What is obesity?
Obesity results from energy imbalance: too many calories in, too few calories burned. A number of factors influence how many calories you burn each day, among them, age, body size, genes and the amount of physical activity you complete.
Risks of obesity
As well as causing physical changes, it can increase the likelihood of developing a number of serious long-term health conditions including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Certain types of cancer including bowel and breast cancer
Top Tips to Combat Obesity
- Start small. The biggest improvements come from making small changes that you can increase safely, and incorporate into your daily routine. Like taking the stairs not the lift; Parking at the back of the car park not by the door; Getting off the bus a stop early; Walk short journeys.
- Gradually increase to 20-30 minutes of exercise to breathlessness each day, starting small with gradual steps aiming to increase your exercise capacity.
- Aerobic activities are best – try starting with a gentle walk, bike ride, or swim.
- Strength building activity is also important. Try yoga or some resistance work to keep muscles strong.
- Physical activity can positively influence weight loss and weight loss maintenance but it is suggested to work best when combined with a lower calorie eating plan.
- Even if increasing your physical activity levels does not result in you losing weight, it can bring other health benefits such as reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by reducing visceral (internal organ) fats.
- To help with weight loss, unless you reduce your energy intake, it is recommended you complete 225 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 110 – 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week. Or you can complete a mixture of moderate and vigorous activity
- To help maintain your weight after weight lost at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week is required.
- Moderate intensity physical activity is any activity that increases your heart and breathing rate and may make you sweat, but you are still able to hold a normal conversation.
- Vigorous intensity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
- In addition to increasing physical activity, reduce the amount of time you spend inactive such as sitting, watching television or using a computer. Moving little and often at least twice an hour will benefit you.
- Try some more sociable exercises, like doubles tennis, dancing, yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or brisk walking with a friend. Exercising with a friend can help keep you committed.
- Try using an app like Public Health England's Active 10 app to monitor your walks and ensure you're walking briskly.
- Are you uncomfortable exercising in a group? There are lots of home-based activities that you can do to improve strength, stamina, and flexibility: mowing the lawn, digging in the garden or pushing a wheelbarrow, or doing
- As your strength, confidence and stamina improves, try to aim for the recommended 150 minutes moderate activity per week. This can be broken down into bouts of 10 - 20 minutes whenever you can fit it in.