Exercise and Weight Loss

It’s a fact that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. That is the greatest connection between exercise and weight loss, burning calories.

It is imperative when you have a plan to lose weight that you limit the number of calories you drink and eat. According to the CDC, this is the most important factor in losing weight.

As much as we all love instant solutions, we can’t have that with weight loss

Exercise, and in this case consistent exercise is the best bet towards achieving good results with weight loss. 

Regular physical activity, according to research, increases your chances of maintaining weight loss.

How Much Physical Activity Should I Do?

Begin by doing a few minutes of exercise at a time. Any exercise is preferable to none, and this allows your body to gradually adjust to being active.

To reap the full benefits of exercise, aim to work out up to at least a half-an-hour most days of the week.

You can do short bursts of 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there if that’s more convenient. Each action may appear insignificant on its own, but they add up to create a real positive impact.

Once you’re in better shape, you can gradually increase the duration of your workouts and engage in more strenuous activities.

The best thing about being in better shape is that you can increase the intensity and get the same results in half the time. Jogging for 30 minutes, for example, has the same health benefits as walking for 60 minutes.

The pointers below show us a simple time plan for weight loss and maintaining your current weight.

Exercise and Weight Loss: To maintain your weight

Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, or an equivalent combination of the two.

Physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time, according to strong scientific evidence.

However, the precise amount of physical activity required to accomplish this is unknown because it varies greatly from person to person. To maintain your weight, you may need to do more than the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

Exercise and Weight Loss: To lose weight and keep it off

You’ll need a lot of physical activity unless you also change your diet and cut back on the calories you eat and drink. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan are required.

Also read, 6 Ways to Build Stamina and Endurance

What do the terms “moderate” and “vigorous” intensity in exercise mean?

Moderate: If your breathing and heart rate are noticeably faster while performing the physical activity but you can still carry on a conversation, it’s probably moderately intense. Here are some examples:

  • Walking quickly (a mile in 15 minutes).
  • Yard work (raking/bagging leaves or mowing the lawn).
  • Shoveling light snow.
  • Playing actively with children.
  • Biking at a leisurely pace.

Vigorous: Your heart rate has increased significantly, and you are probably breathing too hard and fast to hold a conversation. Here are some examples:

  • Jogging/running.
  • Lap swimming.
  • Inline skating/rollerblading at a fast pace.
  • Skiing on the cross-country course.
  • The majority of competitive sports (football, basketball, and soccer).
  • Rope jumping.

What Kind of Workout Should I Do?

Walking, biking, jogging, swimming, fitness classes, or cross-country skiing are all activities that will make your heart and lungs work harder. Mowing your lawn, going out dancing, or playing with your children all count if they make your heart race.

But there’s a catch, always consult your doctor to see if you should avoid any activities if: 

  • You haven’t exercised before and you are over 45 
  • You have a medical condition

However, if you just want to begin the exercises, start with something gentle on your body, such as walking or swimming. 

Work at a slow, comfortable pace to begin getting fit without overworking your body.

Strength training should be done at least twice a week. Resistance bands, weights, or your own body weight can all be used.
Stretch all of your muscles after you exercise at least twice a week. This helps you stay flexible and avoid injury.

How many calories are consumed during normal activities?

The table below shows the calories used in common physical activities at both moderate and vigorous levels.

Calories consumed in common physical activities per hour

Moderate Intensity ActivityApproximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 70kg Person1Approximate Calories/Hr for a 70kg Person1
Light gardening/yard work165330
Bicycling (<10 mph)145290
Walking (3.5 mph)140280
Golf (walking and carrying clubs)165330
Weight lifting (general light workout)110220
Vigorous Intensity Activity
Approximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 70kg Person1Approximate Calories/Hr for a 70kg Person1
Running/jogging (5 mph)295590
Weight lifting (vigorous effort)440
Bicycling (>10 mph)295590
Basketball (vigorous)220440
Swimming (slow freestyle laps)
Heavy yard work (chopping wood)220440
Walking (4.5 mph)230460

Calories burned per hour will be higher in people weighing more than 154 lbs (70 kg) and lower in people weighing less. taken from Dietary Guidelines 2005, page 16.

The Bottomline

Walking, lifting weights, and doing chores are all beneficial. Regular exercise and physical activity, regardless of what you do, is the path to health and well-being.

Exercise burns fat, increases muscle mass, lowers cholesterol, reduces stress and anxiety, and allows us to sleep soundly.

How we reviewed this article


CDC: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight.

American Diabetes Association: Weight loss.

Acha Maoni

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