If you are trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, plan to block some significant time in your schedule. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends between 150 and 250 minutes a week of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise. It’s important that your cardio also be intense enough to be effective. Moderate intensity exercises include walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour. You can also try mowing the lawn, bicycling with light effort, and water aerobics.
The ACSM’s position shows that combining 150 to 250 minutes a week of moderately intense exercise with a moderate diet restriction can prevent weight gain and result in moderate weight loss. More exercise is associated with more significant weight loss.
You can break up your exercise time across three to five days. For example, you might decide to exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week to get 150 minutes. Or you could exercise for 50 minutes five days a week to get 250 minutes.
If you have a busy or unpredictable schedule, you can break up exercise into small chunks. Instead of spending an hour on the treadmill, you can spend 30 minutes walking or jogging at lunch, and then take some 15 minute breaks to do some exercise. Even 10-minute spurts of exercise count.