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Physical Activity for Weight Loss - Topic Overview

Exercise programs continued...

These routine activities can help you burn calories:

  • Washing and waxing a car.
  • Raking leaves or shoveling snow. (Don't use a blower!)
  • Washing windows or floors.
  • Gardening.
  • Pushing a child in a stroller.

You can also "sneak" in activity throughout your day.

  • Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • If you need to run an errand within a few blocks, walk.
  • Park the car some distance from your destination so you have to walk farther.
  • If you watch television, get up and change the channels instead of using the remote control.

When you choose an exercise program or physical activity, pick something you like. Don't pick what looks easiest, what your friends do, or what the fad is. If you enjoy your activity, it will be easier to do and you will be more likely to stay with it. Also think about whether you would rather have convenience or companionship while being physically active. Some people want something they can do anytime with little hassle. Examples include a treadmill in the home, going for a walk in the neighborhood, or gardening. Others might prefer companionship, which means scheduling times with others. Very often when you share your activity with someone, you keep each other on schedule.

Exercising when you have other health problems

People who are overweight or obese often have other health problems and may be afraid or find it difficult to exercise. These people can still exercise safely.

  • Talk with your doctor or a physical therapist about how your condition limits your exercise and bothers you while you exercise. He or she will be able to help you find other types of exercise.
  • If you have coronary artery disease, you may need someone to monitor your exercise. Many hospitals have special programs in this case. For more information, see the topic Cardiac Rehabilitation.
  • If you have arthritis or another joint disease, exercises that are not weight-bearing may be easier and less painful. These include swimming, water aerobics, and cycling.

For more information on physical activity and fitness, see the topic Fitness.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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