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Wanna Lose Weight? Then Exercise 60-90 Minutes Everyday

Many Americans have thrown in the towel with exasperation after hearing the new dietary guidelines recommending 30 to 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day.

However, time-use researchers and exercise experts aren‘t accepting any excuses, declaring almost everyone can find the time and motivation during the day to squeeze in a little physical activity. The only people who can get away with the argument of not having enough time during the day to exercise are: The most time-crunched people aged 30 to 45, parents of young children and people who work over 40 hours a week.

Part of the problem for the rest of the population is that out of the nearly 40 hours of estimated free time a week in the United States, 15 to 20 of those hours are spent watching television. A professor of exercise science, who was also part of the committee responsible for developing the new exercise guidelines, also explained that some people might feel intimidated by the recommendations, though not everyone is required to exercise at the highest level possible.

People simply need to determine which activity level personally applies to them and, hopefully, exercising won‘t seem so overwhelming.

The 30-Minute Minimum

Whether the activity is divided up into 10- and 15-minue segments, most people benefit from at least 30 minutes of exercise, minimum, a day to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. Some suggested ways to reach this amount include:

• Dancing
• Biking
• Walking briskly
• Golfing
• Shoveling snow
• Swimming
• Pacing while talking on the phone
• Shooting hoops

As the list above shows, the guidelines don‘t require meeting the time recommendations through structured exercise alone. Half the time can be spent on a structured activity, while the other half can be accumulating from using the stairs or walking around whenever possible (at work, the mall, home, etc.). But for people exercising 30 minutes and still experiencing weight gain, increasing the time to 60 minutes is required.

Additionally, those who have lost a significant amount of weight and are striving to keep it off might need as much as 90 minutes of exercise a day.

Making Exercise a Priority

Most people can reach the recommended exercise goals by simply making it part of their daily routine. The key is to make exercise a habit and figure out what time of the day works best, such as:

  • Before going to work
  • During lunch hour
  • Right after work
  • In the evening with a friend


*USA Today January 19, 2005



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