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6 ways to get — and stay — active at any size

woman exercising outside Are you overweight but want to be more active? The good news is that physical activity is safe for most people, and the health benefits outweigh the risks.

Before getting started, speak with your health care provider with questions or concerns, or if you have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or a bone or joint condition.

Current guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly, gradually increasing time and intensity as your strength and fitness levels improve.

The key is to choose activities you enjoy. You’re more likely to stay active if you’re having fun. Finding a fitness buddy or group activity can help you stay motivated. Try one or more of the following:

  1. Walking: Easy, free and can be done anywhere
  2. Water exercises and swimming: Use all muscle groups and are easy on the joints
  3. Biking: Distributes weight between arms, hips and back, and helps your heart and lungs.
  4. Strength training: Improves strength and balance, and helps prevent falls
  5. Dancing: Tones muscles while helping your heart and lungs.
  6. Yoga, tai chi and Pilates: Build strength and flexibility, improve balance and help you relax