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Exercise & Fitness

  1. I am looking for a dietitian who works in health clubs or fitness. Where can I find one in my area? Answer
  2. I am having surgery in a week and I was wondering what kind of easy exercises can be done in bed or with little abdominal use. Answer
  3. I have been working out for years, but only recently have I examined my food intake in relation to my exercise. Answer
  4. I exercise often. I try to eat a healthy diet, but I'm just not sure if I am consuming enough nutrients. Answer
  5. We were wondering what foods we should eat before and after exercising? Answer
  6. I would like to know if swimming is a good exercise to lose weight? Answer
  7. I filled out your calculator. Given the nutritional results it provided, how do I split them up throughout the day? Answer
  8. Is there a way for me to set a dietary program, exxercise included, that will help me lose weight and tone my body? Answer
  9. I am trying to get good abs. I still have an excess of skin. How can I get that washboard stomach? Answer

  10. Why do I feel hungry when I'm exercising, but when I go home, I'm not hungry anymore? Answer
  11. I recently started working out and would like to know what I can do to my diet to maximize my efforts in gaining weight? Answer
  12. Should I eat less at dinner? I heard that as the day goes by your meals should start from a big breakfast, to a medium lunch followed by a small dinner. Answer
  13. I try to eat healthy, but I think that I just need a diet plan to stick to. Answer
  14. I always start an exercise program, stick to it for about 2 months, see results, but want more and end up injuring myself. Answer
  15. I have frequently swam in the pool in my apartment complex, but the pool is very small and I don't feel like I am getting the same workout that I do in a large pool. Answer
  16. I workout a lot. From time to time during my workout I get very light headed and notice I yawn a lot. What do you think? Answer
  17. I am a very active man in his 20's yet I'm having trouble with the fat on my sides. Answer
  18. What is the most effective exercise to flatten the stomach? Answer
  19. Why do so many weight loss diets now push exercise? Answer

I am looking for a dietitian who works in health clubs or fitness. Where can I find one in my area?

If you are looking for a dietitian with expertise in exercise go to Find a Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionist (SCAN) and click on your state on the map of the U.S. You can also find a dietitian at the American Dietetic Association. Include your zip code or city / state and the type of service you want (individual consultation) with expertise in sports nutrition.

Hi. I am having surgery in a week and I was wondering what kind of easy exercises can be done in bed or with little abdominal use. I am having an ovarian cyst removed and will not be able to really exercise aerobically for a while. Thanks.
I would recommend you ask your surgeon this question, but he / she will probably say, no exercise, just rest for a few weeks after surgery. You'll recover faster if you rest and you won't lose that much from not exercising even for a few weeks. Remember to ask your doctor when you can start walking which is a good aerobic exercise, doesn't stress abdominal muscles and helps pass gas after anesthesia.

Any abdominal or leg exercises that stimulate abdominal muscles will probably not be recommended as you will have small incisions in your abdominal wall to remove the ovarian cysts. Abdominal exercises could tear your incision or delay healing (read delay resumption of exercise program). Your body needs the post operative time to heal as exercise would unnecessarily stress it. Give it a rest until your doctor says you can resume your regular exercise program.

My two goals seem more and more conflicting. I have been working out for years, but only within the last six months have I seriously examined my food intake in relation to my exercise goals. I do one hour of aerobics each morning and lift for about 1 hour each night. On weekends I usually only do one or the other, but not both.

I started six months ago at 145 lbs. and am 5'6". I then decided to increase my caloric intake to gain muscle weight. I also dropped my fat intake to less than 15% of my diet. I made the mistake of increasing calories too much. I gained 15 lbs. in 4 months, but too much of it was fat.

Just a month or two ago I changed course to focus on getting rid of as much fat as I can. I switched to a caloric deficit of 100-200 calories less than my required caloric intake daily. I also dropped my fat intake to less than 8% daily. Now I have visibly lost the fat that I gained. However, I worry that I'm not eating enough to gain muscle.

What can I do? Must I work on my dual goals individually?

For a female of your height and activity level, 145 pounds is a healthy weight! It sounds as though you are in very good shape and are not at all overfat, but you goals appear to be change your fat and muscle percentages. Why not maintain your weight at 145 and increase your exercise program to decrease body fat (aerobics) and increase muscle (weight training)? As you decrease body fat, you will see more muscle definition and the results of your hard work.

