For example, you can put yourself at risk if you don't usually get much physical activity and then all of a sudden do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like shoveling snow.That's why it's important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity.If you want to know more about how physical activity improves your health, the section below gives more detail on what research studies have found. Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in controlling your weight.

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Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time.

For more information see our section on balancing calories.

When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need.

If you have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, talk with your doctor to find out if your condition limits, in any way, your ability to be active.

Then, work with your doctor to come up with a physical activity plan that matches your abilities.

If you're not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you're afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, are rare during physical activity.But the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual.If your condition stops you from meeting the minimum , try to do as much as you can. Even 60 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is good for you.The bottom line is - the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt.You may need to be more active than others to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.To maintain your weight: Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week.