As a society we're out of shape and overweight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity results in 300,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States alone.

Foot and Fork Disease
More than 60 percent of all Americans are classified as overweight or obese, while at any given time 30 to 40 percent of us are trying to go from fat to fit. Doctors have come up with a new label for this all-to-common problem of the "under-active foot" combined with the "over-active fork", or simply put, Foot and Fork Disease. So how can you go about increasing your activity level to match your caloric intake without exercising hours a day and eating like a bird?

Let's take a closer look at several options you might consider.

Ten ways to increase activity levels for pain-free weight loss

Walk, don't drive

Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking or even bicycle riding to work, the local stores, or wherever you can. This is a built-in calorie burner that everybody has access to.

Take up a sport

Play racquetball, join a softball team or a hiking club, or even learn to play golf. Burning calories while you have fun is totally painless.

Mow the lawn

Fire your gardener. The work involved in maintaining a healthy lawn, not to mention a flourishing garden will have you burning 400 calories an hour.

Take the kids to the park

This is another example of playing to burn calories. Running around with your 12 year old in the park all afternoon will make it clear to you why kids can eat and eat and not gain an ounce.

Wash the car yourself
Spend the afternoon washing and waxing the car. You'll save $10 or $15 and burn about 300 or 400 calories and hour.

Take the stairs

Pass on the elevator and escalator rides. Stair climbing is excellent aerobic exercise, and it also builds strong legs.

Limit television watching

The time you spend planted in front of the TV does not reward you with many calories burned. At least get up and move around during the commercials.

Park far away

On your next trip to the local mall or supermarket, don't circle the parking lot looking for the closest spot. In contrast, park as far from the store entrance as possible and walk, you'll be glad you did.

Volunteer your services

Once a week, for an afternoon or evening, volunteer your services at your local hospital or good will organization. This will not only benefit the physical body, but will give you a spiritual and psychological boost as well.

Exercise

OK, you knew I couldn't possibly leave this one out. Workout for 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. The benefits are endless, and too long to list here, but exercise is considered the closest thing we've come to the fountain of youth.


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