Only 21 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 25 to 64 meet the recommended guidelines in terms of getting enough exercise each week. Those numbers by the way are 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, according to the Centers of Disease Control. Other data show than only less than 5 percent of us exercise vigorously each week.
Each week more and more people stop exercising because they do not experience any weight loss or their weight loss has reached a plateau. For many Americans and the rest of the world for that matter, trying to lose weight by exercising is not working. There needs to be a fundamental shift in our thinking. The goal is to think about exercise as a way to prevent weight gain rather than a way to lose weight. Realize that if you’re not “losing weight” from exercise …your still getting plenty of health benefits! You need to exercise most days of the week for calorie expenditure, stress management, for heart health, to build and maintain muscle and to keep your metabolism revving. As you begin to grasp this concept you then need to ask yourself each day “how much activity (beyond 30 minutes of exercise) have I really done today?” This is the step that many of us are not completing each day or maybe not consistently enough throughout the week. If you’re eating well, getting in 30 minutes of exercise; enough to meet the 150 minutes a week guideline and you’re active most days of the week; then your job is complete. If you stay consistent over time, you will begin to notice a change in regard to how you look and feel. The next thing you know you’re pulling your belt buckle a little tighter or you’re down a dress size. Just remember, start to think of exercise as one of your tools to prevent weight gain not as a way to lose weight.