According to the US Dept of Health and Human Services guidelines, it is recommended that for general health benefit, one should be getting:
- 150 min/week (about 30 mins 5 x/wk) of aerobic exercise plus
- Strength training (muscle resistance training) 2 x/week
For prevention of weight gain, individuals need:
- 150-300 minutes per week
For prevention of weight regain, individuals need:
- 300-420 minutes per week
As you can see, once you have lost weight, exercise is IMPERATIVE in maintaining the weight loss.
Examples of aerobic exercise are walking, jogging, elliptical, biking, swimming, dancing, kickboxing and the list goes on. Find something you enjoy and make time for it!
Muscle resistance training is essential as well!
Strong muscles burn more energy at rest and help maintain weight and fitness. Strong muscles also allow your body to respond better to insulin (see Dr. Mittal’s blog post for information on insulin resistance!).
To be successful:
- Start with small goals and keep advancing to your ultimate goal based on the above guidelines
- Make it a habit! So even starting with 15 minutes a day (you know you can spare 15 minutes!) is a great place to start
- Make it fun
- Schedule it into your calendar
- Make it easy, You do not have to join a fancy gym to get moving- walking outside or a fitness/yoga video at home are easy and inexpensive ways to getting exercise
Increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)!
This is the amount of calories you burn for activities other than sleep, eating and exercise.
Chemicals like orexin (a chemical produced in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus) has been found to be higher in people who move around more. Low orexin levels are associated with obesity.
How does one increase NEAT?
Through living a physical lifestyle: Walk your dog, take the stairs, bike or walk to work, park further away. Get a standing desk at work. Get up every hour if you are seated at a desk.