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April 18, 2010

How Much Activity Prevents Weight Gain

Harvard researchers decided to do a study on middle-aged women trying to determine just how much physical activity prevents weight gain as we age. The golden number seems to be an hour of moderate activity daily in order to prevent 5 pound of weight gain over any 3 year period.

Moderate activity is defined as enough exercise to raise your heart rate and breathing rate, but not so much that you cannot talk while doing the activity. You may sweat, but you are still able to carry on a conversation. You can talk, but you can't sing.

Unfortunately (there's always a caveat, isn't there?), women who are over weight to begin with are not able to avoid gaining more weight with moderate activity. And even women of "normal" weight are not able to keep the weight off with less than 7 hours a week of moderate activity.

Every time I hear these studies, or see shows on TV about obesity, I actually itch to get outside and move. And then I think about expanding upon that to taking up a regular walking or running routine again. And then I want to hang some expectation or goal that routine, and the next thing I know, I'm feeling overwhelmed and cornered into a commitment I'm not sure I can keep up with. And all the itch to get outside and move evaporates. Does this happen to you?

Lesson: When the mood strikes, don't think about it, just get out and move.

Posted by linda at April 18, 2010 8:14 AM

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