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What Exactly Is "Moderate-Intensity" Aerobic Exercise?

People riding bikes

Exercise improves overall health and physical fitness, reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and is an essential component of any weight loss plan.  For healthy adults, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 150 minutes every week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least two days per week of muscle-strengthening activities.

For overweight or obese adults trying to lose weight, the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program recommends at least 200 to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity as well as the standard two days of muscle-strengthening work.

These forms of exercise are considered moderate-intensity physical activity:

  • Walking two miles in 30 minutes
  • Biking four miles in 15 minutes
  • Going up and down stairs for 15 minutes
  • Fast dancing for 30 minutes
  • Doing water aerobics for 30 minutes
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Gardening for 30 minutes
  • Wheeling yourself in a wheelchair for 30 minutes
  • Shooting baskets for 30 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes

If you are starting a new exercise program, remember to ease into activity gradually and consult your physician first. In fact, there are certain programs customized for beginning exercisers, including this walking program from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. There’s no day better than today to begin exercising in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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