Losing weight is unquestionably more complex than merely slipping on running shoes and breaking a sweat on the treadmill. While exercise plays a key role in weight loss, it’s important to remember the saying, “quality over quantity.” So, exactly how much exercise does one need to lose weight effectively and healthily?
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity for overall health benefits. This would translate to approximately 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
If the goal is weight loss, the National Weight Control Registry notes that participants who’ve been successful in maintaining weight loss exercise on average about an hour a day, most days of the week, suggesting that higher levels of physical activity may be beneficial.
However, it’s crucial to adopt a well-rounded approach that integrates both cardiovascular exercise (like walking, swimming, or cycling) and strength training (like weight lifting), along with flexibility exercises (like yoga or pilates). Cardio exercises stimulate caloric burn while strength training aids in building muscle, which in turn accelerates your metabolism, helping you burn more calories even when at rest.
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, maintaining consistency in your workout regimen is more important than the duration of each workout session. Start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to prevent potential injuries or burnout.
Also, remember that physical activity works best in synergy with a balanced, nutritious diet for effective weight loss. So, mindful eating alongside regular exercise can be your winning strategy in your weight loss journey.
Finally, always listen to your body and adjust your exercise regimen as needed. Not all bodies respond to exercise in the same way. So, personalize your workout routine under professional guidance. And remember, it’s not just about losing weight, it’s about gaining health. You’re striving to become the healthiest version of yourself – so keep going because every step counts!