A lot of us live our lives like penned animals. Built to move, too often we put ourselves in a cage. We have bodies designed for racing across the savannas, but we live a lifestyle designed for migrating from the bed to the breakfast table; to the car seat; to the office chair; to the restaurant booth; to the living room couch and back to the bed.

It was not always this way. Not long ago in the United States, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day; and his wife did the equivalent of 7 miles of jogging.

Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs, and if we want exercise, we have to seek it out.

In fact, health experts insist that obesity problem is probably caused at least as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people need to move around.

However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily dose of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few kilos for a while.

Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here is what to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.

1. Get quality sleep
Make sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day.

In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.

2. Walk the walk.
It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advices of some health experts.

Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.

3. Walk the treadmill.
When the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan.

Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.

4. Seize the time.
Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule.

Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.

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