Inactivity vs. Being Overweight

Be Active

Being inactive is more harmful to our health that being overweight.

To promote and maintain health, adults should acquire at least 150 minutes/week of at least moderate-intensity physical activity done at least 10 minutes at a time. Moderate-intensity is something that makes our heart beat faster and our lungs breathe harder than normal, such as brisk walking.

To lose weight and improve chronic diseases, at least 300 minutes/week of at-least moderate-intensity physical activity done at least 10 minutes at a time is required for most people.

Fitness versus Being Overweight

Having a low fitness is much more harmful to our health than having excess body weight. Our fitness level is directly related to how active we are – the more active we are, the fitter we will be. We know, for example, that an individual who is considered overweight and that has a high fitness level because they’re active has much less risk for chronic diseases than an individual considered to have a healthy weight but that is unfit.

A Healthy Weight

The most effective way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight is to both diet and exercise. People who have lost 30 or more pounds and maintained their loss for at least a year:

  • Exercise about an hour a day
  • Watch less than 10 hours of TV a week
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Weigh themselves at least once a week

We know that our public’s physical activity levels have been pretty much the same for about 20 years. In contrast, the number of individuals dieting has increased during this same time. This is alarming considering the marginal risk that having a harmful body weight is compared to being unfit.

Calculate Your BMI

Figure your Body Mass index (BMI) using your weight and height.
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