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Diet Tip: Exercise One Hour/Five Days a Week

When it comes to dieting, exercise really is the magic pill. Calorie restriction and exercise have long been known as the dieting duo necessary for success. Unfortunately the necessary amount of time spent exercising is often grossly underestimated.

New research from the University of Pittsburgh found that 55 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week was needed to not only lose weight, but more importantly to maintain weight. The four year study, involving 200 women, emphasizing the calorie restriction alone is not enough. Moderate exercise is necessary for getting the weight off and keeping it off, which often proves more difficult than losing the weight in the first place.

Just a reminder: moderate exercise is considered any activity that makes you "slightly breathless," and should be at least 50 percent of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). A higher heart rate will burn more calories, so if you're exercising as part of your weight loss plan, feel free to work out in a higher heart rate zone. This heart rate calculator will help guide you.


Learntolosefat Learntolosefat 4 years
This is so true, so many of us have tried at some stage the whole eating well but no exercise, or popping a weight loss pill and again no exercise. It simply doesn't work! I think what happens when we add regular exercise into our daily lives it becomes a habit and a positive lifestyle change for good not just for a phase.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I cycle 8 miles to work and 8 miles home... it takes me an hour each way. This is how I am currently getting my fitness dosage and I haven't been in the gym for a couple of weeks! I'm going today though. Cycling 16 miles a day really seems to have pushed through my weight plateau and my jeans are starting to fit again. ;p
neonbible neonbible 9 years
spectra you are right (3:30 am is crazy but good for you). if something is important you have to make time for it plain and simple. i wake up at around 5:00-5:45 am to workout and have lost over 30lbs and have another 30lbs to go, and it was all possible because I made it a must not matter what
Spectra Spectra 9 years
It's all a matter of priorities, IMHO. I have a job that starts at 6 am, so I get up at 3:30 to work out for an hour or 90 minutes and then I shower quick and drive 30 minutes to the lab. I usually walk during lunch and after work, I do my strength workout for 45 minutes or so. Then I cook dinner for my husband, do some laundry, clean my house, etc. I guess I just don't really watch as much TV as some other people I know do or whatever, but working out is important to me, so I MAKE time for it.
L7amiguita L7amiguita 9 years
I guess it's easier to work out if you enjoy it. I get together every week with a big group of friends and play basketball with them for a few hours. It's more of a relaxing time because everyone enjoys playing and we are able to socialize with each other :) But if your a person who doesn't really like exercising or doesn't have friends that like to either, I can see how working out 5 days out of the week can be very hard. But I do agree with the amount needed to be fit...I always thought the typical 3hrs a week or so was really understated.
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 9 years
i guess it all boils down to what is more important to you. i personally can't go without my workouts. i just realized today that i've worked out everyday since last Friday. i do either weights and cardio or pilates or yoga. i need to workout at least six days a week in order to feel good, sleep well and look good. i feel my immune system is pretty healthy due to my workouts and maintaining a schedule. i know i have friends who can't seem to work excercise in to their schedule but honestly i don't feel like it should be hard. its your health and well being after all. i know work and obligations can throw things out of whack but if you schedule time you can usually get a workout in. just an opinion.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 9 years
Its not really easy or fun to workout an hour every day, but it can be done. I workout between 1-2 hours every week day. I'm not saying it is easy, because its not impossible. Honestly, it does cut into social time and errands, but we all make sacrifices for the things we deem important to us.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
Its not a question of whether or not its possible, but a question of what your priorities are. Everyone has different priorities and thats OK. I wake up almost every morning at 5am and work out for an hour before work. On the weekends I take long bike ride with friends - I probably log more than 6 hours of exercise a week. I work 10 hours a day. I study a foreign language for an hour a day, with a 2 hour tutor once a week. I read a couple chapters of a book every night, watch 1 tv show and sleep 7 hours a night. I socialize both nights of the weekend, but save the week days for getting things accomplished. Its hard, I feel busy, but I have a lot of goals. I find working out in the morning easiest way to get it over with (and only have to shower once).
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I don't understand why this is such a big deal. I go to the gym 6 days a week for anywhere from 1-2 hours. And I still manage to have a social life, a full-time job and a part-time job. Maybe the rest of your lifestyle habits are making you overly tired? That said, while it's RECOMMENDED that you do 60 min/5 days a week, something is ALWAYS better than nothing.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
Fortunately, I am able to work out for 45 minutes at lunch everyday, and I come in about 15 minutes early, and leave about 15 minutes later, so no one notices that I cut out for about a total of 1 hour 15 in the middle of the day. But before that, I would do 30 minutes in the am and 30 minutes at the end of the day.
smarler smarler 9 years
