Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Is an Hour a Day, Every Day of Exercise Too Much?

Yes, you read that right. If you're a woman who wants to maintain a slim or healthy weight over the majority of your lifetime, a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association states that you should exercise one hour a day, every day. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times covering the study, entitled "Women should exercise an hour a day to maintain weight, study says," the study looked at over 34,000 women in the United States over thirteen years, and studied their exercise habits.

According to the study, over fifteen years, women gained an average of 5.7 pounds, which can be affected by things like smoking, pregnancy and so on. Those women who maintained that amount of an hour a day, every day, were the only women to maintain their body weight over the period of the study. Lead author of the study, Dr. I-Min Lee, said, "You can still do much for your health with a lower level of exercise. But if you want to exercise for weight control, it's 60 minutes a day."

That seems like a lot, doesn't it? It certainly is a lot more than the government-recommended amount of 150 minutes per week in order to lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments. However, to a lot of women, that can seem like too much. Also, the study doesn't take into account what the women who exercised heavily ate as well, which is another factor in weight loss. The study only looks at the amount of time spent exercising.

Now we've had articles here talking about the dangers of over-exercising, and to many, an hour every day might seem like over-exercising, which can cause all sorts of health issues. Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, said "It's complex. It's all about energy balance. It takes a very small imbalance to gain a significant amount of weight over many years."

Does an hour of exercise sound like too much exercise to you? Could you fit an hour of exercise each day into your schedule? These are just some of the questions women should ask themselves when reading a study such as this. Studies like this are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Portions of these studies can be taken into one's exercise and diet regimen, but shouldn't be adopted wholly, it seems.