How Much Exercise Do You REALLY Need to Lose Weight?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/10/2013 6:00 AM   :  1195 comments   :  959,550 Views

New guidelines issued from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) state that 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week might not be enough. In 2001, ACSM recommended that overweight and obese adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to improve their health. 200 to 300 minutes per week was recommended for long-term weight loss. But will this amount of exercise really help you lose weight and keep it off?

New research shows that "between 150 and 250 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity is effective in preventing weight gain greater than 3% in most adults but will provide "only modest" weight loss." So ACSM has published new physical activity recommendations in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to lose weight and keep it off if they exercise for least 250 minutes per week. Exercising for more than 250 minutes per week has resulted in "significant" weight loss for these individuals.

So what does this mean? If you're trying to lose weight, 50 minutes of cardio exercise along with regular strength training might be what it takes to see the results you're hoping for.


What do you think? Does 50 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week seem like a lot to you? Or is that in line with what you're already doing? What amount of daily exercise has given you the best results?


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Comments

  • 1195
    Every decade seems to have been a different scenario for me. I could map it out, even from early childhood but will be brief here and save the topic for a blog. Each part of my life has brought changes to my physical ability and effort. Earliest on there was no effort. I did it all, all day long, every day. So did mist of us. If I could draw a graph of my exercise history it would be very telling and representative of the stages if my life.
    Now I am faced with a new scene and a whole lot of change. It is a dynamic scenario..
    50 minutes. OK. Sounds fine. But it is simplistic & not for all,
    Find your personal program based on you.
    Period.
    Upping your effort --- wonderful, but be realistic and do what is possible considering your health , age, level of injury, and time.
    Strike that balance, and push a little when you are able...
    Track ??? Yes, yes, yes... But don't stick a number on your cardio.
    If you can talk to a trainer one on one and do it your way ! - 12/20/2014   11:37:29 AM
  • 1194
    Every decade seems to have been a different scenario for me. I could map it out, even from early childhood but will be brief here and save the topic for a blog. Each part of my life has brought changes to my physical ability and effort. Earliest on there was no effort. I did it all, all day long, every day. So did mist of us. If I could draw a graph of my exercise history it would be very telling and representative of the stages if my life.
    Now I am faced with a new scene and a whole lot of change. It is a dynamic scenario..
    50 minutes. OK. Sounds fine. But it is simplistic & not for all,
    Find your personal program based on you.
    Period.
    Upping your effort --- wonderful, but be realistic and do what is possible considering your health , age, level of injury, and time.
    Strike that balance, and push a little when you are able...
    Track ??? Yes, yes, yes... But don't stick a number on your cardio.
    If you can talk to a trainer one on one and do it your way ! - 12/20/2014   11:37:29 AM
  • 1193
    Every decade seems to have been a different scenario for me. I could map it out, even from early childhood but will be brief here and save the topic for a blog. Each part of my life has brought changes to my physical ability and effort. Earliest on there was no effort. I did it all, all day long, every day. So did mist of us. If I could draw a graph of my exercise history it would be very telling and representative of the stages if my life.
    Now I am faced with a new scene and a whole lot of change. It is a dynamic scenario..
    50 minutes. OK. Sounds fine. But it is simplistic & not for all,
    Find your personal program based on you.
    Period.
    Upping your effort --- wonderful, but be realistic and do what is possible considering your health , age, level of injury, and time.
    Strike that balance, and push a little when you are able...
    Track ??? Yes, yes, yes... But don't stick a number on your cardio.
    If you can talk to a trainer one on one and do it your way ! - 12/20/2014   11:37:26 AM
  • 1192
    I've lost significant amounts of weight without exercising in the past (nearly 200 pounds). However, that was predicated by sweeping changes in my diet and stealth like portion control and the elimination of mindless eating. Nevertheless, exercise has made a significant impact in moving forward and ridding my body of what remains.

    I exercise seven days per week with the premise that I didn't take time off during my self-destructive activities, nor should I reduce the positive steps I'm taking in its correction. As a result I'm developing an active lifestyle and find my appetite is much lower and I'm not inclined to consume things that will take the full day to burn off!

