Weight Loss May Take 250 Minutes of Exercise
Recommendations Call for 250 Minutes of Physical Activity a Week for Significant Weight Loss, 150 Minutes a Week to Maintain Weight
Feb. 27, 2009 -- You may need to block out more time for the gym.
Adults need at least 250 minutes per week -- equal to 50 minutes of exercise
five days a week -- to lose significant weight, according to the latest
recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
“In the midst of a genuine crisis in Americans’ health related to what we
eat and how little we move, these guidelines are meant to provide an
understanding and clarification of the role of physical activity and its
relationship to weight,” Joseph E. Donnelly, chairman of the writing committee,
says in a written statement. “Now that we have the latest information on how
much physical activity is part of the equation, we can continue the educational
process to help people who struggle with their weight.”
If you are trying to maintain your weight rather than lose, you may still be
OK with the 30-minute workouts. The ACSM recommends that adults participate in
at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity to
prevent significant weight gain. Overweight and obese adults, however, are more
likely to reach their goals with at least 250 minutes. The report also
recommends strength training as part of the exercise regimen, in order to
increase fat-free mass and further reduce health risks.
The recommendations are published in Medicine & Science in Sports
& Exercise. They are in line with the recent recommendations published
by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Weight management is an important public health issue, the report says. More
than 66% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. People can reduce their
risk for chronic diseases with as little as a 2% to 3% reduction in excess body