You experienced what the average American has, eat very low fat, disregard calories and guess what? You gain weight, some of which is body fat because the rate of gain exceeded your body's ability to put on muscle which is determined by your weight training. Calories still count and when you exceed your body's calorie expenditure through metabolism and exercise, your weight goes up no matter how low fat you eat.

Have you tried the Healthy Body Calculator to see how many calories per day you need to maintain your weight versus gain? Use this as a starting point. I would also recommend you visit an exercise physiologist or certified trainer to help you design a weight training program to trim fat and increase muscle. I would also suggest you get a baseline body fat analysis first so you can monitor your success towards your goal.

Eating only 8% of calories from fat is extremely low and can be dangerous. Although it is healthy to follow a low fat eating plan, low fat is considered about 30% of calories from fat. Fat is essential to carry fat soluble vitamins in food, produce hormones in the body and to synthesize essential body compounds. We need the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic in our diet to perform these vital roles. I do not recommend that you eat only 8% of calories from fat.

I exercise often and am therefore concerned about taking an appropriate amount calories, which I know in turn supplies me with more nutrients. I try to eat a healthy diet, but I'm just not sure if I am consuming enough nutrients. Is there any way that I can determine how many nutrients I consume and possibly how many calories I burn when I exercise?

Well calories are easier to assess than nutrients. The bottom line is if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight or if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But that takes some experimenting and you may not achieve your weight goal unless you know how many calories you are eating before you start. A better approach would be to know how many calories you are eating to maintain your present weight and then adjust your calories up or down based on your weight goal.

Another problem comes when you are trying to gain muscle and don't know how many calories to add. Or if you exercise regularly, what nutrients are you lacking so that it affects your exercise performance.

You could take 2 approaches. First you will need to write down everything you eat or drink as well as any supplements you currently take.

Next, either have a Registered Dietitian analyze your food records or do it yourself with nutrition analysis software.

A Registered Dietitian will provide you with reports of what you are currently eating with and without your supplements. They can even examine the amino acids and fatty acids in your diet over a 7-day period, which is more accurate since it combines weekday and weekend eating patterns. Your Dietitian can even provide lists of good food sources for the nutrients that you are lacking.

We were wondering what foods we should eat before and after exercising?

The when to eat also affects what to eat. It is best to eat more than 2 hours, but less than 4 hours before exercise. When a person chooses to eat after exercise is a personal choice.

A balanced diet of all 6 food groups from the Food Guide Pyramid would be OK to eat 2 - 4 hours before exercising. High fat or high sugar foods would not be recommended nor would a large meal be a good idea. Blood pools around your stomach and intestines for up to 2 hours after a meal, helping your body digest and absorb the nutrients from the food you ate. During that time, there is less blood in your legs and arms to power physical activities. Large meals can also make you feel sleepy. Have you ever felt tired after eating a big meal, especially one with turkey?

Your body prefers to run on the sugar in your blood (glucose). Carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, cereal, crackers (starch), fruit or fruit juice are good foods to eat before exercise as they quickly break down into glucose. After exercise, carbohydrates quickly replace glucose your body used during exercise.

Another important food to eat before and during exercise is water. Read the fluids topic for more information.

Hello, I am 5'2" and weigh 130 lb. I have lost 10 pounds doing this year. I workout three times a week and swim twice a week. I would like to know if swimming if a good exercise to loose weight. Thank you.

Congrats on the weight loss! Swimming is a good exercise, but the body doesn't seem to lose as much fat during water sports as land sports. Fat enables a person to float and therefore swim on top of the water rather than sink. Any exercise you do, will be beneficial to your aerobic capacity and feeling of well being. Just do it.

Have you tried the Healthy Body Calculator?

I went and filled out the Healthy Body Calculator that you created. The information it provided was very helpful, but I do have another question.

Given the nutritional results it provided for me, how do I split them up throughout the day? Do I measure what I should have for each meal that will provide me with the dietary results indicated in the chart?

My problem is mainly that I am a college student, on board. So buying foods and measuring them is a problem in the fact that I don't do it. I don't live at home, so I do not have the opportunity to really be a label reader and such. However, I am able to measure my foods at school by cups, 1/2 cups, 1/4 cups, tsp., Tbsp., ounces, etc.

Is there anyway I could provide you with my results and you could help me come up with a regime for the days and how I should plan my meals, such that breads, meats, veggies, fruits, free foods? I have done the exchange sort of programs before but they never took into consideration my personal nutritional needs. Thanks again.