    Having said this, there's also the reality that most people aren't eating a diet rich in foods that aren't very caloric in their makeup. I'm presently wholly organic and eat whole foods whenever possible. I cook and bake everything. Knowing what goes into my meals allows me to alleviate most the additives that prepackaged goods contain. I average between 2-3 pounds per week of weight loss as a result.

    Long term weight loss is difficult to maintain when you haven't mastered portion control, alleviated emotional eating (if applicable), and recalibrated your thinking about food, your body, and the realities that its care-taking is wholly yours to maintain. - 11/22/2014   8:02:39 AM
  • 1191
    I'm lucky if I can do 2-3 minutes at a time. There is no way in hell I could do 50 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Not happening. This kind of exercise prescription is only destined to make the people who need it most say "screw that... why bother?" How is someone who has 100+ pounds to lose supposed to be able to sustain this kind of regimen? If I exercise, it'll be for better health, not weight loss. I've come to realize that it really doesn't matter what you weigh as long as you're fit. And fitness has nothing to do with weight.

    Edit: I'd like to add that they're claiming it requires this much cardio a week to lose weight (they say "in addition to strength training", but the focus is obviously on cardio here). But I'll submit that I feel strength training is FAR superior to cardio for losing weight. Worry about your cardiovascular health after you've lost some weight already. When you're trying to lose 50, 100, 200 pounds, what you need to build is muscle so you continuously burn more fat even while at rest. Start with as much weight as you can lift without injury. Then keep upping that amount. When I've focused more on building muscle than on walking or other cardio, I've lost weight a lot faster. - 11/14/2014   10:09:47 PM
  • IRON-AND-SILK
    1190
    For someone who's only starting to get back to a healthier and more active lifestyle, 50 minutes/5 days/1 week is too much. That seems guaranteed to make you fail and give up because it's just too high a number to hit consistently. For a perfectionist beginner like me, small achievable goals that build up over time are key. I need to be able to hit that number, get to that goal. And as I become stronger, fitter, healthier, the goals level up with me. So maybe in a couple of months, when the habit of regular exercise and healthy eating has been ingrained in me, my weekly goal can go as high as this new research is recommending. It might have good scientific basis, but that doesn't mean it will work for everyone. It's certainly too much for me too soon. - 11/6/2014   2:50:15 AM
  • 1189
    At this time in my life, 50 min 5x/week is a bit much. Perhaps 2-3 days are doable with that amount, and that depends on days off and any holidays that fall in the week. During the work week, I aim for 10-30 min (time being a factor), weekends and/or days off, I shoot for 30-60 min. I used to be an all or nothing, but I get in what I can get in. Something is better than nothing.

