exercise recommendations

Should Women Exercise for an Hour Every Day?

A new study suggests women need to exercise an average of 60 minutes a day—not 30 minutes five days a week—to maintain a healthy weight. But that's not the whole story.

By Leah Zerbe


Should Women Exercise for an Hour Every Day?

Don't watch the clock: Let the researchers argue about time while you keep moving.

• Pay attention to NEAT. Stanten says another component of the weight-loss/weight-maintenance puzzle that is just starting to be talked about more involves "non-exercise activity thermogenesis," or NEAT. "Thanks to new research from James Levine, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, we're learning that the activity we do throughout the day, outside of traditional exercise, can have a big impact on our body weight. And this study did not look at this component."

NEAT includes ways you stay active throughout the day by doing things like taking the stairs, parking farther from a destination, and getting up from your desk every hour or so.

(Stay tuned, Preventionand will feature more on this issue this summer.)

• Bring your diet into the equation. "Remember that we don't exercise in a bubble," says Stanten. "Your diet impacts your weight. Research also shows that sleep has an effect, and stress is also involved."

To find hundreds of healthy recipes, visit the Rodale Recipe Finder, and eat whole, organic foods whenever possible. Research is finding that farming chemicals can contribute to obesity and diabetes.

"The most important thing that people should take away from this is that most Americans need to be more active, and that in trying to maintain a healthy weight, you can't ignore your diet," says Stanten. "Most of us are too busy to fit in an hour of exercise a day, so you have to also watch what you eat."

Published on: March 25, 2010
Updated on: January 20, 2012

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This advice was very helpful

This advice was very helpful for me. Thank's a lot. I'm form Chernovtsy, Ukraine and we have a real problem with healthy life i my country. I need to drive from my apartment over half an hour just to get some naturalyy-grown food. I wish good luck to this web-site's time and more interesting and what more important- useful topics for us all) Regards, Short rentals

Not only women

It's good for anyone to exercise a few times a week. A 30 min. walk every day, or an hour of workout every two days, will work wonders on anyone. Plus, it's great for lowering high blood pressure. הובלות


this is genetic, human breed differencies, as Rh factor, eyes color. you just can working hard and follow strong diet, also maybe use some medicine. remember, when you have excess weight, your bones and heart are working in the stress.


The researchers are taking things in a boarder sense. We feel that we are doing the best we can in the time we get between our life. Most of the time the exercise followed could not be done everyday due to lack of time and busy schedule. Thanks for the recommendations. Angie's List

who's at fault?

Is it really these horrible researchers telling us we suck and aren't doing good enough? Or is it us as a society trying to justify our own actions and americans we are brought up to always think we are the only ones who know whats best for our own selves, and we create this idea as acceptable, and justify our thoughts by disagreeing with the science that is presented. If we don't like the answer were given to a question WE actually present(i.e. how do I lose weight?) maybe we should re-evaluate if we are really that dedicated to our efforts/question or if we are in all actuality a lazy society that likes to take the easiest road possible to get where we want to be....


I think that what all these studies miss is that we are all individuals. If I don't exercise At least 60 minutes a day for at least 5 days of the week and if I do not eat healthy food choices then I will be as big as a house . I have a friend who has had 2 children eats m&ms or Chocolate sprinkles on toast for breakfast with Mcdonalds for lunch and a really high fat high calorie supper And she only exercises once and a while ( I am not saying her choices are wise or Healthy Just that her body needs less to stay thin and appear healthy) . My friend is also very skinny. Listen to your body for what it needs not a general studie on what someone else thinks your body needs.


Don't you think that women do exercise all day long? I know I stay very busy, and usually do not sit down until the dishes are done and put away.

Sleep comes easy after a full day of being busy.

What more do these researchers want?

If we followed all their advice, we'd spend more time reading their suggestions, instead of listening to our own bodies and perceiving its needs.


Thank you for this article. I had just finished an intense 25 min. intervals workout on the stationary bike at the gym today, when an (overweight) man accused me of "leaving early," because of an article he read that women must exercise an hour a day to be healthy! Geez. Intervals workouts were just in the news a few weeks ago about how beneficial they are; I feel great doing them. (I follow the free one from Jonathon Roche through
I'm disappointed that this study, while coming out with this big time requirement, neglected to include or report on diet, activity level during the day, stress levels, age, pre-/post-menopause, etc. What's the point of studying women for 13 years and just looking at exercise?!
I appreciate this response on Rodale, putting the study results in perspective. I plan to put the one hour a day idea out of my mind, and continue on with my workouts and healthy eating, including whole, organic foods and green smoothies.


As stated what is moderate exercise? If you are doing an extensive workout you might not need 60 minutes a day. If you reward yourself with cookies and sweets you are defending the whole purpose. Exercise smart and eat smart. If you don't take care of your body where will you live.


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