Navigate Up

Weight Management Tips — Exercise

Successful weight management involves reducing the amount of calories you take in, increasing your exercise level, and making lifestyle changes. This information will help you understand how exercise can affect your weight.

Regular physical exercise:

  • Increases the rate at which you burn calories (metabolism)

  • Increases your energy level

  • Improves your sleep

  • Prevents the loss of muscle mass during weight reduction

  • Reduces your risk of certain chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes)

  • Improves your bone density

  • Improves your self-esteem and sense of control

How to get Started

Beginning an exercise plan can be a difficult first step. Here are some practical tips to help you get started:

  • Choose activities you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle. You’ll be more apt to stick to a plan if it is something you really enjoy and can do easily.

  • Find an exercise buddy. It’s more fun and more motivating if you have someone to exercise with you. If you have not been active, ease into an exercise routine. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of physical activity a day and gradually increase this to 30 minutes every day. Brisk walking is a great way to start.

  • Remember all of the little things you can do throughout the day to burn calories.

They really add up

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Park your car a little farther away and walk the extra distance.

  • Skip the golf cart or caddie — carry your own clubs.

  • Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way.

  • Take a walk during your lunch break.

  • Forget the remote. Get out of the chair to change the channel.

  • Wash your car instead of going through a car wash.

Cut down on the amount of time you spend sitting

  • Limit your television or computer time.

  • Walk to the mailbox or corner store.

  • Take a break from the computer every hour while at work. Get up and take a walk around the office.

  • Work in the garden, clean your house, or go dancing.

  • Play catch, Frisbee, or some other outdoor activity.

  • Make a list of all the sedentary things you do during the day (things you do while sitting down) and figure out a way to reduce them by 1 hour.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |