A poll on our site shows that most kids think that "distracting fun activities" is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.  Exercise can be fun and distracting, so that you forget about food, you burn calories, and you help your health.

Group exercise (video at lower left) gives you social support and, if is done to music, it is quite fun.  Lively music motivates you, so you don't even feel that you are "working out".  And the class instructor or leader keeps you going.

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery. There is a joy in feeling the  movement of our own bodies that many of us forget. But we can get it back! Find the right activity and you can have fun... trampoline anyone? Exercise not because you have to, but because it is so much fun!

What do you enjoy? Swimming? Basketball? Tennis? Biking? Volleyball? All the sports you like are still out there. Sports don't have to be competitive.  If you don't like competitive sports look for non-competitive sports like hiking, biking, swimming, and rollerbladingl!

Is there a sport you never tried before because you didn't have time? Let losing weight be your excuse to make time for it now! Always wanted to learn karate, or how to do a kayak? What's stopping you?!

One way to get your body moving and enjoy social interaction at the same time is to take up dancing. Dancing - any kind, from hip hop to lindy hop - is excellent exercise. But it won't even cross your mind that you're working out as you swing across the dance floor. If you don't know how, it's never too late to learn! There are classes available in everything from swing-dancing to tap-dancing.  It doesn't matter what kind you choose - they all get your body moving, burn off calories and are fun!  Click on the picture at right for more dancing info -->

Exercise is great fun. Find the kind of exercise that's fun for you, and your workout will become the highlight of your day!

Why exercise is so important: 

1) Exercise is essential for weight control. Extra good news: exercise increases your metabolic rate, and your metabolic rate tends to stay up even after you stop exercising. So you go on burning more calories than usual for hours after you've finished your workout!

2) Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of dozens of ailments, especially heart and coronary artery disease.

3) Exercise is a powerful anti-depressant. Recent studies show that exercise may be as effective as medication in fighting depression - and easier to stick with for the long run! 

4) Exercise helps prevent insomnia (poor sleep).

5) Exercise increases your over-all sense of well-being. When you exercise, nerve cells in your brain release natural pain-killing chemicals called "endorphins." And endorphins are very good for you. Studies conducted over the last 20 years show that endorphins give you an increased sense of well being, a decrease in anxiety, increased ability to cope with stress, an increased tolerance for pain - and they strengthen your immune system!

6) Exercise improves your self-confidence and self-esteem. And - it makes you look better!

If you're already exercising, keep it up! You're absolutely doing the right thing. If not, check with your doctor. And then get moving!  (right: tap dancing)                                                                                 

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