Physical Activity and Weight Control

Physical Activity and Weight Control

Regular physical activity is an important part of effective weight loss
and weight maintenance. It also can help prevent several diseases and
improve your overall health. It does not matter what type of physical
activity you perform–sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard
work, or work-related tasks–all are beneficial. Studies show that even
the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they
accumulate 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day. Successful
weight loss improves control of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and
hypertension, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, and enhances self-image.

Research consistently shows that regular physical activity, combined
with healthy eating habits, is the most efficient and healthful way to
control your weight. Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain
it, you should understand the important role of physical activity and
include it in your lifestyle. Dietary and exercise changes, and these changes reinforced
by behavior modification, are the most frequently used combination therapies.
Combining changes in diet and exercise can lead to greater short-term weight
loss than changes with either alone.

Weight Control Information Network

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a service of the
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, under the U.S.
Public Health Service. Authorized by Congress (Public Law 103-43), WIN
assembles and disseminates to health professionals and the public
information on weight control, obesity, and nutritional disorders. WIN
responds to requests for information; develops, reviews, and distributes
publications; and develops communications strategies to encourage
individuals to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

NIH Publications No. 97-4155

October 1996

e-text last updated: 10 February 2022

last update: February 2009

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