How much exercise do you need?

Twenty minutes of moderate exercise per day is a great place to start your exercise routine. This is just cardio and does not include weight training.

Moderate physical activities include:

  • Walking briskly (about a 15 minute mile)
  • Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)
  • General gardening (raking, trimming shrubs)
  • Dancing.
  • Golf (walking and carrying clubs)
  • Water aerobics.
  • Canoeing.
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking

Moderate exercise means you can carry on a conversation in a somewhat breathless manner.

If you are not used to moving, if your idea of a ‘workout’ is looking for the remote in the cushions of your sofa, moderate exercise is going to feel like strenuous exercise. It is important that before you begin to workout, you go to your doctor for a check up and see if you can survive working out. Seriously. Going from zero to brisk walking could kill you but do not let that keep you from exercising because not doing anything can also kill you. Exercise safe, AND smart by checking with your doctor first. He/she will be thrilled to know you are interested in making improvements to your health.

If you are VERY over weight and out of shape, you will need to work your way up to 20 minutes per day and that’s ok. If all you can manage to do at first is a 2-3 minute workout you have accomplished more toward improving your health than not doing anything at all.

If you are somewhat active but need more intensity, you can work yourself up to 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity per week or a mix of moderate and vigorous activity while you adjust to your new, personal, intensity levels.

Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities:

  • hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack.
  • running.
  • swimming laps.
  • aerobic dancing.
  • heavy yard-work like continuous digging or hoeing.
  • tennis (singles)
  • cycling 10 miles per hour or faster.
  • jumping rope.

Physical activity us needed to lose, AND maintain weight loss. Unfortunately, you don’t get to hit your weight loss goal and then stop working out and eating clean. Being fit is a continual journey. You may not have realized it, but being overweight is also a journey. It takes maintenance to keep weight on, it takes maintenance to keep it off.

Have you decided on a fitness goal to achieve before the end of the year? If not, now is a great time to set a realistic goal that has nothing to do with the scale. That’s right. A non-scale fitness goal.

Whatever your goal/s aim for consistency, not perfection, and be sure to set REALISTIC goals. Setting the bar too high can often result in defeat. You want to set a goal that is challenging for you but also realistic.