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A little exercise can bring significant weight-loss results

Sure, sweating in the gym isn’t fun for everyone, but exercise can promote weight loss and lead to healthier life.

There are also ways to weave beneficial exercise into anyone’s life.

In fact, some people notice health improvements with as little as 60-minutes of exercise per week. More significant changes can occur after 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise in a week. And if you think about it, that’s not much of a time investment.

The U.S. government put out new health guidelines in 2008 using evidence from several studies. They outlined that:

  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of a range of health problems.
  • Some physical activity is better than none.
  • There are greater benefits as physical activity increases in intensity, frequency, and duration.
  • Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes per week of moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with increased physical activity.
  • Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) activity are beneficial.
  • Everyone from a child to an older adult benefits from exercise.

While studies shows that physical activity helps people maintain a stable weight, exactly how much exercise a specific person needs is variable.

In fact, many people need more than the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week to maintain their weight.

However, 150-300 minutes, or about five hours, of exercise weekly can help someone stabilize his or her weight.

Simply walking at a pace of about 4 mph can not only promote a healthier weight, but also strengthen muscles.


 

Can’t Block out Time to Go to the Gym?

Don’t worry, everyday chores can equal weight loss, too.

Here’s a weight-loss secret: you don’t have to get all of your exercise in at one time.

That’s right; the benefits of exercise add up throughout the course of the day. And, you can start slow, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Get going with 30 minutes of walking a day, three days a week. Then, work up to 45 minutes, or more. Shoot for five days a week at a brisk pace. That’s enough to burn 100 to 200 calories daily.

Most people should strive to reach at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, and that doesn’t mean repetitious gym workouts. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a difference.

But what else might be considered moderate activity? Consider this guide:

Daily chores

  • Washing and waxing a car (45–60 minutes)
  • Washing windows or floors (45–60 minutes)
  • Gardening (30–45 minutes)
  • Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles (30 minutes)
  • Raking leaves (30 minutes)
  • Walking 2 miles (30 minutes) [15 min/mile]
  • Shoveling snow (15 minutes)
  • Stairwalking (15 minutes)

    Sports

  • Playing volleyball (45–60 minutes)
  • Playing touch football (45 minutes)
  • Walking 1.75 miles (35 minutes) [20 min/mile]
  • Shooting the basketball (30 minutes)
  • Bicycling 5 miles (30 minutes)
  • Social dancing (30 minutes)
  • Water aerobics (30 minutes)
  • Swimming laps (20 minutes)
  • Playing basketball (15–20 minutes)
  • Bicycling 4 miles (15 minutes)
  • Jumping rope (15 minutes)
  • Running 1.5 miles (15 minutes)