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How Much Exercise Do I Need?

My family and I headed for “Hot Lanta” (Atlanta) last week for Spring Break. As you know, vacations are a great excuse for overeating. I mean why not?you are on vacation right? The only problem is that trying every luscious restaurant on your list, and eating anything and everything you want, leaves you sluggish and left at the end of the week with an extra 5-10# around your waist and hips! My husband and I are training for our first triathlon, so naturally we weren’t too keen on packing on extra pounds on our time off! It just so happens that Atlanta is a huge city. Our hotel was right down town so we could walk everywhere…to museums, parks, restaurants…in fact we did so much walking in the city, our kids begged us, after a few days, to find something we could do that required NO walking! They were definitely beat at the end of the day!

In addition to all the walking, my husband and I got up early three mornings of the week and utilized the hotel fitness room for work outs. As much food as we did enjoy, we did not add any unwanted weight on the trip…amazing! This just goes to show, exercise really does make a difference toward managing your weight!

Evidence shows that the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in physical activity. But how much is enough?

The American College Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity. This can be met by doing a 30-60 minute moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week, or a 20-60 minute vigorous intensity exercise 3 times a week.

When you exercise, one continuous session and/or multiple shorter sessions (at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable.  If you are just starting an exercise program, remember to gradually progress your exercise time, frequency and intensity, for better adherence and to prevent injury.

If individuals are unable to meet the ACSM recommendations, they can still benefit from some activity.

Exercise programs should include cardio routines (like walking, running, cycling, elliptical), resistance training for each major muscle group at least 2 times per week, and flexibility training at least 2 times per week. If you are unsure where to start, you can find a personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center that can help you set up an individualized program.

Exercise has many health benefits besides weight management! The key is to “just get started”!!!