Intense, continuous, and regular exercise programs are great for weight loss or overall health improvement, but you dont have to pump iron or sweat to aerobics to burn calories. Enough activity can be worked into your daily routine to benefit your health and body.
Burning calories is as easy as sleeping or reading, as productive as washing windows or planting flowers, as gratifying as flying a kite or coaching your kids soccer team, and as simple as walking from point A to point B. All physical activity (even sitting or sleeping) burns caloriesjust get moving.
Sure, the more intense and the longer the duration, the more you burn. But any exercise contributes to weight loss or management, muscle building, increased metabolism, improved self-esteem and body image, and stress reduction.
Although your weight, workout intensity, and performance efficiency affect the number of calories burned, any activity is worth the effort. Before adding up those numbers, take these facts into consideration:
A calorie is a measure of energy expenditure. One pound of fat stores 3,500 calories. To lose a pound of fat a week, you need to burn an extra 500 calories a day.
Sitting on the bench does not count. Although you may be burning minimal calories just sitting (about 1-1.5 calories per minute), your energy expenditure multiplies when you start moving.
Weight counts. The more you weigh, the more you burn. While a person weighing 125 to 174 pounds burns 52 calories in 10 minutes walking 4 mph, a person weighing 250 pounds or more will burn 102 calories performing the same activity. Most calorie-burning charts are based on the average 150-pound person. If you weigh less, youll burn less; if you weigh more, youll burn more. Focus on moving, not on counting, and youll benefit even more.
Jyl Steinback is a lifestyle trainer and author of Superfoods: Cook Your Way To Health.
Simple Ways to Burn 100 calories*
Run a mile
Put groceries away
Wash the car
Mop the floor
Take a shower
Rake the lawn
Play the piano
Fly a kite
Play miniature golf
Sweep the garage
(*These figures are based on a 150-pound person. If you weigh less, you burn less; if you weigh more, you burn more. For every 50 pounds, you burn approximately 40 percent to 50 percent more calories in 10 minutes. )