    Now if my workplace would allow a Treadmill desk, I'd be one happy camper; but I don't see that happening. - 11/3/2014   12:38:26 PM
  • RRJEHS
    1188
    I've always tended towards a couch-potato lifestyle in addition to a seriously sedentary office job. As a result, I find that I need to exercise at least 60 minutes each and every day. My exercise of choice is the recumbant bike. I can still be semi couch potato-like yet burn through 400-500 calories with fairly aggressive pedaling (avg. 15 mph) in a 30 minute session, all while watching my favorite tv shows! Of course, I've also re-swizzled my calorie intake to under 1500 per day. This has resulted in an 80 lb. weight loss in 6 months, and still going down a pound or two a week. My Fitbit tells me I'm walking an average between 1.5 to 2 miles per day, mainly through parking in lots' far corners and periodically walking the length of my office building during the day. Hardly 10,000 steps, but still a nice addition to the recumbant bike routine. I don't mind walking to get somewhere, but walking for walking's sake bores the tears out of me. - 10/23/2014   10:36:28 AM
  • LOUISDE
    1187
    For me, any amount of movement is better than sitting on the couch all day and ransacking the fridge and cupboards every 5 minutes as I did 80 pounds ago. I don't put pressure on myself anymore to keep up with a certain routine. That has never worked for me for any length of time. I just make a point each day of doing the best I can. Sticking to a healthy, sustainable food plan that is conducive to weight loss is most important for me, as well as getting in my 3 strength training workouts at the local gym each week. I try to drink as much water as possible every day and keep as busy as I can with my daily activities. But I don't beat myself up anymore when I have an occasional lazy day or less than perfect meal plan. It's all about progress-not perfection. - 10/21/2014   5:50:20 PM
  • CVOORHEES
    1186
    I exercise with cardio, the treadmill, and free weights and resistance exercises, 4-5 times a wk. Working in the yard, raking, cutting branches, trimming, cleaning the patio, swimming, working up a sweat will really make you lose the weight. You have to move, keep active. Plus I watch how much I eat, I eat lots of yogurt, salads, tuna fish sandwiches, soup, lean meat 97% fat free, chicken, just watching what and how much you eat, but if you keep active, and move you can eat whatever you want and lose weight because your moving. I didn't work out one day but did yard work, lots of bending, raking, and moving, sweating, and when I got on the scale I couldn't believe it I was down 2 lbs, it really works to move. - 10/3/2014   10:57:53 PM
  • 1185
    I completely agree with ONLINASLLOU! If you don't eat as much you don't have to work out as much to maintain. However I do think if you want to lose weight you have to put in the time at the gym or wherever you can even if it's just walking the dog around the block 17 times. I only work out three days a week, but each time it's a full body workout and at least 15 to 20 min of cardio which takes me approx 2 hrs each day. I don't do that kind of working out on the weekends, but I always try to do something. I think the key to losing is moving as well as eating the right amt of food. - 9/21/2014   12:26:11 AM
  • FOXGLOVE999
    1184
    "ONLINEASLLOU" has it right. Weight Loss is a calories in/calories out thing. If you change one side of the equation, you do the same to the other side. It's basic math. You can decrease the calories in(eat less) or increase the calories out(exercise more), and get the same result. Most people prefer to do a combination of both. I exercise 90 minutes a day, 7 days a week, and have had consistent weight loss. - 9/14/2014   9:26:37 AM
  • 1183
    My most consistent weight loss was when I exercised 45 minutes per day at least 5 days per week using a mix of cardio machines at the gym (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) Intensity didn't seem to make a significant difference (e.g., running vs. walking). One summer, I decided to skip the weekday routine at the gym and take a four hour Sunday morning hike. I stopped losing weight. The lesson for me was that I need to measure workout time on a daily rather than weekly basis. Over time, I have been best able to lose or maintain weight at 45 minute daily exercise intervals. - 9/3/2014   12:26:33 PM
  • 1182
    I exercise about an hour daily, or more. (Walking, aerobic). It allows me to eat a smidgen more than I would without the extra exercise, and makes losing/maintaining much more doable.
    Exercise doesn't have to be in the gym. There are lots of fun places to walk, and ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life. - 8/30/2014   4:09:31 PM
  • 1181
    You don't HAVE to exercise to lose weight. You can simply stop eating. Starve yourself (and be totally sedentary) and you will lose weight.

    The issue is: How much do want to eat while losing weight? If you want to eat what most people consider a "normal" or "fun" amount of calories, then you need to exercise more than most people would like to exercise. If you are willing to change your diet, you don't have to exercise so much -- you just need to exercise enough to keep fit.

    It is the ratio of food intake to exercise that determines the result. We each get to decide how much of each we want -- as long as we maintain the right ration. Eat more = exercise more. Eat less = exercise less. It's up to us. - 8/30/2014   10:47:59 AM
  • 1180
    This is depressing for me. More exercise? I can hardly manage the 30 minutes x 3 that I do per week now. Am I to have no life other than driving to the gym, changing into gym clothes, working out, showering, changing again, driving home and collapsing? Then eating some teeny tiny meal? Boy, this is hard work, this weight loss process. - 8/30/2014   10:20:50 AM
  • YELLOW_VOLKSTER
    1179
    At my recent annual physical exam, my doctor (who has recently lost a lot of weight herself) told me that losing weight is at least 85-90% about food intake; exercise is a very minor player. However, it does keep your cardiovascular system healthier, and improves your blood profile numbers. Since exercise helps me eat better, I'm still incorporating some exercise. But for those of us with physical limitations (orthopedic, in my case), this article is heartening because it IS mostly about diet! And physical limitations or not, I can control the food choices I put into my mouth!

