Should Women Exercise for an Hour Every Day?

A new study suggests women need to exercise an average of 60 minutes a day to maintain a healthy weight.

By Leah Zerbe

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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.

• 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."

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