Get Moving -- and Often, Says New Report
WebMD News Archive
All the little stuff adds up, Simpson adds. "We know benefits can
[accumulate]. Taking the stairs at work, parking a distance from your office
building, playing with the kids on the weekend ... people can work many kinds
of physical activity into their days."
It's not always easy, she acknowledges. "Many communities don't have
sidewalks ... people take the car for trips that are less than a mile away when
they could walk or bicycle instead."
To help the public, Simpson reports the CDC is launching a nationwide set of
worksite and community-based programs to promote physical activity. The Kids
Walk to School program promotes walking and biking to school. The CDC is also
working with the National Park Service to develop parks, trails, and
"Regular physical exercise is the key factor in successful long-term
weight maintenance," Simpson tells WebMD. "It's the safest and best way
to lose weight."
The CDC's findings are no surprise, Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, assistant
professor of nutrition at Georgia State University, tells WebMD. "People
are recognizing that exercise is a component [of weight loss], but we're still
finding too many barriers in our way to do that. ... I'm on the eighth floor
and usually walk the stairs twice a day, but it's gloomy, it's hidden. At one
of the CDC's buildings, they actually carpeted a stairwell, decorated it, to
encourage people to take the stairs."
She adds: "Research shows that even basic activities of living are
eroding because we have such a technological society. ... All these
labor-saving devices are horrible for us health-wise. People need to examine
their days, think about all the things they do," says Rosenbloom.
Remember, too, you are what you eat, says Rosenbloom, who is a spokeswoman
for the American Dietetic Association. "Exercise helps, but you can easily
undo the benefits with a few bites of your favorite fast food."
- The CDC reports more than half of Americans older than 18 are either
overweight or obese. Two-thirds of them are trying to lose weight, but only a
small number get enough exercise to make a difference.
- To lose weight, the CDC recommends that people exercise just about every
day for at least 30 minutes. A healthy diet also is important.
- CDC officials emphasize being physically active on a regular basis, and
even walking or doing yard work is good for starters. Observers note many don't
have easy access to facilities that help them exercise, but even such things as
walking longer distances through parking lots and using stairs each day can