People in the National Weight Control Registry, a group of more than 10,000 members, have lost an average of 60 pounds and kept their weight stable for up to 5 years. To keep their weight off, members report exercising, on average, about 1 hour per day.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that you get at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. But if you're trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, you'll need to boost your physical activity to 60 to 90 minutes a day. It will also help to chart your progress as you increase your activity level.
To begin an exercise program:
Talk with your healthcare provider first and then start slowly. Start with 10 to 30 minutes of moderately intense activity, like walking 3 days a week. Build up to 45 to 60 minutes on most days.
Schedule your physical activity a week in advance, use a diary to record the actual time you exercise, and try to set aside a regular time of the day for exercise if possible.