The American College of Sports Medicine has issued new guidelines on exercise namely increasing physical activity to lose weight and keep it off from 30 minutes a day to 50 minutes a day 5 days a week.
In fact the National Weight Control registry also backs this up. This is a registry of 5000 people who have lost weight, an average of 66lb and kept it off long term. Some of the common characteristics of these participants are:
- 90% exercise at least an hour a day
- 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
- 78% eat breakfast every day
- 65% watch less than 10 hours of TV a week
The take home message is to be more active overall, taking small steps such as parking further away, taking the stairs whenever possible, and getting on the stationary bike when watching TV.
Most importantly prevention is the key! Try to lead a healthy and active lifestyle all the time. Keep portions in check, choose lean meats, have lots of fruits and vegetables, and do regular exercise.
Weigh yourself regularly (no more than once a week), and if you see the scales sneaking up on you, then step it up; because it will take more activity to get the weight gain off. However don’t be disheartened, the success of the 5000 in the registry with weight loss has shown you that it can be done with the right efforts.
Find activities you enjoy and mix it up so you don’t get bored. Consider finding a local personal trainer and dietitian to get correct advice on diet and exercise. The support from the right professionals will do wonders. When things seem hard and you feel like giving it up they will be there to guide you and get you going again. They can assist you to develop the skills you need to lead a balanced and energized life.