Increasing physical activity and exercise is a highly recommended weight loss strategy. Exercise can take many forms—a structured program at a local gym, an informal program at home (e.g., working with an exercise video), or just adding activity throughout the day.

Some patients choose to park far from a store entrance to take advantage of the extra walk, some ride a stationary bike while watching television, and others choose stairs instead of elevators.

Doctors recommend exercise programs that combine aerobic exercise (e.g., walking, participating in an aerobics class) and strength training (e.g., lifting weights). The key is for patients to burn more calories than they consume.

Publication Review By: Karen Larson, M.D.

Published: 15 Nov 2006

Last Modified: 30 Jul 2015