Losing weight and keeping it off may require more exercise than previously thought -- maybe twice as much as the 30 minutes recommended. A study from Brown University researchers found that 2,500 people who lost an average 60 pounds and kept it off for a year exercised about an hour a day.
We know that 30 minutes every day is a good thing -- it’s better than less than that. But after that, what you want is somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes. Most of the people studied walked about 10 miles a week, and then did aerobics, weight lifting or other activities.
Another study found that short bouts of exercise during the day were as effective as one long period in maintaining weight loss for women. It is important that people know they can exercise a little bit at a time.
To send them a message they have to do an hour a day is going to turn them off. We need to readjust that figure and find ways to get people to do a little more. Patients who kept the weight off likely paid close attention to their diets as well. If you don’t adopt both exercise and focus on the eating behaviors you won’t be successful long term.
Annual Meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity at Charleston, South Carolina November 1999
It is not common that a news piece changes my clinical practice, but this report has. I will be confidently advising patients who are heavy and seeking to lose weight to increase their exercise to one hour per day.
This will require significant lifestyle modifications, as most of us do not have a free hour to spare every day. One simple suggestion, in light of the fact that winter is approaching and walking outside is not really a comfortable option for most of us, is to use a high quality rebounder.
One needs to purchase one for at least $200 as the $20 models will not hold up. I recommend 800-497-9516 as the least expensive source I have been able to identify.
When I had TV in my home, I would watch it while I was rebounding in the winter and found it a practical way to be more efficient and get in my exercise. I was delighted to find out from this report though that exercise can be broken up and the same benefits will be achieved. This makes compliance much more likely to this approach.