You can do this all at one time, or break it up into shorter bouts of physical activity such as 15 minutes at a time.
Most adults do not need to see their doctor before starting or increasing their activity level. However, you should speak to you doctor before starting a very active(vigorous) program if you are over age 40 (men) or over age 50 (women), or if you have one or more of the conditions below:
A health problem, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis (bone loss), asthme, or obesity
High risk for heart disease, such as a family history of heart disease or stroke, eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, smoking, or having an inactive lifestyle.
If you have not been physically active in the past, the key to success is to start slowly. Trying too hard at first can lead to injury. Also, taking the time to find out what you enjoy will help to make physcial activity a regular part of your lifestyle.
Click here to read more about becoming physically active.
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