BHealthy Blog

You Know Exercise is Important, But How Much is Enough?

Darla Henry, M.S., CPT, Baptist Health Weight Loss Program Health Educator

There’s no such thing as a wasted workout.  Any amount or type of exercise is a step forward.  The question becomes, is your level of exercise matching up with your goals?  If your goal is simply health improvement and to help prevent chronic diseases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults 18-64 exercise:

– At moderate intensity (i.e. brisk walking, water aerobics, or biking under 10 mph) at least 2½ hours per week

– At high intensity (like running, stair climbing, swimming laps, and biking over 10 mph)at least 1¼ hours per week

However, if your goal is weight loss or weight maintenance, you’ll need longer bouts!  The American College of Sports Medicine recommends up to an hour of physical activity a day.  The Baptist Health Weight Loss Program’s goal of 2000 physical activity calories per week is where to set your initial goal.  But more is better when it comes to physical activity and weight loss.  Once you’ve made it to 2000, push for more to see what’s possible.  Try extending a bout of exercise by just 5 minutes, add a 10-minute short bout in your day, or try a new type of exercise to shake up your routine.

To learn more about how to adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose weight, come to a free weight loss orientation at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock. Call Baptist Health HealthLine at 888-BAPTIST to find out when the next one will be.