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You Need More Exercise

By March 5, 2009

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Once more, physical activity recommendations are at odds with reality. The current recommendation from the American Academy of Sports Medicine is that adults exercise 250 minutes per week to lose weight. That comes down to 35 minutes a day, EVERYDAY or 50 minutes, FIVE DAYS A WEEK, or 83 minutes THREE DAYS A WEEK.

Now, I try really hard to get enough exercise, but I just don't think I could muster 250 minutes a week. I have kids. I have a job. I wonder what these people are thinking to bring forth such an unobtainable recommendation. What good is it to tell us all to exercise that much? No one has the time.

Of course, that isn't quite true. The average American watches 5 hours of TV a day. Maybe there is plenty of time for exercise afterall . . .

What do you think? 250 minutes a week? Can you do it? Where does the time come from? Are these recommendation helpful or just depressing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Comments
March 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm
(1) Brad says:

Yeah, that’s just plain silly. How about 150 minutes a week? Even that would be very healthy and a lot more feasible. Though I think 99% of Americans would still fall woefully short of that. Like 5 servings of vegetables a day. Yeah, right!

March 7, 2009 at 6:46 am
(2) san san ohn says:

I always busy with standing on my foot with cooking and washing and cleaning.But this activity is not enough for me and i do exercises for 10 to 15 minutes daily. I tried to take the time for walking for 30 minutes three times a week.I am always waited to read your email and there is some miss i could not stay.
You are very skilful in your field and i like it.You gave me the valuable information what i need.Thanks for everything and welcome your courses.

March 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm
(3) Isabelle says:

Every time I happen to find myself moving I love it and swear I must do it more. However I only move if circumstances force me to do it (e.g., dancing at a wedding). Do you have any tips as to how to keep moving on a daily basis?

March 10, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(4) Susan J says:

I have no problem exercising 250 minutes a week. I go to a Jazzercise class every week day. Have been doing this since my son was a year old–he’s now 28! All you have to do is make the commitment. Eventually it becomes a habit. If you really want to do something, you find a way. If you don’t want to do it, you find an excuse. BTW, I’ve recently added Curves to my exercise regimen.

March 11, 2009 at 6:55 am
(5) Ruth says:

What’s 250 minutes a week? It’s only 50 minutes a day Monday through Friday. Those are usually the most structured days of the week, so it’s easy to make a regular schedule for activity.

I walk 25-30 minutes with a couple of friends during my lunch hour, so there’s half the recommendation right there. Then I do another 30-45 minutes during the evening. I have a stationary bike, so I watch TV while I ride. Or I do a half-hour exercise video. Or a half hour of Dance Dance Revolution with my daughter! If you break it down into a couple of 25-minute bites, it’s not as hard to fit it in.

March 11, 2009 at 7:14 am
(6) Florence R. says:

I’m 88 and srill doing the hour long Water Exercises I learned @ the HEALTH CLUB over 25 years ago! IF you KEEP DOING the EXERCISES you will STILL BE ABLE to do them as you “AGE”! KEEP WORKING ON IT!

March 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm
(7) Jerry Hardin says:

250 minutes of exercise per week is not unreasonable at all. Come on people! Any work performed can count as exercise. All you have to do is speed up the pace and exaggerate your movements. Think about it and you will come up with 100′s of ways.

March 12, 2009 at 7:37 am
(8) san san ohn says:

When i was young my hobby is swiming when i come back from my office.I felt so enjoyed in pool but i was not good in swimming.After swimming i had more fresh and all the tired are gone.But now there is no chance for me to swim.
At the past time there was swimming pool in my house and not now
Now i could indoor exercises only and less friends.
I thank you that you are there for something discuss for my problems.

March 12, 2009 at 9:42 am
(9) John F. Mead. says:

I tend to agree with the advice given.
I exercise mainly by swimming in a WARM pool. I have had “M.E.” (=C.F.S. in U.S.A.) for 23 years and I am now 70: swimming is the only thing which makes me feel even a bit like I used to when I was well.
I swim up to 1 mile (slowly!), 3 times per week. It is well worth keeping at it: the first 10 minutes I feel good; from then until 80 minutes I feel increasingly fatigued; I then quickly feel much better and more powerful until I finish at about 100 minutes. I need to rest the day after.

March 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm
(10) Ella D says:

Like you mentioned regarding TV. People do complain they don’t have the time…. yeah right! TV, TV, TV, if they would just turn it off they would discover there is a whole world out there! You have to MAKE the time to exercise, can actually be fun!

March 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm
(11) Ali says:

I think there’s time if you are truely dedicated to exercising. I will do 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there wherever I can fit it in. Also I do use my step when I’m watching tv. You have to remember many things can qualify as exercising like housework and gardening or instead of letting the dog run in the yard take them for a nice walk.

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