Physical activity and exercises to help you stay healthy and lose weight with weight loss and exercise tips from nih
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ei o HT ps t lpt A ieYou G ct veou know that physical activity isgood for you. So what is stoppingyou from getting out there andgetting at it? Maybe you think that workingout is boring, joining a gym is costly, orYdoing one more thing during your busy dayis impossible. Physical activity can be partof your daily life. This booklet can help youget moving by offering ideas to beat yourroadblocks to getting active. In addition,you will read comments from people whohave done it. Maybe their stories willinspire you.Why should I be physicallyactive?You may know that regular physical activitycan help you control your weight. But doyou know why? Physical activity burnscalories. When you burn more calories thanyou eat each day, you will take off pounds.You can also avoid gaining weight bybalancing the number of calories you burnwith the number of calories you eat.1Physical activity canbe part of your dailylife. This bookletcan help you getmoving by offeringideas to beat yourroadblocks togetting active. Inaddition, you willread commentsfrom people whohave done it.Maybe their storieswill inspire you.
Regular physical activity may also help prevent or delaythe onset of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heartdisease, high blood pressure, and stroke. If you have one ofthese health problems, physical activity may improve yourcondition.* Regular physical activity may also increase yourenergy and boost your mood.* If you are a man and over age 40 or a woman and over age 50,or have a chronic health problem, talk to your health care providerbefore starting a vigorous physical activity program. You do notneed to talk to your provider before starting an activity like walking.What is standing in my way?Would you like to do more physical activity but do not knowhow to make it a part of your life? This booklet describessome common barriers to physical activity and ways toovercome them. After you read them, try writing down thetop two or three barriers that you face on pages 12 and 13.Then write down solutions that you think will work for you.You can make regular physical activity a part of your life!Can you use any of the following ideas to become morephysically active?2
Personal BarriersBarrier: Between work, family, and other demands,I am too busy to exerciseSolutions: Make physical activity apriority. Carve out sometime each week to beactive, and put it on yourcalendar. Try waking up ahalf-hour earlier to walk,scheduling lunchtimeworkouts, or taking anevening fitness class. Build physical activity into your routinechores. Rake the yard, wash the car, or doenergetic housework. That way you do whatyou need to do around the house and movearound too. Make family time physically active. Plan aweekend hike through a park, a family softballgame, or an evening walk around the block.Barrier: By the end of a long day, I am just too tiredto work out.Solutions: Think about the other health benefits ofphysical activity. Regular physical activitymay help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.It may also lower your odds of having heartdisease, type 2 diabetes, or cancer.
Research shows that people who areoverweight, active, and fit live longer thanpeople who are not overweight but areinactive and unfit. Also, physical activity maylift your mood and increase your energy level. Do it just for fun. Play a team sport, work ina garden, or learn a new dance. Make gettingfit something fun. Train for a charity event. You can work tohelp others while you work out.Barrier: Getting on a treadmill or stationarybike is boring.Solutions: Meet a friend for workouts. If your buddyis on the next bike or treadmill, your workoutwill be less boring. Watch TV or listen to music or an audiobook while you walk or pedal indoors.Check out music or audio books from yourlocal library. Get outside. A change in scenery can relieveyour boredom. If you are riding a bikeoutside, be sure to wear a helmet and learnsafe rules of the road. For more informationabout bike safety, read Bike Safety Tips fromthe American Academy of Family Physicians,available online athttp://familydoctor.org/692.xml.
Barrier: I am afraid I will hurt myself.Solutions: Start slowly. If you are starting a new physicalactivity program, go slow at the start. Even if youare doing an activity that you once did well, start upagain slowly to lower your risk of injury or burnout. Choose moderate-intensity physical activities. Youare not likely to hurt yourself by walking 30 minutesper day. Doing vigorous physical activities mayincrease your risk for injury, but moderate-intensityphysical activity carries a lower risk. Take a class. A knowledgeable group fitnessinstructor should be able to teach you how to movewith proper form and lower risk for injury. Theinstructor can watch your actions during class and letyou know if you are doing things right. Choose water workouts. Whether you swim laps ortry water aerobics, working out in the water is easyon your joints and helps reduce sore muscles andinjury. Work with a personal trainer. A certified personaltrainer should be able to show you how to warm up,cool down, use fitness equipment like treadmills anddumbbells, and use proper form to help lower yourrisk for injury. Personal training sessions may becheap or costly, so find out about fees before makingan appointment.Mac inTucson,Arizona,says, “Iwould takewalks in themorningand see alot of birds.Now I bringmy cameraalong andget somegreat shotsof birds.Takingpicturesmakeswalkingmore fun.I don’t getbored. I mailmy picturesto mygrandsonand heenjoysthem.”
