Finding the Time to Exercise and Lose Weight

There are numerous ways to reach your weight loss goals.  While there are a myriad of programs available to help you burn fat, increase strength, and lose weight, the formula for weight loss really comes down to two things:  physical activity and nutrition.   However, losing weight and keeping it off remains a battle for so many, so there must be more to the story.  For now, we will keep it simple and focus on exercise and finding time.Exercise and Time

Many people think they don’t have enough time to exercise.  As the demands of life increase, the desire for and practicality of fitting in a good exercise session decrease.  Let’s face it, the pace of our society keeps getting faster and faster.  This can lead to stress, a whole host of health conditions, and yes, weight gain.

So, let’s be real.  We don’t have time not to exercise.  While the following guidelines are basic and general in nature, they are meant to give you a sense of just how much time is needed to prevent weight gain, lose weight, and maintain your weight loss.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes/week of moderate activity or 75 minutes/week of vigorous aerobic activity for major health benefits.  Ideally, this amount of exercise is spread out over a week.  The recommendation increases to 300 minutes/week of moderate physical activity to effectively lose or maintain weight.  Examples of moderate exercise include fast walking or swimming, and vigorous exercise includes running or aerobic dance, just to name a few.  These are general guidelines as intensity can vary among activities and fitness level.  The recommendation also includes 2 days/week of strength training.

The American College of Sports Medicine offers similar guidelines with just a little different language.  For weight prevention, exercise 150-250 minutes at a moderate intensity.  150 minutes is associated with the prevention of weight gain, while more than 150 minutes/week at a moderate intensity is associated with modest weight loss.  250 minutes/week helps with clinically significant weight loss, and greater than 250 minutes/week of moderate intensity exercise can prevent weight regain.

Check your schedule, and see where you can fit in more time to exercise.  Plan ahead, and put yourself first!  If you treat this space like an appointment or meeting, you’ll be able to successfully prevent other people from infringing on your space.  Others don’t need to know your ‘appointment’ is an appointment with nature for a walk or a visit to the gym.

As you accumulate more movement throughout your day, you’ll be moving in the direction of your ideal weight.

What do you do to include more exercise in your day?  How do you fit it into your schedule?