Losing weight can be a challenge, but regular exercise can make it much easier. Consistent exercise can improve overall health and wellness, and lower the risk of serious, chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Over the past two decades, obesity has increased dramatically in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and the numbers skew even higher among African American women, who have the highest rates of obesity.
The good news is that obesity is reversible and preventable with good nutrition and exercise. Sticking to a diet low in fat and sugar, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish, and whole grains is the first and best step in a healthy-eating program.
Exercise is the other step. So let’s take advantage of the warm summer weather and get our bodies moving outdoors. The CDC recommends two-and-a-half hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking, plus muscle-strengthening exercises such as weight training, push-ups and sit-ups. Granted, sticking to a regular exercise routine can be challenging, so here are some tips to help you overcome those common obstacles.
Obstacle: “I don’t know where or how to begin.”
Solution: Keep it simple. A good place to start is making walks part of your weekly routine. Invest in good walking shoes, grab your iPod and aim for a 30-minute walk several times a week.
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