obesity prevention with exercise

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 36 percent of Americans are obese (CDC. 2015). The number is quite worrying since it means that more than one-third of the population is obese or overweight. The number may also mean that Americans are either overeating or are so poor that they do not expend the calories they use in their everyday lives. Considering the adverse health effects of obesity, it is important that people implement proper methods of weight management to ensure that the future of the country is safe and that the health sector does not eat a lot much into the money of the taxpayers. Exercise is one of the methods that are recommended for weight loss. In the paper, the center of discussion will be the role of exercise in the prevention of obesity. The paper will begin by defining obesity and its adverse impacts. The paper will also look at the different types of exercise and how they affect the maintenance of healthy weight.

Definition and Background of Obesity and Exercise

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 units. According to the CDC, the BMI of people is estimated by dividing the weight of the person in pounds by the height of the individual in inches squared before multiplying the result by 703 (CDC. 2015). The CDC gives data about obesity based on the different categories of people that live in the United States of America. The categories vary regarding ethnicities, age, and sex. According to CDC, obesity alone costs the American taxpayers approximately 147 billion dollars in medical expenditure in 2008. The figure must have increased by 2017. Also, the medical expenses of individuals who suffered from obesity were approximately 1,429 dollars more than their counterparts within the normal weight range in 2008 (CDC. 2015). The high medical expenses connected to the treatment, control, and deaths related to obesity are mostly not as the result of the direct effects of the condition, but the health hazards that the condition predisposes people to.

Exercise will be used in the paper to refer to the activities that require physical effort. Therefore, for an activity to be an exercise, it will have to cause energy expenditure and an increased heart rate. There are various types of physical exercise that physicians commonly prescribe for people to control their weight gain. They include swimming, walking, running, rope skipping, sparring in martial arts and other activities such as working. All the types of exercise have various roles in controlling the gaining of weight and toning the body as will be seen later in the essay.

Exercise in Preventing Obesity

When aiming at preventing obesity successfully, scientists think that eating well is one part of the equation while exercise is the other part. Exercise helps people to burn excess calories and create muscles in the different regions of the body. Furthermore, exercise is also important in preventing several health conditions, reduce chances of stress and make participants feel comfortable with themselves.

There is no need to join expensive gyms or even any gyms to perform the exercise. One can create a good program for fitness without even buying home equipment by taking part in the different daily activities that fit the description of the physical activity. Some of the day-to-day operations that qualify as physical activities and therefore are exercise include cleaning the house, shopping walking using stairs rather than the escalator or elevator and dancing among other things. The trick is to get one_x0092_s heart pumping and breaking a sweat to burn a significant amount of fats. According to the CDC, healthy adults are encouraged to participate in more than two and a half hours of aerobic work of moderate intensity every week (CDC. 2015). Moderate aerobic activities include brisk walking, the use of an elliptical machine and swimming among other activities. Alternatively, CDC recommends that healthy people should perform one and a half hour of vigorous aerobics every week. Such aerobic work includes cycling bicycles and running (CDC. 2015). Also, it is better to exercise in a schedule that is spread out throughout the week. CDC also recommends that people should get between half an hour to one hour of aerobic exercise on most of the days every week. People should also take part in strength training like yoga and weight lifting two times every week. The idea is supported by research findings that suggest that straining during the physical activities modulates the metabolic rates. The rate of metabolism was found to peak in physical activity that came 24 hours after initial event (Paes, Marins, & Andreazzi, 2015). Therefore, spreading the physical activity may optimize the results.

Diet and Aerobics

While exercise is already widely known to be the key to preventing obesity, its association with diet and consumption of calories is misunderstood. It is important to ensure that one burns more energy than they consume in their food. Therefore, the more one exercises, the less they need to reduce the intake of food. Therefore, instead of a person deducting 500 calories from their food intake, the person can cut 300 from their intake and burn 200 calories through physical activity. Therefore, one of the main ways in which exercise prevents the occurrence of obesity is by preventing the buildup of excess energy in terms of fats. The example above explains the working of aerobics in reducing chances of obesity. According to research, chronic as well as acute exercise creates changes in the physiologies of the participants that are beneficial in preventing obesity and other health risks that are common in overweight people (Paes, Marins, & Andreazzi, 2015). The researchers performed a literature review that led to their findings that aerobic activity triggers a chain of physiological changes that increase the intake of oxygen and the burning of fatty acid molecules as a source of stored energy in the body (Thyfault & Wright, 2016). Such biological activities reduce fat storage and therefore, reduces the chances of obesity.

Weight Training and Basal Metabolic Rate

Weight training and yoga uses a different mechanism of weight management to help prevent obesity. Weight lifting and yoga help participants to build stronger and bigger muscles than those who do not take part in the activities. The muscles that are created replace the fats that are responsible for the occurrence of obesity. Therefore, weight lifting directly prevents obesity by hindering fat deposition and replacing deposited fats with muscles. Also, the muscles that develop due to weight lifting and yoga increase the basal metabolic rates of the people. Basal metabolic rate is the energy breakdown or requirement when the body of a person is at rest. Therefore, the extra muscles that come to being because of weight lifting and other exercise create more surface area that is used in metabolism.


Despite the fact that it is almost general knowledge that exercise is important to prevent obesity and remain physically fit, many people still find problems when trying to exercise (Ferrara, Nobrega & Dulfan, 2013). Therefore, it is important to use integrated approaches to dealing with the issue of obesity to not only reduce the expenditure on treating obesity but also lessen the suffering by patients. Physicians, teachers, policymakers and other stakeholders should all play their part in ensuring that in ensuring that they fulfill their role in beating the problem of obesity (Yetter, 2009). Also, people should be informed more about how to relate exercise with their dietary habits. To ensure that the role of exercise is fully realized, when recommending exercise for people, they should also be told how to eat healthily and beat the increase in hunger that commonly reverses the gains of exercise as a way of preventing obesity (Gutin, 2011).


In conclusion, exercise is the primary way of preventing obesity among adults as well as children. There are also a variety of activities that people can partake to ensure that they avoid being overweight. The methods range from the conventional activities that happen in the gyms and the day to day activities that people commonly do or avoid during due to their physically demanding nature. Also, exercise works well when integrated with other weight management activities like dieting so that they complement each other. Therefore, adherence to healthy living that includes a preplanned routine of physical activities and a good dieting plan is important in preventing obesity and therefore comfortable living. More research needs to be done in order to ensure that the role of exercise is optimized in preventing obesity.


CDC. (2015, October 27). Strategies to Prevent Obesity. Retrieved October 01, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/index.html

Ferrara, C., Nobrega, C., & Dulfan, F. (2013). Obesity, diet, and physical activity behaviors of students in health-related professions. College student journal, 47(3), 560-565.

Gutin, B. (2011). Diet vs. exercise for the prevention of pediatric obesity: the role of exercise. International Journal of Obesity, 35(1), 29-32. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.140

Paes, S. T., Marins, J. C. B., & Andreazzi, A. E. (2015). Metabolic effects of exercise on childhood obesity: a current view. Revista Paulista de Pediatria, 33(1), 122-129.

Thyfault, J.P., & Wright, D.C. (2016). _x0093_Weighing_x0094_ the effects of exercise and intrinsic aerobic capacity: Are there beneficial effects independent of changes in weight? Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, 41(9), 911-916.Doi:101139/apnm-2016-0122

Yetter, G. (2009). Exercise-based school obesity prevention programs: An overview. Psychology in The Schools, 46(8), 739-747.

October 19, 2022
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Disease Control Population

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