    I love the SP Nutrition Tracker! My goal is to stay within my calorie range, and also within the range of carbs, fats, and protein grams. For me, this makes it so much fun, since I get to the end of the day and am lacking a certain number of grams of fat and protein, but have very few carb grams left. It's like solving a puzzle on figuring out what food item will provide the correct grams of whatever I'm still not at the minimum recommendation, but not go above the maximum of another nutrient. And it works! - 8/29/2014   10:49:01 PM
  • TMCI_68
    1178
    I have had several injuries in the last 20 years and have had both hips replaced. I also have fused feet due to deformities, have bad back problems and am 68 yrs. of age. In my late 40s I was 145 lbs and 22 percent fat. I worked out a lot and loved it. There have been much change in my life since then and had gotten up to close to 290 lbs. in 2009. I have lost over 60 lbs. on my own, and not by dieting. After hips were replaced I am doing 1.5 hrs. 3x a wk. at pool. I do aqua class and then walk 20 to 30 min. in pool and then swim using a snorkel for 30 minutes. I feel wonderful after that. I have started to do home exercises 2 days a week now. Some are standing and some are chair exercises. I was doing weights but my muscles can do more than my joints will allow, so for now I'm going to do chair and ball exercises at home on 2 plus days. Sometimes I bounce and move arms around while watching TV. that's besides the home exercises. I haven't weighed myself since my sister passed away and I gained 12 of the 60 lbs I had lost since 2009. She died in Dec. of 2014 and I was with her for 3 months before she passed, not doing anything other than being with her. With the structural issues I have, I believe I'm doing well, esp. for my age and having one of the surgeries on one hip get infected at the hosp. with MRSA and e-coli. I came through that with flying colors and that's also with having Chronic Hep C for over 30 years. I will probably weigh myself again in a week or so.... but I'm following my body's wisdom and doing "Intuitive Eating" that's eating when I'm physically hungry, and stopping when I'm just satisfied... not physically "full". I eat pretty healthy but still probably have about 15 to 20% play food. I hope the amount of exercise I do is okay... I've recently been seeing articles saying too much exercise, which is what they would say your estimate is too much, is actually bad for us and will age us faster. I disagree with them. I think when we can read our body, we know what is the right amount. If we are hurting more, and stiff all the time, then something needs to be changed. We may not be getting all the lactic acid out before doing more or we are doing something that isn't right for us. I find that moderate speed and intensity is good for me at my age of 68. - 8/29/2014   3:18:24 PM
  • PURPLELEAF13
    1177
    RIDETBRED said: my experience bears this out. i work out 150-250 hours per week (more if i'm training for something big like a marathon) and i'm reasonably fit, but i'm 50lbs overweight and have been for over a decade. the exercise is great and keeps me a fit fat girl, but the weight isn't budging because i haven't managed to include food in my dedication to better health. well, that's not quite true. i eat great stuff- lots of green leafies, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, very little meat, but i'm a sugarholic big time and have not been able to say farewell to candy. and it shows. but better fat and fit than fat and unfit! -
    I have to agree that lots of exercise does not equal weight loss. I also workout tons throughout the week. Tae Kwon Do, Running and training for 5K and marathons, swimming, skating , and Ice skating, and I am a fit ovwerweight woman. The only thing I can do in addition to exercise, and am currently doing to actually lose maybe a 1/2 a week at most is eat 1200 or less calories a day, and that really sucks.
    - 8/29/2014   12:31:19 PM
  • 1176
    I think that this article and its implications are incredibly disheartening for those who, like me, have physical or medical restrictions on exercising. The idea that it is "required" to do so much is inaccurate and misleading, and articles like this may cause some people to not even attempt weight-loss.

