Is Working Out 30 Minutes a Day Enough to Lose Weight?

You are already aware that exercise is important for your over-all health and longevity. Does that mean that you need to put in long sweaty hours in the gym for you to reap results? Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?

If you are just beginning to exercise, just 30 minutes of moderate activity for five days of the week, should be all that it takes for you to see results. If you want to see results more quickly add a sport like bike riding in hilly terrain, jogging, or singles of tennis.

Remember to consult with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routine.

What is the Best Physical Activity to Lose Weight?

Going for a 30-minute walk each day is the best, and safest way to lose weight. Walking is considered a moderate form of exercise.

You could also add strength-training two times a week to round out your exercise to include all the muscles of your body.

Strength-training is a great way to lose weight because it increases your metabolism. As you build more muscle your metabolism will increase to burn calories more effectively. Strength-training two days a week should be great.

A Study of 44 Obese Adults

There was a study done of 44 obese adults between the ages of 18 to 49 years old. This was a 12-week exercise program conducted by the University of Kentucky. The participants could choose whatever type of exercise they preferred – Run – Lift weights – Walk.

The difference between the groups was the amount of exercise they did. One group exercised 6 days a week. One group exercised 2 days a week, and the third group didn’t exercise at all.

As would be expected at the end of the 12-week period, the study found that those who exercised more frequently lost more body fat than the other 2 groups.

What Percentage of Weight Loss is Diet vs Exercise?

It is important to adhere to the 80-20 rule. It has been backed up by science and creates a healthy sustainable weight loss. That rule is “Weight Loss is 80 percent nutrition, and 20 percent exercise.”

If you eat a fast-food steak quesadilla, it can pack on 500-plus calories, and you will need to run more than five miles to undo the calorie overload.

As you exercise, you stimulate growth of your muscles and your bones. As you tone your body with exercise, your muscles take up less space, you look smaller, and your clothes fit better. Diet and exercise are both important.


“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”!


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that if you engage in one minute of vigorous activity, it is about the same as two minutes of moderate activity. Vigorous aerobic activity is defined by the Mayo Clinic as not being able to utter even a few words without taking a breath. Activity that makes you out of breath and increases your heart rate considerably, is vigorous aerobic activity.

It is worth noting, that the higher the intensity, the better the after-burn. You will reset your metabolism to be more energy effective in burning calories. Your body will keep burning calories for hours after your workout.

What Exercise is Best to Lose Belly Fat?

Walking or running is an excellent exercise to reduce belly fat. It will also lower your risk of chronic disease such as Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. It will strengthen and tone your abdominal core muscles, as well as your arms and your legs.

Strength-training twice a week is also effective to build muscle and increase your metabolism. This will help you burn more fat as well.

Some Examples of Vigorous Exercise Are:

  • Jogging
  • Swimming laps
  • Riding bike up hills
  • Playing singles tennis
  • Playing basketball or soccer

Some Examples of Moderate Intensity Exercise Are:

  • Fast walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Riding bike on level ground

How Do I Lose Belly Fat?

There are DVDs or apps that give home-based exercise.

Leslie Sansone has an extensive library of Walk with Leslie videos and YouTubes that you can do right in your own living room.

One satisfied person who used Leslie for fitness and weight loss gave a glowing review!

“5.0 out of 5 stars Best at home walk workout ever! Leslie is THE BEST!!! I have been walking with her for about 6 months now and have lost 55.5 pounds! I vary them up and also use an exerbike, but she is by far my favorite and most effective method for weight loss and lots of energy!!!”

Simone de la Rue, Jillian Michaels, Tracy Anderson, and Mandy Ingber are just a few others who have DVDs to help in sculpting your body.

Apps for Weight Loss


Formerly known as Weight Watchers, offers a variety of plans to assist in weight loss and maintenance. 24/7 live coaching is available from them.


Fitbit offers ways for you to track your weight and health goals. The downside to Fitbit is that you must purchase one of their devices to get the full benefit of the program.


