A Little's Good & More Is Better

More than 65% of adult Americans are considered overweight. Fortunately, many are trying to lose pounds and get into better physical shape. They're eating a sensible diet of whole foods, doing the recommended amount of exercise, losing then gaining back some weight. What can you do to keep it off and continue to see progress? A report in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that exercising over and above the current 30 minutes a day / 5 days a week recommendation is the key.

Scientists tracked the efforts of 201 overweight and obese women for 2 years. All had diets restricted to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day. Exercise ranged from moderate to vigorous, burning 1,000 to 2,000 calories per week. At the end of the study, only 24% of the participants managed an average loss of 10% body fat. Analysis showed that they consumed less dietary fat and engaged in more exercise – around 275 minutes each week. That's nearly 40 minutes per day, every day of the week.

The Bigger Picture: Before embarking on an ambitious exercise program, consult with a qualified medical professional. Start slow to assess your abilities, then gradually work your way up to bigger challenges. Combining weight training with cardio has been shown to promote more impressive results. Stay within your limits, but keep pushing the threshold of what's possible. The more effort you exert, the more you have to gain…or lose as the case may be!
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