    Frankly, I lost the weight and am so far maintaining the loss without exercise being a part of the equation at all. In my opinion, exercise is for fitness and optimum health - not for weight loss. - 8/29/2014   11:20:13 AM
  • 1175
    It depends on how much exercise you're getting -before-. If you are very sedentary, like me, this is -lots- of -new- exercise. - 8/29/2014   10:52:25 AM
  • PRINCESSVELE
    1174
    This is exactly what I needed to read, but I know that I need more then 35 minutes a day. Because in four weeks I lost 1 lb and 1% body fat..grr! - 8/29/2014   9:36:34 AM
  • 1173
    Exercise is crucial for health, but it's not the primary piece of weight loss. Weight loss is basically about food. You can exercise a whole lot and not lose weight if you continue to eat poorly. If you eat well (the right foods in the right proportions) you will lose weight with only minimal exercise. Exercise beyond 30 minutes a day is for other reasons -- not weight loss. - 8/29/2014   8:44:54 AM
  • 1172
    my experience bears this out. i work out 150-250 hours per week (more if i'm training for something big like a marathon) and i'm reasonably fit, but i'm 50lbs overweight and have been for over a decade. the exercise is great and keeps me a fit fat girl, but the weight isn't budging because i haven't managed to include food in my dedication to better health. well, that's not quite true. i eat great stuff- lots of green leafies, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, very little meat, but i'm a sugarholic big time and have not been able to say farewell to candy. and it shows.
    but better fat and fit than fat and unfit! - 8/29/2014   8:33:53 AM
  • MSHERER1622
    1171
    Though exercise is important for health, weight loss is primarily about diet. A diet like 'Eat to Live' (Dr. Joel Fuhrman) will get you to your ideal weight if you follow it, exercise or not. The NY Times recently ran an article about a study that indicated that running as little as 5 minutes a day extended life. I've committed to running one mile a day because it helps me feel good and manage my stress, without injuring myself. And if you lack to time but still want the health and weight loss benefits of spending hours in the gym, do high intensity interval training. It's a vastly more efficient strategy for improving your metabolic profile than straight cardio. - 8/29/2014   6:43:39 AM
  • KIMBERLYJONES55
    1170
    I lost a lot of weight because I changed my lifestyle entirely. Also I read a lot of articles about weight loss. I found this site with lots of weightloss tips metabolicfatfactorreview.net/ . It greatly help me as well. What exercise I can do that is easy yet toning. I lost a lot of weight so I need to tone. - 8/18/2014   9:33:18 AM
  • 1169
    For me, it seems these 250 minutes are good to maintain my weight or lose a little bit... :P I also have to be extremely careful with what I eat. It took me two weeks at 60 minutes of exercise a day and a 1500-calories diet to lose about one pound. - 8/10/2014   10:09:31 AM
  • MLPHOEBE
    1168
    When you break down the 50 minutes daily for a five day period into 10 minute segments it wont look so daunting. The time frame could be scheduled in before or after the three meals and two snacks. Personally for me, I spend the first 10 minutes of the day exercising and then try to get in another 50 minutes before and after my evening meal. - 8/10/2014   1:27:21 AM
  • 1167
    i was reading the comments and everyone is doing great for them but like CAROLJ35 said we are not all the same. Are metabolisms are all different so some may lose others not. for me I lost 35lbs just watching what i ate no exercising at all. then i made the mistake and regained most of it and now 8yrs older i have to add exercising to help with the weight loss. CAROLJ35 SP has exercises for people who are disabled check them out - 8/10/2014   1:07:45 AM
  • 1166
    Good article. I think it's interesting that we should be hitting 250 minutes per week to see best results. I'm no where near that goal...but at least now I know what will help me lose weight because what I'm doing now certainly isn't. And this gives me something to work towards. - 7/31/2014   12:45:48 PM
  • KITT5545
    1165
    I go for 300-420 minutes a week and I alternate different types of exercises. Zumba, aquafit, treadmill, weight training, etc. - 7/26/2014   2:52:40 AM
  • 1164
