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Physical Activity - Eat Wisely

Your weight is controlled by a number of things (PDF), including family history, what you eat and drink and how active you are. When you take in more calories than you use, you gain weight. The best way to lose weight is to eat and drink fewer calories and become more physically active.

Increasing physical activity, making healthy food choices (PDF) and changing your behavior (PDF) are the three things you need to do to successfully manage your weight.

Physical activity makes you feel great, has many health benefits, and is key to both weight loss and weight management.

The best thing about physical activity is that even a little can make you feel a whole lot better. In no time at all you will have more energy, sleep better and feel fit.

Introduced in October 2008 by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans provide recommendations that Americans aged 6 and older can use to help themselves become physically active on a regular basis. The Guidelines suggest that you can be active your way by choosing activities that best suit you and your lifestyle.

The basic message of the guidelines for adults is:

  1. Some activity is better than no activity, and more activity is better

  2. Do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity,
  3. 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

  4. Activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes and preferably spread out throughout the week

  5. For additional health benefits, do muscle strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week

For more information on physical activity, visit the Physical Activity Center in My HealtheVet. (Note: This will take you out of the Eat Wisely center to the Physical Activity center)

MOVE! Weight Management Program Handouts (PDF)

Basics of Weight Control (PDF)

Making Healthy Food Choices (PDF)

Change your Behavior (PDF)

Other Resources

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Physical Activity Center 

National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (VHA Office of Patient Care Services)

Updated January 2012