Orlistat and exercise

If you’ve embarked on a weight loss journey with Orlistat, it’s important to keep in mind that the treatment can’t do all of the work for you. You need to stick to a balanced diet, and ensure you exercise regularly.

How much exercise?

The NHS advises that adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week. Alternatively, you can get this done in half the time by opting for  75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.

What exercises should I do?

Moderate intensity exercises include: water aerobics, riding a bike, dancing, doubles tennis, hiking and rollerblading. If those sound a little too intense for you, brisk walking and pushing a lawn mower also count. That means you can fill your exercise quota by taking the dog for a walk, or by doing the gardening! The key is to find something regular that you can stick to.

If you’re happy to opt for the more vigorous options, then these include: jogging, team sports (football, hockey etc), skipping rope, aerobics, gymnastics and martial arts. You can also try some basic home exercises, listed in our DIY workouts post here.

I’ve never exercised before – how should I start?

If you’re new to exercising, it’s best to try and find something that you enjoy, as you’re far more likely to stick with it! You may find just walking with a friend or loved one is enough to keep things fun, but it’s also worth considering a low-intensity fitness class.

There are many of these classes to choose from, but water aerobics can be particularly beneficial for beginners. Water helps to support your body weight, which makes you feel lighter, and reduces the impact on your joints. Find a class near you on the NHS website.

Top tips to get more active:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Five minutes climbing stairs burns up to 150 calories!
  • Clean your flat or organise those messy cupboards. Intense tidying counts as exercise!
  • Use a basket instead of a shopping trolley – you’ll give your arm muscles a workout, and will probably finish your shopping quicker!
  • Park further away from work, or get off the bus/train one stop earlier. You’ll add a whole lot more exercise to your week.
  • Exercise while watching TV. You can watch the latest Netflix hits whilst you get fit, by doing simple workout routines or buying a home exercise bike.


    Scott McDougall (MPharm) is a clinical pharmacist and in addition to being Cornerstone’s senior in-house pharmacist, is the co-founder of The Independent Pharmacy, one of the UK’s leading independent online pharmacies.

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