    Diet and exercise together are important. But don't make one rule for all people since every body is different. Think of the people who are handicapped or have health problems that prevent them from exercising. We don't all fit in the same mold!!! - 7/25/2014   9:31:13 PM
  • 1163
    I used to barely make 180 minutes a week, but I've been thinking of my fitness minutes as a challenge, and I try to get more each week than I did the week before. Last week I got 302, and so far this week I'm on track to get 391 by Sunday this week. Next week I'm going to try for 450. - 7/25/2014   7:00:43 PM
  • WILLSHEMAKEIT
    1162
    My BMI is 26. But 30 minutes a day cardio plus daily strength (30 min) was not enough for weight loss.
    Post menopause, metabolism changes, and exercise has less effect.
    I have been on 1000 cal per day for 8 weeks, with cardio and strength training 5 to 7 days a week. I did not see changes until I upped the cardio to 50 minutes (walking 3.5 mph on elliptical/treadmill) plus 20 min strength. Laid off from work a month ago so weight loss is my job right now. Lost 7 pounds in 8 weeks--with a lot of work and focus (food tracking, SP articles, etc.).
    Docs recommend " A diet...to help create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 kcal/day should be an intregal part of any program aimed at achieving a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week." Pretty hard to do that without exercise.
    300 minutes of cardio plus diet is what it takes for me to lose.
    I feel I will never be able to eat more than 1200 cal per day again, especially if I must reduce exercise time. Still, better than health problems due to overweight. Whatever it takes! I want my kids to be proud of me. - 7/25/2014   10:06:20 AM
  • EX-SKINNY60
    1161
    Exercise is also...getting in (and up since I own a van) to drive to do errands. It is parking way out into the lot to walk to the supermarket to buy your low fat, low-cal, low cholesterol food, and it is hauling the bags in and out of the car your self. It is doing crunches as you bend over and down on the couch or loveseat to fold the laundry. It is getting down on your knees and then straddling up again to clean the tub or even get the cleanser out from under the sink to do that job. So many everyday EXERCISES to do and use MINUTES and you are uber-fit, to boot! - 7/25/2014   9:35:25 AM
  • DOLGON
    1160
    For those of you wondering how you can work full time and get in this amount of exercise I recommend looking into a treadmill desk. You can work, read, watch movies, post to SparkPeople (I'm walking right now), etc - all the things you'd normally do you can do - all while walking ~2MPH and getting absolutely free exercise. I've been walking 20+ miles per week at my treadmill desk for 72 consecutive weeks now and don't feel like I'm giving up a thing or ever "making time" for exercise. It has combined my exercise and my down time into one (and helped me lose 28 lbs). I suppose it helps if you are a computer geek :). - 7/25/2014   12:18:56 AM
  • 1159
    Does it count if you're not obese? I have been working on losing weight for about 5 months now, and early.on I developed a foot injury that limited my ability to do much, if any cardio. I was able to do yoga and get sweaty, but no 50 minutes a day. I still found myself losing on average 1-2 lbs every two weeks. I have lost weight before, but was able to exercise and do cardio and built more muscle than I have now, and at that time I lost 2lbs a week easily. I have lost weight by eating less (portion sizes, count calories!), making healthier choices, and I've realized recently that I've really cut back carbs a LOT. I can't stand the taste of processed food any more, either. I drink lots of water, and drink before I eat when I think I might be hungry, just in case it's just thirst. That much exercise is not necessary, I say do what works for you and just eat healthier! High nutrient foods should be the majority of your meals, and low nutrient tasty goods should be just an occasional treat, and in small quantities. - 7/24/2014   10:31:09 PM
  • 1158
    Currently doing 30-50 minutes of exercise everyday. I walk every morning and some nights I workout on my stationary bike. Some days it's really a push but i try to keep going i eat mostly fruits and veggies so hopefully that helps. i want to get up to 2 hours of exercise a day. Down 20lbs since June 1. - 7/24/2014   6:18:47 PM
  • 1157
