Overweight and obese individuals have an increased risk of developing diabetes and other serious health conditions. However, there are steps you can take to get on the fast track to an ideal weight and improved health. Here are some tips from the American Diabetes Association.

Consult with your healthcare provider. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a health condition such as diabetes or just want to be more active, it’s important that your physician determine the appropriate level of exercise for you.

Find an exercise partner. This person can help motivate you to stick with your exercise plan. If you join a workout class, you’re more likely to show up when you know someone else is counting on you to be there.

Continuously pace yourself and make an attempt to engage in regular physical activity. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Walk or bicycle to work if it's within a reasonable distance from your house. Take a 15-minute walk outside instead of to the break room vending machine.

Get enough Zzzs. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation and if you have health complications, you’re more likely to be worn down by daily activities before you can get around to exercising. Putting in the extra effort to get a good night's rest on a regular basis can give you the boost you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Take time to relax and unwind daily. Stress can wear you down, mentally and physically. Do your best to address any factors that may be creating unnecessary stress, whether it's your job, friends, or family.

If you’d like to lose weight and improve your overall health, consider a medically supervised weight loss program. A medical professional can assist you in creating a custom diet and setting weight loss goals that suit you.