Fitness


It is estimated that as many as 25% of Americans lead completely sedentary lives. In March 2004, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched public awareness campaign, entitled Healthy Lifestyles and Disease Prevention, to encourage American families to take small, manageable steps within their current lifestyle, such as using the stairs instead of the elevator, to ensure effective, long-term weight control. The campaign includes multi-media public service announcements and a new interactive website, www.smallstep.gov.

In addition, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has developed a free exercise guide for adults, which is available online at www.nia.nih.gov. The NIH and other Federal agencies also offer free information about excessive weight and what can be done about it, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Consumer Information Center.

Lack of exercise is well documented to be a leading cause of obesity, heart disease, hypertension and a host of other physical ailments. The benefits of exercise to bariatric patients are well documented. 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week is strongly recommended. Researchers suggest that moderate physical activity means walking at a speed of at least 100 steps per minute on level ground; something like a brisk walk.