MyFitnessPal is a great app that plans calorie counting into its weight loss program. It gives you an overview of how much fat, carbohydrate, and protein you consume each day.

Lose It!

Lose It! Is another user-friendly way to count calories as you journey towards weight loss. It has a data base of over 33 million foods, brands, and restaurant items to help you calculate your food intake.

It even helps you track your calories by taking a picture of your plate on your phone. This also is a way of helping you be accountable of portion sizes. Community support with other Lose It! members is available as well.

Other Fitness Apps are Apple Health and Google Fit.

Weight Loss Workout Plan for Beginners

150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes vigorous aerobic activity is what the American Health Association recommends for optimal health. That would equal 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

For weight loss, ramping it up to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity may be necessary. Spread this throughout the week. Jogging and walking, are the best aerobic exercises.

Exercise all your muscle groups at least two times a week, with free weights, weight machines – gym or home gym, and/or body weights.

Is Working Out 30 Minutes a Day Enough to Lose Weight?

Co-incidentally, according to WebMD, some research found that moderately overweight men, who exercised hard enough to produce a sweat, and did it for 30 minutes every day, lost an average of 8 pounds in 3 months.

If they were producing a sweat, you can expect that they were doing intense exercise, and not mild or moderate exercise.

Surprisingly enough, men who worked out 60 minutes a day – the extra 30 minutes of exercise each day did not appear to provide any additional loss in weight or body fat.

It sounds like 30 minutes a day of intense workout works well for weight loss!

Rebounders exercise every cell in your body in just a few minutes workout a day.

Can a 30 Minute Workout Be Effective?

The men who worked out to the point of sweating, for only 30 minutes each day, may still have had enough energy remaining to stay active longer throughout the rest of the day.

It was also thought the difference may have been that the men who worked out for 60 minutes a day, probably ate more to compensate for the longer workout.

A 30-minute workout that produces a sweat, is enough to be effective.

Social Benefits of Physical Activity

  • Empathy
  • Peer Acceptance
  • Leadership Skills
  • Increased Confidence

Physical Benefits of Physical Activity

  • Can be Fun.
  • Boosts Energy
  • Tones Muscles
  • Improves Mood
  • Combats Diseases
  • Promotes Better Sleep

Bottom Line

Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight? The American Heart Association recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity, 5 days a week, for your body to reap benefits.

If you want to lose weight and gain muscle mass, you may need to increase the intensity of your workout.

Strength training should be done at least two times a week and include all major muscle groups If you are exercising enough to produce a sweat, it will increase your metabolism to help you lose weight.

Do what you find fun and something that puts a smile on your face!

Remember the 80/20 Rule:

 Weight Loss is 80% Nutrition and 20% exercise.

“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”!

Please consult with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routine.

Please Leave a Comment

I would love to hear from you! Do you work out each day? How much exercise do you get in during the week? What is your favorite exercise? Do you exercise indoors, or go outside to exercise?

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.

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2 thoughts on “Is Working Out 30 Minutes a Day Enough to Lose Weight?”

  1. Thank you for such an extensive article. I have a few friends who think they have to exercise for hours and that turns them off from exercising. I think you did an excellent job pointing out that hours of exercise aren’t needed. I will defiantly share this with them so they can just start and stop complaining. 

    • Hi Dane, and thanks for stopping by with a comment! Some people are quite certain they must spend hours at the gym to get physically fit. I know many who are physically fit right into an older age, and they do it by consistently walking every day. Perhaps it takes lifting many pounds to build bulging muscles, but exercise does not have to be intense to stay toned and healthy. What it does take is consistent effort on a daily basis.

      On my website I have some articles, and plan on posting more. The rebounder or mini trampoline as some call it, is a great way to exercise every cell in your body. That can be done in as little as 10 to 20 minutes a day. Dave Hall of Cellerciser, is a great example of that. He has kept a 6-pack right into his 60s by exercising on his rebounder every day.


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