Tips for losing weight with exercise
The key to weight control is balancing our energy (food) intake with how much energy our body burns (physical activity). To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat.
Exercise is a key way to do this. When you exercise regularly, you build stronger muscles.. Muscles cells burn more calories than fat cells throughout the day, even while you are resting. This helps boost your metabolism.
How much exercise you need to make a difference in your weight depends on how much you eat and what activity you are doing. A medium-sized adult would have to walk more than 30 miles to burn up 3,500 calories, the equivalent of one pound of fat. Although that may seem like a lot, you don't have to walk the 30 miles all at once. Walking a mile a day for 30 days will achieve the same result, as long as you don't eat more than usual.
If you eat 100 calories a day more than your body needs, you will gain approximately 10 pounds in a year. You could lose the weight or keep it off by doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. The combination of exercise and diet is the best way to control your weight.
Aerobic exercise is exercise in which you are continuously moving a large muscle group such as in your arms legs and hips for a period of time. Your heart rate gets faster and your breathing becomes deeper and faster.
All adults should get 2 1/2 hours of aerobic exercise spread out over a week, but should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time.
If you have not been active, start slowly and build up over weeks or even months. Walking can be a good exercise to start with.
Every week increase the time you spend with the activity, do it more often or add a second activity. You can increase the speed of your activity or the difficulty of the activity, such as going up hills.
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine.