Looking to get to or stay at a healthy weight? Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in maintaining a healthy body weight, losing excess body weight, or maintaining successful weight loss. You gain weight when you consume more calories through eating and drinking than the amount of calories you burn, including those burned during physical activity. It’s important to balance calories. When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. You may need to be more active than others to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
To maintain your weight: Work your way up to 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week). Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time. However, the exact amount of physical activity needed to do this is not clear since it varies greatly from person to person. It’s possible that you may need to do more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to maintain your weight.
To lose weight and keep it off: You will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you’re eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan. For more information about nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss, visit
Reduce Your Health Risk
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Following the recommendations and getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can put you at a lower risk for these diseases. You can reduce your risk even further with more physical activity. Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is some combination of too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, low High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar. People start to see benefits at levels of physical activity below the recommended 150 minutes a week. Additional amounts of physical activity seem to lower risk even more.
Already have type 2 diabetes? Regular physical activity can help you control your blood glucose levels. To find out more, visit Diabetes and Me.
Being physically active lowers your risk for developing several commonly occurring cancers. Research shows that adults who participate in greater amounts of physical activity have reduced risks of developing cancers of the:
Colon (proximal and distal)
Stomach (cardia and non-cardia adenocarcinoma)
Improve your quality of life. If you are a cancer survivor, research shows that getting regular physical activity not only helps give you a better quality of life, but also improves your physical fitness.
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