Q: Why is exercise a big deal?
A: Exercise has so many benefits for people who want to lose weight. Regular exercise helps you burn calories faster, even when you're sitting still. Exercise does this by raising your metabolism. It also helps you burn fat and build muscle. So, even if you don't lose pounds, you may lose inches.
Exercise also tends to curb your appetite. It's a healthy alternative to eating for entertainment. It can help reduce stress. Exercise is good for the health of your heart and bones too.
Q: What's the best type of exercise?
A: The best kind of exercise is exercise that you'll keep doing throughout your life.
Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and helps burn calories. The longer you exercise, the more your body will burn fat. Working out for even as little as 10 minutes at a time will help you get some benefit from aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercises include swimming, walking fast, jogging and bicycling. Try to work up to 20 to 30 minutes at leas three times a week.
Walking, even at a slow rate, can be very helpful. If you choose this as your exercise, work up to walking for one hour, five times a week.
The main thing to remember is that any sort of exercise is better than none at all.
For more information on this and other health topics, visit the College of Family Physicians of Canada's (CFPC's) Web site www.cfpc.ca or talk to your family doctor.
If you have questions on this or other health topics you'd like to see addressed in future articles, please e-mail healthtopics@CFPC.ca.