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Physical activity

Make activity part of your day

You may not think you have the time to exercise, but you can work activity into your daily life. Take 10 minutes out of your lunch hour to take a walk. Walk to the newsstand to get your paper instead of having it delivered. Make it a habit to take the stairs instead of the elevator or park in the farthest parking spot. You’ll be surprised how fast these little changes can make a difference.

The benefits of exercise

  • Exercise increases your metabolism (the speed at which your body burns calories).
  • Regular exercise can increase the amount of muscle in your body. Muscle burns calories faster than fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
  • Exercise gives you energy and curbs your appetite.
  • Exercise decreases stress and helps you sleep better.

The medical journal The Lancet reported that people at risk for diabetes can lower their risk of heart disease nearly 10 percent by walking just one mile per day.

Make exercise fun

Exercise can be fun. Choose an activity you enjoy. You may even get a friend to do it with you.

  • Take a resistance-training or aerobics class
  • Join a team sport
  • Take a dance class
  • Walk the dog
  • Ride a bike

If you have health problems, be sure to ask your doctor before you start an exercise program. Have a fitness professional help you develop a plan that’s safe for you. If you don’t have a physician, you can access our online directory.

Additional weight loss tools

  • Get help tracking your meals
  • Track your physical activity
  • Find out how many calories your favorite activity burns