Generally, meals can split the total calories into 1/3 at each of 3 meals. For instance if you wanted to eat 1500 calories, aim for 500 at Breakfast, 500 at Noon and 500 in the Evening.

Unfortunately, I cannot analyze your food intake given the volume of mail I receive. It would be much better for you to do that, then you can modify your food intake to meet your nutritional goals. Given that you are able to measure the foods you eat, you could use nutrition analysis software to analyze the meals that you eat. Find one that is easy to use and reports that displays your weight, food intake and calories expended through exercise.

I am aware that you have no idea who I am, but this morning I was on the Women's Sport & Fitness page and I got to your link. I have many questions that hopefully you can give me some answers.

I completed the Healthy Body Calculator and it provided me with information regarding what my nutritional daily intake should be. What I had wanted to know was, is there a way for me to set a dietary program exercise included that will help me lose weight and tone my body?

I am already a moderately active person. I eat healthy, meaning that there is hardly any grease, salt or fat in my diet. I eat a lot of vegetables, rarely do I eat red meat and try to encompass my four basic food groups within my three a day meals. I understand that you might not be able to help me out or give me any information, but if you could I would appreciate it.

I work out about 6 days a week, running 3, biking 3 and weight training all 6 but different groups every other day. My main concern is that I am not losing any weight and not toning like I want to. I am not sure if this is result of exercise program or my eating habits, which I feel are rather good. I just have those target areas(hips, abs, inner thigh and butt) that I would like to see in better condition.

Once again I thank you for your time. Any help that you could provide me with would be appreciated. If you have a web site that you feel could help answer my questions, please feel free to suggest it. If you need any further information about me, ask. Thank you.

Using the calories, fat grams, vitamins and minerals reported by the Healthy Body Calculator as a guide, select foods that you like. The nutrient values reported in Your Nutrition Facts depend on whether you included a 1 to 2 pound weight loss or weight maintenance in your personal data.

Then use the Food Guide Pyramid to meet your body's need for a variety of foods. But since it contains 2000 to 2500 calories, you may have to reduce the number of servings. If your calorie intake is below 1500, you will probably not meet your RDA for vitamins and minerals and should take a multi vitamin while losing weight.

Another choice would be the Diabetic Exchange eating plan, which is a healthy diet to follow whether you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight. The number of exchanges in each group i.e. milk, meat, starch/bread, fruit, vegetable and fat are similar to the Food Guide Pyramid, but can be planned for various calorie levels. You see an exchange contains foods with similar nutrients. For instance, bread, cereal, rice, pasta and potatoes belong to the Starch / Bread exchange. Maybe you should talk to a dietitian. Most college campuses have one at the student health center. Ask.

As to an exercise program, go to your campus Physical Education department and ask to talk to an exercise physiologist or certified trainer. Go over your exercise program, ask for recommendations and a demonstration of how to do recommended exercises.

As to spot reducing, I'm afraid that is not possible. You can exercise to strengthen underlying muscles in all areas of your body and to reduce body fat so that these stronger muscles show better. However, I would caution that since you are a woman, not to lower your body fat too low as below 18% body fat, you may quit menstruating. You need body fat to make female hormones.

I am trying to get good abs. Yet I find that I still have an excess of skin... not fat. I'm 16 years old. My underlying muscles are strong, yet they don't show through. How can I get that washboard stomach?


Basically, by exercising your abdomen and reducing the overlying body fat you will show more muscle definition. However, you do need a certain amount of fat to make testosterone.

Since you are 16, you will continue to grow until 23, but should reach 90% of your adult height at age 18. So don't drastically alter your diet which may interfere with your normal growth.

Remember to exercise the "rest" of you. I would suggest you talk to your physical education teacher or if you belong to a health club, ask to talk to an exercise physiologist or trainer for personalized recommendations.

Why do I feel hungry when I'm exercising, but when I go home, I'm not hungry anymore?

Moderate exercise by itself does not increase your appetite unless you have exercised too hard or are on a quick weight loss diet and your glycogen stores are depleted. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose in your muscles and liver. You only have about 1500 to 1800 calories of stored glycogen. When glycogen is depleted, your body has to turn to protein in muscles and organs to supply glucose. Depending on the time of your last meal before exercising, your blood sugar may be low. In which case, your body is telling you to eat.

Moderate exercise helps in suppressing appetite and increasing your metabolic rate for up to 15 hours after exercise. A gland in your brain called the hypothalamus is responsible for secreting a hormone, which inhibits hunger. Exercise helps stimulate this gland to produce more of this hormone. Moderate exercise that would produce this beneficial effect would be 60 minutes of exercise, three to five times per week. Possibly, by the time you complete your exercising the suppression of your appetite has started.

