How important is physical activity when trying to lose weight?

It takes two to tango. A good diet without physical activity will make losing weight and gaining fitness more difficult. Physical activity helps to burn up kilocalories from the food we eat and build up muscles, which in turn increases our metabolism and assists in weight control.

What types of physical activity are recommended for getting back in shape?

Aerobic activities like power walking, jogging, rollerblading, squash, tennis and aerobics will help you to lose body fat. Weight training helps to increase muscle tissue, which in turn can reward you with a body that is well toned and looks great.

Can I do any type of exercise I like without endangering my health?

Unless you are young and in good health, it is recommended that you have a medical check-up before embarking on a new form of exercise. This is especially important for intensive exercise.

I have no time for structured exercise. What can I do instead?

Our daily life offers many opportunities for working out - working around the house, gardening, taking the stairs instead of the lift and getting off the bus one stop before your destined stop and walking the extra distance. These activities add up and can contribute to your recommended 30 minutes (or more) of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

My 10-year old is gaining weight. How can I help him/her become more physically active?

Look for opportunities before and after school to get your child moving. The key is to encourage and support things that they like doing, such as playing outdoors in the back yard, riding their bike or swimming at the local pool. Perhaps you could ask your child to give you a hand with some chores around the house, like sweeping the veranda. Or you could walk your child to and from school – it will help you keep fit too.