    I agree. I started losing weight as soon as I did an hour of walking/jogging per day. My weight loss took off when I started doing two hours a day. I also watch my sodium and fat intake. - 7/24/2014   3:19:11 PM
  • 1156
    Mostly it's a modern human problem with our time, technology and jobs. Weight is a bigger problem today because we're not working 16 hours a day on our farm to care for our family and bring in a harvest like a good old fashioned 1770's homesteader.
    Be very wary of your nutrition in today's day and age, modern packaged food isn't helping our modern lifestyle either! I wish I had an hour a day for just workouts. - 7/24/2014   3:08:39 PM
  • 1155
    I have been able to lose weight with more focus on nutrition than exercise. I'm am a busy mom, wife and student and can't always fit in 250 min. per week. I do what I can and make up for it with my nutrition. It has worked for me in the past, so I will keep with that. - 7/24/2014   1:57:39 PM
  • ELIDOG
    1154
    Calories in...Calories burned, it really is that simple. Sorry folks but we have time for what we want to do or we make time for it. I less hour of tv or FB per day. There's your time. Get creative with what type of exercise you do, Push mow your yard instead of riding a mower. Rake leaves instead of using a blower. I can burn 800 calories in a 43 minute bike ride. I burn close to 1500 the day of the week I mow. I spend on average 2 hours of heavy weight training 3x a week. I keep track of pretty close to every single calorie I consume religiously. I cardio 4 times a week usually in the form of biking at an average speed of around 14mph. I've gone from 261 to 207 in about 8 months. Waist has gone from a 42-44 to a 34 and can fit into 32s without a come-a-long. I don't starve myself but I don't pig-out either.
    - 7/24/2014   1:36:37 PM
  • 1153
    I'm doing around 150-200m a week and have lost 40lbs in 6 months. 50m a day with 3 kids isn't something I can pull off at the moment, or do I really want to, I have a hard time finding 30(ish) minutes 6 times a week. I think this isn't taking into account what you're eating. - 7/24/2014   1:32:59 PM
  • EMILYANNO
    1152
    At first 50 minutes of cardio 5x a week seemed like a lot because I'm a full-time college student and a part-time worker and I want some time to relax. But I'm riding my stationary bike 30 minutes/week 5x a week in the morning before classes, walk to the bus stop, home from the bus stop, and back and forth on campus. My advice is to add 10 minutes of walking to your schedule 2x a day whether it's to the store, to work, or on your break. Breaking it up is a lot easier for me. I also do pushups/sit-ups/bicep curls in my "relaxation" time during my tv shows/while waiting for dinner to cook. - 7/24/2014   1:14:12 PM
  • 1151
    Going too hard right out of the gate is a good way to get hurt and/or burned out. I still think it's better to start with small steps and work up to longer and harder workouts. At least that's what works for me. - 7/24/2014   10:45:45 AM
  • 1150
    Began walking last year and have average 90 to 120 minutes per day, 5 to 6 times per week. So, I am exercising anywhere from 450 to 720 minutes per week. I also hike, stretch, and strength train. Began improving my nutrition 6 months ago. Have experienced vast improvements in health and well-being. Thank you SparkPeople for providing such wonderful tools and a space for wonderful community to gather. - 7/24/2014   9:53:05 AM
  • 1DERWOMAN56
    1149
    my first day and can't wait to get started have a lot of size 2 and 4 in closet and can"t fit in them today but in time I will be back to wearing them this site is great to get motivated - 7/24/2014   9:16:26 AM
  • 1148
    Do the ACSM guidelines mean exercise only, with no changes in diet? - 7/24/2014   9:08:25 AM
  • 1147
    This 60 year old does more than that per week. But for myself, to experience weight loss, I need to combine the exercise with proper nutrition, staying within a specific calorie range. All that plus a good attitude equals success! - 7/24/2014   8:46:31 AM
  • 1146
    well today is Thursday and I have already worked out 270 minutes this week, like I do every week I ride my bike for an hour, 3x a week I walk 3 miles 2x a week, I swim 2x a week I do strength training 2x a week and I walk my dog everyday.. eat about 1300 calories and I cannot budge a pound.. so.. not sure what the heck I am doing wrong... - 7/24/2014   8:28:30 AM

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