I am 22 years old, 5'9" tall and weigh only 125 lb. I recently started working out and would like to know what I can do to my diet, to maximize my efforts in gaining weight. My body fat percentage is about 9% and I would like to maintain this level.

Your normal body weight for height is 144 to 176 pounds. You need to gain about 20 pounds of muscle and this will take eating healthy and weight training. If you wanted to compete in sports, your weight goal could be even higher and still maintain a 9% body fat.

Your diet should contain enough calories to gain about 1 pound per week. I used Healthy Body Calculator to calculate your basal metabolic calories at 1574 plus very light activity (mostly sitting and standing) at an additional 458 calories for a total of over 2029 calories per day. (This does not include calories burned during exercise.) To the 2029 calories, you need to add an additional 500 calories per day to gain 1 pound per week. The calorie goal you should consume per day is around 2500 to achieve your weight goal. You will need to adjust the calories upward as you gain weight as all tissue, especially muscle, needs calories to function. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn and the more calories you need to eat to continuing gaining or at least maintaining your higher weight.

The foods you eat should be planned with the Food Guide Pyramid found in the Food Guide Pyramid topic. Look there for suggestions of what foods, number and size of servings. A low fat diet chosen from a variety of foods would be most healthy.

The other component of your plan to gain weight should be a weight training program to support your goal of gaining muscle weight, not body fat. Call an exercise physiologist or call the gym / health club where you currently exercise for a training program to achieve your goal of maintaining 9% body fat.

I run 4 times a week for 2 miles per day and I train at a tennis academy. In the morning I eat oatmeal with skim milk, a banana and a piece of toast. For lunch I usually eat some low fat yogurt with water and a power bar. For dinner I eat vegetables, with rice and usually a small portion of meat. I also take antioxidant vitamins.

Should I eat less at dinner? I heard that as the day goes by your meals should start from a big breakfast, to a medium lunch followed by a small dinner.

Am I harming myself by eating a power bar a day? I'm 138 pounds and 5'6 1/2''. I'm medium bone and I'm supposed to weigh 133. Am I getting enough nutrients, what can I do to get to 133?

Your breakfast could use some protein like peanut butter or cheese on the toast. Do you put 1 cup of skim milk on your oatmeal? What is the nutritional information on the power bar at lunch? I doubt that it would harm you. Lunch seems a little light on protein, which will keep you awake for the remainder of the day and unless the yogurt has fruit, you are missing fruit too. Dinner could use some fruit. Take a look at the Food Guide Pyramid topic for more information about eating a balanced diet. Try expanding the variety of foods you eat at meals. Oatmeal is good, but other cereals are too. Rice is good, but so are potatoes.

The anti-oxidant vitamins are OK, but what is in the vitamin pill? It can include Vitamin A as beta-carotene, Vitamins E and C and selenium.

As to when to eat the heaviest meal, the trend has been to eat earlier in the day. Your dinner does not sound excessive though for your caloric needs.

If you are a female, your healthy body weight is 129 to 136 pounds. If male, 135 to 143 pounds. Either way, your body weight is appropriate and you are exercising which is very good. I would suggest you focus on changing your body fat for muscle with exercise. Do not focus your weight, which depending on your hydration status, can fluctuate a few pounds. Consult an exercise physiologist or athletic trainer where you exercise.

I have been walking everyday for over a year. I recently increased my exercise, in addition to the walking (about 2 miles a day), to also biking three times a week and lifting some weights.

I try to eat healthy, but I think that I just need a diet plan to stick to. I have a problem controlling the number of calories I consume everyday. I am a 19-year-old student. I am about six feet tall and weight around 165. I know that this weight is probably healthy for my height, but I want to lose the extra fat around my buttocks and upper thigh area. I have been struggling with this for a long time. Thank you.

Your healthy body weight is 154 to 166 pounds.

Your exercise program seems to be a good combination of aerobic and weight lifting. Your walking 2 miles should take about 40 minutes and bike for at least 30 minutes. Weight lifting should cover all muscle groups including legs, torso and arms.

While it is difficult to "spot reduce" fat in specific body areas, you can include exercise that strengthens the muscle groups in your buttocks and upper thighs. I would suggest you talk to a personal trainer or exercise physiologist for suggestions of specific aerobic and weight lifting exercises for these body areas.

