How Much Exercise Do You Need?

September 26, 2017

You might think that it would be easy to answer a simple question like this.  How much exercise do you need? Actually this is a very difficult question that requires careful thought and a clear definition of what your goals are. For those who are exercising to maintain flexibility and good health the answer will be completely different than for someone who is exercising to lose weight or to build more muscle. The tendency for most of us is to exercise more than we need to in order to achieve our goals.


I saw an interesting study recently that illustrates this point  Researchers at Duke University wanted to determine how much brisk walking was needed to improve blood sugar control in people who were pre diabetic. They divided 237 people into 4 groups. the first group reduced their caloric intake and briskly walked 7.5 miles a week. The second group did not control their caloric intake and briskly walked 7.5 mile a week. The third group briskly walked 11.5 miles a week. The fourth group jogged 11.5 miles a week.


After six months group1 had the biggest improvement in blood sugar control followed by those in  group three who did a high amount of moderate exercise. The group that jogged 11.5 miles a week did not do as well as the group that walked 7.5 miles a week. This showed that there was no additional benefit from the increased energy expenditure.


Consider this when you set your exercise goals. More is not necessarily better. For more information on healthy exercise go to



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Dr. Sanford L. Severin

Dr. Todd D. Severin

San Ramon, CA 94582 USA

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© 2020 by Sanford Severin, MD