Barrier: I have never been into sports.Solutions: Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Youdo not have to be an athlete to benefit fromphysical activity. Try yoga, hiking, or plantinga garden. Choose an activity that you can stick with,like walking. Just put one foot in front ofthe other. Use the time you spend walking torelax, talk with a friend or family member, orjust enjoy the scenery.Barrier: I do not want to spend a lot of money tojoin a gym or buy workout gear.Solutions: Choose free activities. Take your children tothe park to play or take a walk. Find out if your job offers any discountson memberships. Some companies get lowermembership rates at fitness or communitycenters. Other companies will even pay forpart of an employee’s membership fee.
Check out your local recreation orcommunity center. These centers may costless than other gyms, fitness centers, or healthclubs. Choose physical activities that do notrequire any special gear. Walking requiresonly a pair of sturdy shoes. To dance, just turnon some music.Barrier: I do not have anyone to watch my kidswhile I work out.Solutions: Do something physically active with yourkids. Kids need physical activity too. Nomatter what age your kids are, you can findan activity you can do together. Dance tomusic, take a walk, run around the park, orplay basketball or soccer together. Take turns with another parent to watchthe kids. One of you minds the kids while theother one works out. Hire a baby-sitter. Look for a fitness or community centerthat offers child care. Centers that offerchild care are becoming more popular. Costand quality vary, so get all the information upfront.
John from Chicago says, “When I moved to Chicago, I joined abasketball team that some people in my office put together. It’sbeen great for building relationships with coworkers and gettingrid of stress. We are all of different ages and abilities, but we arecompetitive too. It is social and fun.”Barrier: My family and friends are not physicallyactive.Solutions: Do not let that stop you. Do it for yourself.Enjoy the rewards you get from working out,such as better sleep, a happier mood, moreenergy, and a stronger body. Join a class or sports league where peoplecount on you to show up. If your basketballteam or dance partner counts on you, you willnot want to miss a workout, even if your familyand friends are not involved.Barrier: I would be embarrassed if my neighbors orfriends saw me exercising.Solutions: Ask yourself if it really matters. You are doingsomething positive for your health and that issomething to be proud of. You may even inspireothers to get physically active too.Invite a friend or neighbor to join you. Youmay feel less self-conscious if you are not alone.Go to a park, nature trail, or fitness orcommunity center to be physically active.
Place BarriersBarrier: My neighborhood does not have sidewalks.Solutions: Find a safe place to walk. Instead of walkingin the street, walk in a friend or familymember’s neighborhood that has sidewalks.Walk during your lunch break at work. Findout if you can walk at a local school track. Work out in the yard. Do yard work or washthe car. These count as physical activity too.Barrier: The winter is too cold/summer is too hot tobe active outdoors.Solutions: Walk around the mall. Join a mall-walkinggroup to walk indoors year-round. Join a fitnessor communitycenter. Find onethat lets youpay only for themonths or classesyou want, insteadof the whole year. Exercise at home.Work out to fitnessvideos or DVDs. Check a different one outfrom the library each week for variety.
1Jennifer from Detroit says, “I needed to find something to do tokeep off the extra 5 pounds I gain every winter. I didn’t feel likedoing anything after work, when it is already dark. So, I startedworking out at a fitness center near my office at lunchtime. I dothe treadmill and lift weights 3 days a week. It makes me feelgreat. Also, I don’t pay for my membership during the summer,when I’d rather be outside.”Barrier: I do not feel safe exercising by myself.Solutions: Join or start a walking group. You can enjoyadded safety and company as you walk. Take an exercise class at a nearby fitnessor community center. Work out at home. You don’t need a lot ofspace. Turn on the radio and dance or followalong with a fitness show on TV.
11 Health BarriersBarrier: I have a health problem (diabetes, heartdisease, asthma, arthritis) that I do notwant to make worse.Solutions: Talk with your health care professional.Most health problems are helped by physicalactivity. Find out what physical activities youcan safely do and follow advice about lengthand intensity of workouts. Start slowly. Take it easy at first and seehow you feel before trying more challengingworkouts. Stop if you feel out of breath, dizzy,faint, or nauseated, or if you have pain.Barrier: I have an injury and do not know whatphysical activities, if any, I can do.Solutions: Talk with your health care professional.Ask your doctor or physical therapist aboutwhat physical activities you can safelyperform. Follow advice about length andintensity of workouts. Start slowly. Take it easy at first and seehow you feel before trying more challengingworkouts. Stop if you feel pain.
