Physical inactivity and obesity are associated with increased morbidity and mortality from numerous health conditions. Conversely, regular physical activity may reduce the deleterious effects of many obesity-related diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. While exercise appears to have limited impact on the initiation of weight loss, it is an important factor in maintaining weight loss and may prevent weight gain. Healthcare providers should provide specific, individualized suggestions to obese patients regarding the intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise to improve compliance. Certain populations such as adolescents, older adults, and individuals with type 2 diabetes deserve particular attention regarding exercise counseling. Even though dietary changes are essential, physical activity plays a fundamental role in the long-term management of obesity and its related complications.
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