Physical Activity

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Physical activity is an important part of your weight management program. Most weight loss occurs because of decreased calorie intake. Sustained physical activity is most helpful in the prevention of weight regain. In addition, exercise has a benefit of reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, beyond that produced by weight reduction alone. Start exercising slowly, and gradually increase the intensity. Trying too hard at first can lead to injury.

Examples of moderate-intensity amounts of physical activity

Common Chores

  • Washing and waxing a car for 45–60 minutes
  • Washing windows or floors for 45–60 minutes
  • Gardening for 30–45 minutes
  • Wheeling self in wheelchair for 30–40 minutes
  • Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
  • Shoveling snow for 15 minutes
  • Stairwalking for 15 minutes

Sporting Activities

  • Playing volleyball for 45–60 minutes
  • Playing touch football for 45 minutes
  • Walking 1.75 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
  • Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
  • Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
  • Water aerobics for 30 minutes
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Basketball (playing game) for 15–20 minutes
  • Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)

Activity Progression Samples

Beginners: standing activities, ironing, cooking, playing a musical instrument, etc.

Light: slow walking, garage work, house cleaning, childcare, etc.

Moderate intensity: faster walking, weeding the garden, cycling, tennis, etc.

High intensity: walking fast with a load uphill, basketball, climbing, soccer, etc.

You also may want to try:

  • Flexibility exercises to attain full range of joint motion
  • Strength or resistance exercises
  • Aerobic conditioning

 

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