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Exercise Becoming More Popular in US

Many Americans are facing serious health issues associated with unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise. With growing health concerns, more people are joining gyms for exercise and the motivation to change their eating habits. For Producer Ana Ward, VOA's Jim Bertel has more on the benefits of working out.

More and more Americans are joining gyms across the country. Some go to get back into shape. Others go as a way to relieve stress. No matter what the reason one thing is for certain. These people understand the benefits and the importance of exercise.

One gym user, Rad, told us, "Its pretty important. It makes me feel good especially if I do it after work or at lunch like I am now."

Rad is an advertising consultant and like many people, is in a position that has him behind a desk for most of the day. So going to the gym is the best way for him to stay fit and relieve the stress of everyday life.

"It gives you more energy, makes you feel healthier, and lets you eat more of the food you want to eat without feeling guilty," he says.

Rad and other gym goers understand that by working out they are preventing the onset of serious health issues such as obesity. According to the American Obesity Association, 127 million adults are overweight, while 60 million are obese

This condition can lead to other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. With such frightening statistics it is no wonder that more and more people are getting into shape.

Jason DeRavaniere is the District Manager of the Washington Sports Club. He says that more and more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of exercise. "People are realizing that when they do work out and when they eat right, they'll actually, its been proven that they'll live a longer life and you know, a lot of people want to live a longer life for their families, for their kids, so it's really good to see that now."

Like many other gyms, the Washington Sports Club offers various programs and equipment to keep gym goers motivated to work out. "We have aerobics classes you know different types of classes yoga, pilates, boxing just to name a few."

And Rad, the busy consultant, says it does not have to take much time out of your schedule to go to the gym. He says, "I usually come 3 to 4 times a week."

Even if you cannot make it to the gym that often, fitness experts say a minimal amount of daily exercise will help maintain a long and healthy life.