As the weather changes and your fitness goals for this summer evolve, consider the following! The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. If you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
While you can lose weight without exercise, exercise plus calorie awareness can help give you a weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. Exercise also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system and reducing your blood pressure. Exercise can also help in maintaining weight loss. Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term perform regular physical activity.
How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Any extra movement helps burn calories, though, and regular, daily activities may be easier to fit into your day. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can’t fit in formal exercise on a given day. For example, spend more time in the sun during a brisk walk at Legion Keener or Twin Lakes parks, or swim a few laps in the local pool, park farther from the grocery store, play outside with your grandchildren, and even consider planting a garden!
Ultimately, increasing your overall activity level and observing your caloric intake and find that your fitness goals are matched this season.