Put in the Time

For years, experts have been recommending 30 minutes of activity on five or more days per week. But to lose weight, more activity is needed; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)recommends 60 to 90 minutes per day. One study showed that people who lost an average of 72 pounds maintained their loss by exercising one hour per day. The 60 to 90 minutes can be a combination, say 30 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of strength training, 10 minutes of stretching and 30 minutes of household chores or gardening.

For general health purposes, experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (broken into 10 to 15 minute blocks, if necessary) three times a week. If getting even that much is a challenge for you, you should speak with your doctor about a safe way to push your exercise frequency, duration or intensity higher to spur weight loss.

Move Every Day

A single 24-hour period of inactivity can lead to a 25 percent increase in the amount of fat tissue and a 19 percent increase in the size of fat cells, according to University of Missouri-Columbia researchers who studied the effects of daily exercise and inactivity. Without a doubt, exercise and weight loss go hand in hand.