Thursday, April 01, 2010

How much should we exercise?

Well, this is confusing and annoying. In recent weeks, two somewhat contradictory studies have been published regarding the ideal amount of exercise. In one study, researchers suggest that 20 minutes of interval exercise can provide the same benefits as many hours of conventional working out. But shortly after, another study came out that claims women should work out an hour each day just to maintain their weight. So who's a gal to believe?

Exercise experts say the most important message is to be active and follow a good diet and nutrition plan. The amount of time a person should exercise depends on his or her fitness goals, whether it's for weight loss, health maintenance or performance training. Existing public health guidelines, by the way, recommend that children and teenagers exercise one hour every day and adults get a weekly minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking, dancing, gardening) or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity (jogging, aerobic dancing and jumping rope).

So here are my thoughts, for what it's worth...don't ever forgo physical activity. But if you're trying to lose weight, focus those efforts on food rather than exercise. All the exercise in the world won't matter if you're daily calorie count is through the roof. Remember, a sugar-free diet can help shrink the waistline over time. According to this calorie savings calculator, switching from a regular 8-ounce cola to a sucralose-sweetened variation could save 100 calories each day - and result in a loss of up to 15 pounds throughout the year. And a blueberry muffin baked with sucralose can shave 80 calories from your daily intake. Not bad, ey? Either way, you will find that making small changes and turning to low-calorie foods and beverages sweetened with sucralose can have a huge impact on weight over the course of the year.

I'll be back tomorrow with some tips for a sugar-free Easter!

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