Weight Loss And Exercise

The relationship between diet, exercise and healthy weight is undeniable. When you’re active, you burn more calories and, if you aren’t consuming more calories than you need, you’ll meet your weight loss goals or remain at a healthy level.

How Does Exercise Affect Weight Loss?

Your body needs a certain amount of energy to function each day. This energy is measured in calories, which you get from the food you eat. Exercise also requires calories, and the more you exercise, the more calories your body burns. If you’re consuming approximately the same amount of calories that your body burns each day, your weight will maintain. Consuming fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss.

How Much Should I Exercise to Lose Weight?

Most doctors recommend both calorie reduction and exercise to achieve weight loss results. This could mean eating 300 fewer calories each day and exercising to burn an extra 300 calories a day, resulting in a loss of 600 calories. Approximately 3,500 calories equals one pound of body fat.

Always start small as you begin an exercise program and discuss your physical needs and limitations with your doctor first. You can ramp up your exercise routine over time, but pushing yourself too hard in the beginning could lead to injury.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that adults get approximately two and a half hours of aerobic activity a week, in at least 10 minute increments. Strength-building exercises like push-ups and light-weight exercises can increase muscle tone.

You can find creative ways of sneaking exercise into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs, parking at the far end of the parking lot or playing outside with your children.

How Does Muscle Affect My Weight?

Muscles require calories to function and larger muscles burn more calories. As the muscle content of your body increases, you’ll actually burn more calories simply by going about your daily routine, though not a healthy diet and exercise will be more effective.

Muscle is smaller but denser than fat, so remember this when weighing yourself. Losing body weight will give you the appearance of slimming down, but don’t be upset if your weight stays the same or even slightly increases due to the building of healthy, heavier muscle.

Your doctor can help you determine a healthy weight for your body type and give you tips on maintaining a healthy weight.