Your need for a diet plan could be achieved by following the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations for amounts and groups of food to eat daily. See the Food Guide Pyramid topic for more information.

For the most part I am an active person. I switch back and forth from aerobics, walking, running, dance, weight lifting and swimming. The problems I have run into this summer were poor air quality, that caused breathing problems, sore hips or knees and feet after walking or running and lack of motivation. I always start an exercise program, stick to it for about 2 months, see results, but want more and end up injuring myself. I really like to exercise, but it often gets boring and I don't have the resources to try something new. Also would a regular practitioner be able to help with breathing problems? I had asthma as a little girl, but grew out of it. A friend suggested that I might have exercise induced asthma.

Time to see your doctor regarding the breathing problems. A physical therapist or exercise physiologist would be helpful in designing an exercise program that meets your needs.

The old adage "No Pain - No Gain" is bad advice. Exercise is not supposed to hurt. When it does you may have caused damage. Weight bearing joints like hips, knees and ankles are particularly susceptible to the effects of pounding exercise like running. Have you considered swimming or water based exercises that would not cause wear and tear on your weight bearing joints?

I have frequently swam in the pool in my apartment complex, but the pool is very small and I don't feel like I am getting the same work out that I do in a large pool. The size coupled with the fact that the water is not heated makes it less appealing to jump in at 6:30 PM for a few laps. I tried to swim during lunch at the gym, but there is not enough time to get a decent work out, wash up and get to work on time.

I understand. The size of the pool isn't the consideration. You just have to keep moving, even if that means more turns. The cooler water is good. It burns more calories, deflects heat away from exercising muscles. What about swimming after work?

Find some exercise program that you like and will do 3 to 5 times per week. Exercise is most effective at changing the composition of your body i.e. less fat, more muscle. Muscle burns calories. Fat burns fewer calories and just sits there. Fat is hard to burn off because your cave person body thinks it may need the fat for a famine.

I workout a lot. From time to time during my workout I get very light headed and notice I yawn a lot. What do you think?

I feel I have a good diet. I don't eat fast food, fried food or much junk food. I'm lactose intolerant, so I can't drink milk. I don't eat much red meat or much meat in general. I don't take any vitamins currently, should I be taking a multivitamin, etc.?

Have you ever heard of Kombucha? I've been reading up on it through the Internet lately after seeing a special on Holistic health wonders on Maury Povich. What do you think, if anything?

I also notice that I get tired (my eyes sting) during work around 2:00 P.M.

I feel I get plenty of sleep, but I always have trouble getting up in the morning. Sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep at night, I sort of get a second wind around 11:00 p.m. Don't you hate when that happens? Thanks for your time and effort in helping me out.

There were some interesting studies on yawning by math students in class. The results were that students yawned a lot in math class because it improved oxygen availability to the brain while solving math problems. Could be that your not getting enough oxygen during your workout, especially since you get light headed. Your workout may be anaerobic (without oxygen) rather than aerobic (with oxygen). I would suggest you talk to an exercise physiologist for suggestions on improving your workout routine. In the meantime, to determine if you are working too hard, can you carry on a conversation while working out? If you don't have enough oxygen to talk, you may not be delivering enough oxygen to your brain, which may be the cause of the light-headedness. Check it out! If the light-headedness continues, see your doctor.

If you don't consume 800-mg calcium per day then you may need to take a calcium supplement. Read the Calcium topic. Avoiding meat is OK, but do you include significant sources of iron in your diet. If not, read the Iron topic. A multivitamin isn't necessary if you eat a variety of foods (other than milk and meat) and follow the suggested number of food group servings in the Food Guide Pyramid topic.

I am not familiar with Kambucha. I would suggest you refer to scientifically documented nutritional or health advice rather than talk show hosts.

Since your eyes sting mid-afternoon at work, do you work long hours at a computer or close work that could fatigue your eyes? I would suggest you see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist to have your eyes checked. There are exercises that you can learn to strengthen your eye muscles so that your eyes work together. Ask your eye doctor about optometric vision therapy.

As to your tiredness upon waking and sleeplessness at bedtime, do you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night? You might want to eliminate any caffeine containing foods (coffee, tea, cola, mountain dew and chocolate) within 3 1/2 hours of bedtime. Read the Caffeine topic for more info. You may want to consider eliminating caffeine and switching to caffeine free beverages (decafe coffee, herbal tea, caffeine free carbonated beverages) to improve your restful sleep.

