Health Watch -- Fit and Healthy: Exercise Needs

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about exercise for health and appearance. Previously, we mentioned new guidelines that call for an hour a day of exercise. But do you really need that much?

Dr. Benjamin Levine, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says your exercise needs will vary according to your goals. Half an hour a day will do if you just want to lower your risk for some disease. An hour a day will help you avoid gaining weight. If you want to lose weight, you may need to exercise an hour and a half or more each day.

For fitness, you'll need to exercise at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time. The amount of exercise you need also depends on how many calories you take in.


July 2006

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