🏋️‍♀️Discover how much exercise you should do to lose weight

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Another common question that we receive is how long should I exercise for? Consistent exercise can provide significant health benefits to individuals which include:

  • improved mental and physical health;
  • aid in weight maintenance;
  • Improved confidence; and
  • Decrease risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, dementia, diabetes and forms of cancer.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the European College of Sport Science, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association task force recommend the minimum level of physical activity of moderate-intensity exercise or moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) to be 150 minutes per week.

I’ve brought up a term that you may or may not be familiar with – moderate-intensity exercise and you probably want to know what constitutes moderate-intensity exercise?

Moderate intensity exercise requires elevating your heart rate between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. A general rule of thumb is that you subtract your current age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate, and then calculate 50-70% of that. So for a 40-year-old individual, your maximum heart rate is approximately 180 beats per minute (BPM) and for moderate intensity exercise, you heart rate should be between 90 to 126 BPM. Modern exercise equipment and wearable technology such as your Fitbit or iWatch will provide you with your heart rate during exercise.

At moderate-intensity, your breathing should quicken but shouldn’t be out of breath, light sweat should develop, and you should be able to carry on a conversation.

This amount of exercise, coupled without dietary restrictions may induce modest weight loss but studies have shown that it is inadequate for clinically significant weight loss[1]. 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week, which equates to 30 minutes of exercise, 5-days per week, may provide important health benefits and assist in weight control. However, studies have shown that an increased amount of moderate-intensity exercise is necessary for weight loss and successful long-term weight management.

In order to achieve this, you should complete between 225 to 420 mins of exercise per week and you should aim to exercise at least 5 days per week[2]. This equates to 45 to 84 minutes per day on a 5-day schedule. It is estimated that every 50 minutes of exercise per week result in a loss 2.2 lbs over a 6-month period. So, if you exercise for 250 min each week, one can expect a loss of ~10lbs in 6 months, from exercise alone. This coupled with dietary changes can accelerate weight loss and help you achieve your desired weight.

To sum up, attempt to exercise at moderate intensity (50-70% of your maximum heart rate) for at least 45 minutes, 5-days per week. EP health has put together individual plans for you and these will follow these principles. In the following videos, we will discuss other types of exercise but do the types of exercise you enjoy. The key is that you get and keep moving!

If you’re in developing a wellness strategy for your organization, click here to access my calendar to book a call.

Liam Miller

Wellness Manager

EP Health


[1] Petridou, Anatoli, Aikaterina Siopi, and Vassilis Mougios. 2019. “Exercise in the Management of Obesity.” Metabolism 92 (March): 163–69. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2018.10.009.

[2] Petridou, Anatoli, Aikaterina Siopi, and Vassilis Mougios. 2019. “Exercise in the Management of Obesity.” Metabolism 92 (March): 163–69. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2018.10.009.


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