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To prevent weight gain, it is recommended that you do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week without increasing the number of calories you consume.

“Remember to start slowly with your exercise regimen and gradually increase its intensity and frequency,” says Dr Tham Kwang Wei, Senior Consultant and Director of the Obesity Metabolic Unit, LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Types of physical exercise for weight loss

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity

  • Badminton
  • Brisk walking
  • Leisure cycling
  • Tennis

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

  • Basketball
  • Running
  • Soccer

Equally important is incorporating incidental physical activity such as common daily activities. These are activities we do as part of life and are of low- to moderate-intensity exercise. These can also be used as a form of exercise if done for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time and can be accumulated over the day.

Daily activities that can be a form of exercise include

  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift/escalator
  • Getting off the bus early and walking the rest of the way to your destination
  • Parking your car far from your destination and walking
  • Household chores such as vacuuming, dusting, ironing, dishwashing

If your goal is to lose weight, you should target at least 250 minutes of exercise per week, instead of the 150 minutes required for weight maintenance.

"Your weekly exercise routine should also include resistance exercises," says Dr Tham. She adds, "Resistance exercises, allow for building of muscles. As muscles consume more energy than fat, those who are muscular burn more calories, even at rest."

Examples of resistance exercises

  • Free weights or weight machines
  • Resistance tubing
  • Water exercises

Unable to lose weight no matter what you do? Read on for information on getting medical help for weight loss.

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