dreamstime_xxl_41341437When it comes to weight loss, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need based on their body type, metabolism and exercise intensity.  That said, most people will need a high amount of physical activity unless one’s diet is adjusted to reduce the amount of calories being consumed.  The more vigorous your exercise program, the more calories per hour you will burn.  What do we mean by vigorous exercise?  Something is vigorous if your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation. Examples include:

  • Jogging/running outdoors or on a treadmill
  • Indoor cycling at a vigorous pace
  • Indoor stair climbing machine at vigorous pace
  • Swimming laps
  • Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer)
  • Jumping rope.

On the other hand, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster, but you can still carry on a conversation, you are probably exercising at a moderate intensity.  Examples of moderate intensity exercises include:

  • Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile) (outdoors or on a treadmill).
  • Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower).
  • Light snow shoveling.
  • Actively playing with children.
  • Biking at a casual pace.

To maintain weight it is recommended that you get approximately 225 minutes (3.75 hours) of exercise each week, with one-third of that being vigorous and the other two-thirds being moderate.