Benefits Of Physical Activity

Physical activity helps with weight loss, weight management and provides benefits to overall health. It can help prevent several diseases and improve your overall health. You can gain the benefits of physical activity whether you engage in a sport, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related physical tasks.

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. 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.

How Can Physical Activity Help Control My Weight?

Physical activity helps to control your weight by using calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. Your body weight is regulated by the number of calories you eat and use each day. Everything you eat contains calories. Everything you do uses calories, including sleeping, breathing, and digesting food. Any physical activity in addition to what you normally do will use extra calories. Balancing the calories you use through physical activity with the calories you eat will help you achieve your desired weight. When you eat more calories than you need to perform your day's activities, your body stores the extra calories and you gain weight.

When you eat fewer calories than you use, your body uses the stored calories and you lose weight. When you eat the same amount of calories as your body uses, your weight stays the same. Any type of physical activity you choose to do--strenuous activities such as running or aerobic dancing or moderate-intensity activities such as walking or household work--will increase the number of calories your body uses. The key to successful weight control and improved overall health is making physical activity a part of your daily routine.

For more, please visit the Exercise and Activity Center.

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Last Editorial Review: 5/19/2003