How much do you need to exercise every day? Some new research points were just released from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The famous Women’s Health Study looks at 34,000 women over the period of several years is releasing new information tomorrow in regards to maintaining weight. The average age of the study participants at the beginning of the study was 54. During this period the women gained on average six pounds. Only 13 percent of women in the study gained less than six pounds. Their secret ~ they started off with BMIs in the healthy range (below 25) and they did moderate exercise for 60 minutes a day.
But there’s an additional layer of information. Instead of doing 60 minutes a day of moderate activity, the study shows that 30 minutes of high intensity activity has the same effect. Brisk walking and leisurely bicycling are considered moderate activity while running, fast biking and swimming are considered high-level activities.
So you can choose, 30 minutes of fast and furious or 60 minutes of leisurely but steady. You can mix and match as needed; a run on one day, a brisk stroll in the park the next.
One thing to note: the participants with the best weight management were already in the healthy BMI range before the study started suggesting that eating a balanced diet in the proper calorie range is pretty important. (But you already knew that …)
If you’re interested in starting a fitness plan, you can read my getting started guidelines here.