I am a very active man in his 20s yet I'm having trouble with the fat on my sides. I must admit I'm not that careful with my dieting, but I'm not entirely careless. I have been running lately and it seems that helps with burning the fat. I feel like I could lose about 10 lb. (I am 205 lb.) and I would be happy. Should I do a radical diet or try the traditional less fat route?

How about a healthy eating plan? Look at the Food Guide Pyramid topic for suggestions on foods to eat, number of servings and serving sizes. And low fat should be an integral part of "healthy".

Unfortunately, there is not such thing as "spot reducing". Running is good for your lower half, heart and lungs. Talk to an exercise physiologist to recommend exercises for your upper body. Many aerobic classes teach exercises from your head to foot. Also, weight training would increase your underlying muscles.

If you want to weigh 205 lb. then you should be 6' 1" to 6'4 1/2".

What is the most effective exercise to flatten the stomach?

Sit-ups, leg lifts, side bends are some exercises that strengthen stomach muscles. However, spot exercising may not produce the results you desire. If you belong to a health club, ask to talk to an exercise physiologist or personal trainer. Another good professional to talk to is a physical therapist. Best plan is to exercise and strengthen all muscle groups.

Why do so many weight loss diets now push exercise? I really don't mind exercising, but I just seem to forget after a while. What can I do to get into the exercise habit and why is it important?

Research has found that exercise when combined with a calorie reduced diet helps increase the amount of body fat burned and helps maintain lean muscle tissue. Lean muscle tissue is your muscles, organs and bones. Lean muscle tissue burns more calories than fat because lean tissue performs more work than fat. Fat just sits there like a dead weight.

Exercise also increases your basal metabolic rate for up to 15 hours after exercising. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body burns, laying in bed, just to keep all your organs functioning. So exercise will increase the amount of calories you burn just doing your daily activities.

Exercise helps to suppress your appetite for food. That is, if you exercise correctly. You need to exercise at a rate that increases your heart rate and breathing, but not to a point where you can't catch your breath. Your body can run on three basic fuels: your blood sugar; your stored fat; your blood or tissue proteins. Your body prefers to run on glucose, but can run on fat or protein as well. However, glucose is the only fuel that can be burned without air, which is called anaerobic metabolism. In order for your body to burn fat, you need glucose and air, which is called aerobic metabolism. As long as you are able to take in enough air, you can burn some fat. If you can't carry on a conversation, you can't carry enough oxygen to your muscles to burn fat. When you exercise too intensely and are short of breath, glucose is the only fuel that you can burn. When your blood sugar gets low, a gland called the hypothalamus, sends a message to your brain that you are hungry and need to eat. So the next time you exercise and feel hungry afterwards, you exercised too hard and lowered your blood sugar to the point where your brain told you that you were hungry.

Exercise also helps fight depression. Your brain produces a hormone that gives you a good feeling. Exercise helps increase the amount of this hormone. It is the body's natural "feel good me". Exercise should make me feel good about me.

Many people accumulate excess weight because they don't adjust their food intake, but decrease their physical activity. This is age-related and called inertial weight gain. Most 20+ year old people still eat as if they are a teen, but don't realize that they sit around a lot more.

Establish a regular plan of exercise that you enjoy. Start with 15 minutes per day the first week for 5 days. The second week increases to 30 minutes, 45 minutes the third week and 60 minutes the fourth week. Maintain a schedule of exercise three to five days per week for 60 minutes each day. There does not seem to be additional benefit to exercising seven days, so take two days off.

When you exercise, time is important, not distance traveled. Work on exercising about of 60 minutes per day. The longer you exercise, the higher percent fat you burn. Your body switches from burning glucose to burning fat after approximately 30 minutes.

Choose an exercise you enjoy as long as it uses your large muscle groups in your legs or back. You are more likely to regularly repeat exercises you like to do. In spite of what some exercise gimmick ads tell you, a machine can't exercise for you. However, NASA is working on an experimental model now for astronauts whose muscles and bones become weak during space travel.

Think of ways you can increase your level of exercise. Increase your regular activity level by parking your car two blocks from your destination. This seems simple, yet even people at a health club will race to the closest parking spot. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Walk up the stairs at a regular pace and remember to breathe in and out while climbing. Carry your own groceries out of the store rather than using the drive up door. Carrying grocery bags is similar to weight lifting!

Having an active and a busy lifestyle is not the same as exercising. Exercise benefits health by reducing fat, stress and depression.

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