HOW Much Exercise Do You Need to Maintain Your Weight?
How much exercise do you need to maintain your weight? This week’s Harvard study reports 60 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise 7 days a week.
Sixty minutes a day 7 days a week? Did I hear that one correctly – 7 hours a week?
The researchers were not studying prevention of diabetes, cancer, heart disease or how to lose weight – just how to maintain it.
If you want to prevent diabetes, studies show walking 30 minutes per day can lower your risk by 58%. For men, thirty minutes of exercise per day lowers the risk of morbidity and mortality by 50%.
However, these researchers were not looking at disease prevention. They analyzed 34,000 healthy US women of normal body weight to see how much exercise was required to MAINTAIN their body weight over 13 years.
The Los Angeles Times quoted: “we wanted to see in regular folks – people not on any particular diet – what level of physical activity do you need to prevent weight gain over time,” said the lead author of the study, Dr. I-Min Lee, an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard University. “It’s a large amount of activity. If you’re not willing to do a high amount of activity, you need to curtail your calories a lot.”
I can relate. I have terrible genetics. And because I like to eat, I am at the gym by 5:30 AM most days. I figure if I want to look like my job and not become diabetic or obese there is not a choice – like taking a shower or brushing my teeth.
Some days I’m on autopilot but the rewards of not having diabetes, heart disease in addition to maintaining a healthy weight are the payoffs. Being comfortable in my body, having good energy and restful sleep keeps me motivated to stick to the program.
Even if you unable to exercise this much, the health benefits of some exercise out weigh coach potatoism.