Balance Food and Activity for a Healthy Weight | Fitness | DNPAO

Physical activity

How much physical activity you need depends mainly on your age.

  • Preschool children (ages 3 to 5) should be physically active throughout the day for growth and development.
  • Children and adolescents (ages 6 to 17) need 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Children and teenagers need aerobic activity, which strengthens muscles and helps build strong bones.
    A woman doing a yoga pose
  • Women who are pregnant or after giving birth, with your doctor’s approval, should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, such as brisk walking. It’s best to spread this activity out throughout the week, such as 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Adult need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week (maybe 30 minutes per day, five days a week) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week. Adults also need two days a week for muscle-strengthening activities.
  • Adults 65 years and older at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking, at least two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities, and activities to improve balance, such as standing on a foot.

People who are physically active can still wait if they take in more calories than they use. A healthy lifestyle includes physical activity, calorie restriction, and adequate nutrition.

Other factors

receive enough Sleep can help you manage your body weight. Age, genetics, disease, medications, and environment can also contribute to overweight and obesity.

As people age, their body composition gradually changes—muscle percentage decreases and fat percentage increases. This change slows down their metabolism, making it easier for them to gain weight. In addition, some people become less physically active as they age, increasing the risk of weight gain.

Genetics can directly cause obesity in specific disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. However, genes do not always predict future health. In some cases, multiple genes may increase susceptibility to obesity, but obesity does not occur without excess food or too little physical activity. See More information.

Some diseases can lead to obesity or weight gain. These can include Cushing’s disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. Medications such as steroids and some antidepressants can also cause weight gain.

Your doctor is the best source to tell you if an illness or medication is contributing to your weight gain or making it difficult to lose weight.

Environmental factors such as lack of sidewalks can keep people physically inactive. Communities, families, and workplaces can all influence people’s health decisions.


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