Deciding to devote an hour each day

The amount of aerobic exercise that you do depends upon your goal.

1 For very good physical fitness and stamina, 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, tennis, squash, swimming, and cycling does the job.

1 For weight maintenance, one hour of exercise a day takes care of you. 1 For actual weight loss, 90 minutes a day is necessary.

In 2002, the Institute of Medicine recommended at least one hour of exercise daily for good health and weight. This was based on numerous studies of the effects of exercise on health. This amount shouldn't be taken as an upper limit, though. If you want to do more, that's fine, but don't do less. An hour (not an apple) a day keeps the doctor away!

When I ask patients to do an hour of exercise a day, one of the most common replies that I get is, "I can't find the time." One way to find time is to keep a log of how you spend your time every day. When I ask my patients to do that, they're amazed at how much time is actually available. You may have to give up a little television viewing or shorten your lunch and walk instead. If you like to read, consider picking up audio books that let you get out and walk as you "read."

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