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How much exercise?

By Anne Keckler | January 28, 2008

Many people are confused about how much exercise they should do.  For years we’ve read and heard that we should work out three times a week, or we should exercise for half an hour a day.  But it really depends on your goals, and your fitness level.

Most people initially ask this question because they are out of shape and want to lose weight, so I’ll speak to that issue for now.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has for years recommended a half hour of moderate intensity exercise per day, on most or all days of the week.   They have recently amended that recommendation for overweight individuals.  If you want to lose weight you will probably need to exercise for an hour each day.  Don’t panic!  This hour doesn’t have to be all at once, and it certainly doesn’t have to be an all-out effort that leaves you huffing and puffing and in pain.

Start with ten minutes of exercise, such as a brisk walk, jumping jacks, climbing stairs, or whatever, done six times a day.  If you combine this with a sensible diet, you’ll see the weight drop off, and you’ll feel better in no time!

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Topics: Exercise, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “How much exercise?”

  1. William Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Oh, I didn’t realise they had changed it to one hour. But I’m glad you mention that it can be done in multiple steps, or it would seem insurmountable!

    You should probably write an article on tracking your progress, too; I have no idea how I’m coming along with my weight/fat loss.

  2. Stormcaller Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    It might also be worth noting that general housework is worth a good chunk of that recommended hour- I think the study I read about it suggested that things like cleaning, cooking, vacuuming, and laundry, on average, can count for fifteen to thirty minutes. So it might be easier than it sounds- just make the effort to keep your home clean and your closet full, and you’ll be on your way!

  3. Vicham Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I have a fairly sedentary lifestyle (desk job in IT, plus little to do at home aside from goof off on my pc), but I’ve worked in trips to the gym 3 times a week for a little over a hour with each session. Despite my sedentary ways for 90%+ of the week, the workouts combined with some diet changes suggested by Anne have made me a much healthier person than I was a year or so ago.

    Regarding the tracking of weight loss, one could use a workout journal like I have that I use to keep track of how many reps/sets I do at the gym. I’m pretty sure such journals have space in them to jot down weight. Same could go with body fat, but that would have to be done less frequently.

  4. mantispid Says:
    January 28th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    The content looks good. I’d love to see a breakdown of exercise types, and the relative amount of energy use of each type of exercise. I.e., running vs. walking vs. swimming vs. biking, etc.

    Might want to check out color schemes of other popular sites and see how they organize and format their content.

  5. Sandy Says:
    January 29th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I didn’t know about the change to an hour. So have learned something new. Now if I can just get restarted.

  6. James Lemoine II Says:
    January 31st, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    When referring to moderate intensity exercise, I believe they are stating you should be in the neighborhood of 70% of your maximum heart rate for the prescribed length of time. What this means is that you’ll have to do some cardio workout. House cleaning is not going to cut it.

    When new to exercising, it is not difficult to get the heart rate up to where it needs to be, and aside from cardiovascular fitness, your bodies joints and muscles probably could not take a half hour. But it can build up to that in a couple of weeks.


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