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Physical Activity – How to Start Part II

April 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Health Department Weight Loss Tips

With time, you will be able to perform a larger weekly volume of physical activity that would normally cause a greater weight loss if it were not compensated by a higher caloric intake.

Reducing sedentary time, i.e., time spent watching television or playing video games, is another approach to increasing activity.

Try to build physical activities into each day. Examples include leaving public transportation one stop before the usual one, parking farther than usual from work or shopping, and walking up stairs instead of taking elevators or escalators. Other activities might include gardening and walking a dog daily.

Try to identify first a safe area to perform the activity, for example, a community park, gym, pool or a health club. However, if these sites are not available, you can also identify an area of the home where you can exercise.


You can jump rope at home, for example, or if you can afford install equipment such as a stationary bicycle or a treadmill. Try to plan and schedule your physical activity 1 week in advance. This way you will have an outline to follow without spending time everyday trying to fit a physical activity into your life.

Allocate the time necessary to do your daily exercises, and document your physical activity by keeping a diary and recording the duration and intensity of exercise. A moderate amount of physical activity is roughly equivalent to physical activity that uses approximately 150 calories of energy per day, or 1,000 calories per week.

If you are a beginner, or lead a very sedentary lifestyle, very light activity would include increased standing activities, room painting, pushing a wheelchair, yard work, ironing, cooking, and playing a musical instrument.

Light activity would include slow walking (24 min/mile), garage work, carpentry, house cleaning, child care, golf, sailing, and recreational table tennis.

Moderate activity would include walking a 15-minute mile, weeding and hoeing a garden, carrying a load, cycling, skiing, tennis, and dancing.High activity would include jogging a mile in 10 minutes, walking with a load uphill, tree felling, heavy manual digging, basketball, climbing, and soccer.

Other key activities would include flexibility exercises to attain full range of joint motion, strength or resistance exercises, and aerobic conditioning.

U.S Department of Health and Human Services

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