Secrets of Successful Exercisers Revealed
A Healthy Exercise Routine Doesn't Have to Take a lot of Time or Money
WebMD News Archive
Dec. 6, 2004 -- Think you don't have the time or money to exercise as much
as you should? Think again.
A new nationwide survey shows at least one-fourth of successful exercisers
have full-time jobs, young children at home, or both, and walking is the most
popular form of physical activity.
The survey, conducted among more than 20,000 Consumer Reports readers,
reveals the secrets of successful exercisers -- those people who most closely
meet the national recommendations for physical activity by exercising at least
a half-hour per day at least three days a week.
The results show that sticking to an exercise routine doesn't have to be
boring or expensive, and it could be a lifesaver. For example:
- 58% of successful exercisers report doing three or more different
activities per week.
- 30% of successful exercisers used a fitness facility or gym at least three
times a week.
- More than half of those who worked out regularly used exercise to treat
depression, a heart problem, back pain, or diabetes and said they and their
doctors agreed that exercise helped a lot.
Experts say that to reap the most health benefits from exercise, you need to
strive for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, preferably spread out over
five days. If you do, the health benefits include a lower risk of heart
disease, stroke, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some types
of cancer, and dementia.
However, if your goal is weight loss, you'll need to aim for 250 to 300
minutes a week
Tips from Successful Exercisers
In the survey, which appears in the January issue of Consumer Reports,
researchers polled 21,750 readers about their exercise habits.
Thirty-eight percent of the respondents were classified as "successful
exercisers" and performed moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 30
minutes at least three days a week (usually more). That group includes 12% the
researchers classified as "hard-core" exercisers who exercised at least
five days a week and had kept it up for at least five years.
The survey showed that 36% were "unsuccessful exercisers" who did a
little exercise but not enough to reap the health benefits. Many people in this
group said they wished they exercised more regularly. Fifteen percent of the
respondents were considered sedentary.