Acknowledgements: Perry Esterson, MS, ATC, PT; Robert Finkne, ATC, PT; Vanessa Mirabelli, PT; Barbara Sanders, MS, PT
Physical therapists suggest that you follow the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity every day. It doesn’t have to be done all at once; it can be accumulated throughout the course of the day.
Remember that physical activity does not have to be done at the gym. It can be a “lifestyle” activity such as taking walks, gardening or using the stairs at work.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, weight loss, as modest as 5 to 15 percent of total body weight in a person who is overweight or obese, reduces the risk factors for some diseases, particularly heart disease. Weight loss can result in lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and improved cholesterol levels.
Individuals who know or think they have pre-existing medical conditions should consult a health care provider before beginning an exercise program.
Adults who have never exercised or who are currently sedentary should consult a health care provider before beginning an exercise program.
When you are ready for a total fitness program, it should include aerobic conditioning, muscle strengthening, and flexibility training.
Warming up before exercising and cooling down afterwards can help to prevent injury, especially as your exercise program becomes more vigorous.
If you are overweight, consider beginning with low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or walking. These activities put less strain on joints.
If you are overweight and participate in an exercise program, don’t stop exercising just because you don’t lose weight. There are health-related benefits associated with physical activity even when weight loss does not occur.
Because of their knowledge of aerobic conditioning, body mechanics, muscles and joints, and pre-existing conditions, physical therapists are able to develop personalized conditioning programs to help prevent injury and promote fitness.
Source – APTA