12 Work with a personal trainer. Aknowledgeable personal trainer should beable to help you design a fitness plan aroundyour injury.What can I do to breakthrough my roadblocks?What are the top two or three roadblocks tophysical activity that you face? What can youdo to break through these barriers? Use thisspace to write down the barriers you face andsolutions you can use to overcome them.Barrier 1:Solutions:
15 See your health care provider if necessary. If you are a man and over age 40 or a womanand over age 50, or have a chronic healthproblem such as heart disease, high bloodpressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, or obesity,talk to your health care provider beforestarting a vigorous physical activity program.You do not need to talk to your providerbefore starting an activity like walking. Answer questions about how physical activity will fit into your life. Think about answers to the following fourquestions. You can write your answers downon page 17 or on another sheet of paper.Your answers will be your roadmap to yourphysical activity program. What physical activities will you do? Listthe activities you would like to do, such aswalking, energetic yard work or housework,joining a sports league, exercising with avideo, dancing, swimming, bicycling, or takinga class at a fitness or community center.Think about sports or other activities that youenjoyed doing when you were younger. Couldyou enjoy one of these activities again?23
16 When will you be physically active? List thedays and times you could do each activity onyour list, such as first thing in the morning,during lunch break from work, after dinner, oron Saturday afternoon. Look at your calendaror planner to find the days and times that work best. Who will remind you to get off the couch?List the people—your spouse, sibling, parent,or friends—who can support your efforts tobecome physically active. Give them ideasabout how they could be supportive, likeoffering encouraging words, watching yourkids, or working out with you. When will you start your physical activityprogram? Set a date when you will startgetting active. The date might be the firstmeeting of an exercise class you have signedup for, or a date you will meet a friend fora walk. Write the date on your calendar.Then stick to it. Before you know it, physicalactivity will become a regular part of your life.
17What physical activities will you do?When will you be physically active?Who will remind you to get off the couch?When will you start your physical activity program?
18Additional ResourcesIf you are overweight, you are more likely to develop certainhealth problems. To understand these risks, read WIN’s DoYou Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight?For more ideas about how physical activity can help youcontrol your weight, read WIN’s fact sheet Physical Activityand Weight Control. If you are a very large person and wantto get fit, read Active at Any Size from WIN.For more information about the benefits of physical activity,read the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Youcan read the Guidelines online at http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines.When you are ready to begin a weight-loss program, but unsureof how to get started, WIN’s Choosing a Safe and SuccessfulWeight-loss Program may steer you in the right direction.If you are looking for tips about eating well and addingphysical activity to your life, read Healthy Eating and PhysicalActivity Across Your Lifespan: Tips for Adults from WIN inEnglish and Spanish. You can also find this and other helpfulinformation in the new WIN publication Changing YourHabits: Steps to Better Health.For tips about starting a walking program, read Walking...A Step in the Right Direction from WIN, available in Englishand Spanish. To find out about walking groups in your area,visit the American Volkssport Association’s website athttp://www.ava.org.
Weight-control Information Network1 WIN WayBethesda, MD 20892–3665Phone: (202) 828–1025Toll-free number: 1–877–946–4627Fax: (202) 828–1028Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgInternet: http://www.win.niddk.nih.govThe Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a serviceof the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and KidneyDiseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, whichis the Federal Government’s lead agency responsible forbiomedical research on nutrition and obesity. Authorized byCongress (Public Law 103–43), WIN provides the generalpublic, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based health information on weight control,obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.Publications produced by WIN are reviewed by both NIDDKscientists and outside experts. This publication was alsoreviewed by Steven Blair, P.E.D., Professor, Department ofExercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, Universityof South Carolina; John Jakicic, Ph.D., Chair, Department ofHealth and Physical Activity and Director, Physical Activityand Weight Management Research Center, University ofPittsburgh; and David Kelley, M.D., Professor of Medicineand Director, Obesity and Nutrition Research Center,University of Pittsburgh.This publication is not copyrighted. WIN encourages usersof this brochure to duplicate and distribute as many copiesas desired.