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U.S. Government Exercise Guidelines -- Is 30 Minutes Enough?

Stephen Cabral raised an interesting point about government exercise guidelines on his blog. The question was whether 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise is enough when you are trying to lose weight.

Currently, the U.S. Government recommends "30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week."

In the beginning, I think that 30 minutes is perfect... However, I believe you’ll quickly find that 30 minutes 3-5 times per week of "moderate cardiovascular" exercise will not be enough to keep your fat loss efforts moving forward.

He's right. If you aren't doing any exercise currently, then whatever you do will help. But your body will soon adapt. If you don't increase the time or intensity of your exercise you'll soon plateau.

So although 30 minutes is great for beginners, you'll want to either up your intensity, add more time, or add additional days than just the minimum recommended times per week. Take 30-60 minutes out of your 24 hour day most days per week to attain your personal weight loss goals!

This is part of a much larger controversy. There is not a day that goes by that some "expert" proclaims that exercise will not help with weight loss. But is that true?

What is true is that if you overeat, exercise alone will not take off the pounds. There is nothing that overcomes overeating. When it comes to weight gain, overeating is the irresistable force.

You can always eat more than you can exercise off. You can eat 10,000 calories per day. There's a limit to how much you can exercise, but for all intents and purposes there is no limit to your food intake. That's why there are people that weigh over 1,000 pounds.

Ambulances these days are built with special springs to hold the massively obese. Hospitals have lifts in the ceilings of their normal rooms that lift 600 pound patients. Then they have special rooms with heavy-duty lifts that will hold 1,000 pounds.

Airlines worldwide are spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on additional fuel to carry overweight passengers.

Even ferry boats -- ocean-going ships if you can imagine this -- had to be redesigned because as the average rear end became larger there was not enough passenger space.

So in one sense the critics are correct. Exercise is not a complete answer to weight loss.

But it's important to keep things in proper perspective. You can burn off several hundred calories per day in exercise. Add this to a reasonable diet and what do you have? You have a lean, trim figure you can be proud of. And you are healthier as well.

There's genetics involved as well. Some bodies are designed to store extra calories. It is nature's way of making sure you don't starve in lean times. Well, there are few lean times anymore as far as calories are concerned.

If you aren't the naturally skinny type, then you probably need more exercise than average in order to keep your metabolism fired up and to keep burning calories.

And in that case following the government exercise guidelines of 30 minutes a few times per week will just not do it, particularly if the intensity is not high.

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

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  • Clearwater, FL 33761
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