Exercise & Behaviour
Exercise and Activity
Increased physical activity or exercise also is an essential part of obesity treatment. Most people who are able to maintain their weight loss for more than a year get regular exercise, even simply walking. To boost your activity level:
- Exercise:The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people who are overweight or obese get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensive physical activity to prevent further weight gain or to lose a modest amount of weight. But to achieve significant weight loss, you may need to get as much as 250 to 300 minutes of exercise a week. You probably will need to gradually increase the amount you exercise as your endurance and fitness improve. To make your own exercise goal more doable, break it up into several sessions throughout the day, doing just five or six minutes at a time.
- Increase your daily activity:Even though regular aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories and shed excess weight, any extra movement helps burn calories. Making simple changes throughout your day can add up to big benefits. Park farther from store entrances, rev up your household chores, gardening, get up and move around periodically, and wear a pedometer to track how many steps you actually take over the course of a day.
A behavior modification program can help you make lifestyle changes, lose weight and keep it off. Steps to take include examining your current habits to find out what factors, stresses or situations may have contributed to your obesity. Behavior modification, sometimes called behavior therapy, can include:
- Counseling: Therapy or interventions with trained mental health or other professionals can help you address emotional and behavioral issues related to eating. Therapy can help you understand why you overeat and learn healthy ways to cope with anxiety. You can also learn how to monitor your diet and activity, understand eating triggers, and cope with food cravings. Counseling may be available by telephone, email or Internet-based programs if travel is difficult. Therapy can take place on both an individual and group basis.
- Support groups:You can find camaraderie and understanding in support groups where others share similar challenges with obesity. Check with your doctor, local hospitals or commercial weight-loss programs for support groups in your area, such as Weight Watchers Support groups