It does seem like there are differing viewpoints on this. In fact, Fit posted just a few days ago that even short bouts of activity are just as good as longer training sessions (here's the link, in fact: Having said that, right now I'm exercising for about 65-70 minutes a day, 7 days a week. It's hard to squeeze it in, but I lay out all my gear before I go to bed, hop up in the morning, get dressed and hit it hard. Then I'm done with it for the day!
Advah Advah 9 years
Ugh it takes me 30mins to walk to work, and 30 mins back - leave the house at 8 and come back at 5.30pm. After that I need to lie down for a little while, and when I go for a run it's 15 mins at best - more than enough for me! And let's not mention this last week where I left work between 6.30-7pm each day, working out isn't my priority!
lizs lizs 9 years
I try for a total of 300 min of cardio every week + 60 min of strength training, and here's my schedule: MWF: 1 hour of cardio, 20 min of strength Saturday: 90 min of cardio Sunday: 30 min of cardio I usually stop to work out on my way home from work (or after happy hour, where I admit I don't really drink), or first thing on the weekends. Sometimes my fiance even joins me for my run. I leave Tuesdays and Thursdays free for errands, social time, etc....I get home around 8 pm on the nights when I work out, so I don't usually do much beyond dinner and a shower.
shmuffin123 shmuffin123 9 years
Seriously, all these researchers and universities need to get on the same page, just yesterday I read an article stating that the way to loose weight was to excercise in short intervals throughout the day. Like 15-20 minutes of exercise a couple to a few times a day. Basically the OPPOSITE of this article.
MandeeLei MandeeLei 9 years
Yeah I actually used to work out 7days a week and then slowly lowered it to 5days, that was when I was going to the gym. Now that I work out at home I work out 6days a week usually but usually for 30 min - 45 min. When I was going to the gym it would take me about 2 hrs to get everything in and get home and it was extremely unrealistic for my life and my schedule.
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
I hear ya as well. I don't spend nearly as much time on the train as you. My commute is about 40 minutes each way, so about an hour and twenty each day. I get to work around 730, and end up getting home from the gym about 12 hours later. Then I'm stuck trying to throw dinner for two together, by the time dinner is done, it's about 830 and I go to bed at 10. You don't get much of a social life that way! I love my weekends :o) Back in the day people used to walk a lot more, and I think that's how they got in their exercise. I could walk to the train, but it's about 2 miles each way... by then I'd be sweating, and who wants to go to work dripping wet??? not to mention how bad that would be in the winter! Oh well. I try to find exercise that I like doing so that it isn't such a burden. Thank goodness I don't have kids. I'm going to look for a job closer to my house in a few years. That should free up some time for me!
nutmeg84 nutmeg84 9 years
Ok, I'm slightly confused. I was always told to have a "rest day" between workouts. Is this wrong? You can't really do that if you work out 5 days a week.
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 9 years
Unrealistic. It's hard enough balancing a career, social life, boyfriend, family, etc. I don't see why three 1 hour sessions per week isn't enough!
imLissy imLissy 9 years
Some people can and do dedicate that much time or more to exercise each week. I exercise 6 days a week for 1-2 hours. I do it because it keeps me from feeling depressed/moody and being fit is important to me. I'm lucky I have that much time. Don't have time for that much exercise? Do less! If you really want to lose weight, exercising this much will definitely help you. If losing weight is a priority in your life, then you have to make exercise a priority too. There's no shortcuts. If you don't have time for an hour, then just make time for some higher intensity exercise for 20 minutes a day or something. Run up and down stairs during your lunch hour or something.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea I definatly don't have time for an hour 5 days a week. My goal is do to at least half an hour 3 times a week.
cmd0610 cmd0610 9 years
PS: When I lived in Paris I still went running around all those cars and buses- I didn't care what people thought- I'm sure I looked weird- but I needed to get my runs in. I also LOVED the Club Med gyms in Paris- and I did get up a 10am to go to classes on Sunday, there actually were a lot of people working out at 10am or earlier in Paris on weekends, the Club Med La Defense-Coupole was the best of the Club Meds I went to.
cmd0610 cmd0610 9 years
I think being super fit takes a lot of commitment, i.e. time and effort. I always thought that 3 days/30mins thing they used to push was crap- that wouldn't get me anywhere near fit. I'm a 6days a week girl, that totals to about 8 hours a week for my workouts which is about my limit to stay injury free. I think that puts me physically where I want me body to be and how fit and toned I want to be. Luckily I live 3 mins from my office and we have a gym at the office and a lot of running trails and tennis courts close by. But that's why I live close to my office and not close to downtown so that I can have a life (be at home when my fiance gets home, or do sports with him) and get all my desired workout time in.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Oh come on!! People have a hard enough time squeezing in 20 minutes of physical activity ((which takes a total of about an hour)) - there is no way an average person can do an hour of exercise -- that is two hours out of their day!! No one has time for that, unfortunately. It's news like this that bothers me because I can just hear someone say, "What? An hour? I can't do that. Might as well just do nothing at all." And that is not the attitude we want to spread!! ((I add on 45mins-1 hour to factor in getting ready, shower, driving to/from workout, etc.))
lattegoodness lattegoodness 9 years
I hear ya Jessik. I don't know how to do it other than curtailing any "fun times" that you would otherwise normally have. Right now, my life consists of working and working out. I have no time for anything else. Sucks. :oy:
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