Posted on 26 Aug 2015 Views 4783 Comments 8
Regular physical activity (exercise) is just as important for our health as the foods we eat. However, we often push physical activity to one side and try to lose weight by dieting alone. Whilst in the short term, you may lose weight this way, the key to keeping weight off long term is changing your lifestyle – changing both your dietary habits and your physical activity routine.
Whilst on the Slim & Save programme, you’ve probably already reviewed your usual diet, and where you might have been going wrong in terms of becoming overweight in the first place. Perhaps it’s your portion sizes, or unhealthy snacking, or the frequency of eating out and takeaways. However, have you managed to consider your physical activity routine and how this could help support your weight loss goals? This article will provide you with some information on physical activity, and how to integrate this into your everyday lifestyle during and after Slim & Save.
Put simply, the evidence tells us that people who do regular physical activity live longer. However, there are lots of other benefits to regular exercise, including:
Rather than rushing out to buy a gym membership, and starting a vigorous training routine, think about what forms of physical activity are sustainable for you. Think about the sort of activities you would still be able to keep up in five years’ time, and consider those changes. The best sort of changes are those that fit into your daily routine. Here are a few examples of activities that can burn extra calories without too much extra effort:
Anything is better than sitting down! However, to benefit your health, you need to be doing at least ‘moderate’ physical activity – something that increases your heart rate, makes you breathe faster, and makes you feel warmer. Or put another way, activities where you can still talk but would struggle to sing the words to a song! You should do at least 30 minutes five times a week, but lots of shorter 5 minute bouts throughout the day all count too as they can be added up.
Whilst exercise is not just about calories burned, it’s sometimes useful to think of activities in terms of the number of calories you burn – especially for those activities you might not traditionally think of as ‘exercise’, like housework and gardening. The following table may help you with your planning. They are based on calories burned for a 90kg person (if you weigh more, you will burn a little more). To help put this into context, sitting down and typing at the computer for 30 minutes only burns 45kcal.
|Activity||Length of time||Calories Burned (kcal)|
|Ironing clothes||30 Minutes||103|
|Vacuuming the house||30 Minutes||158|
|Walking briskly||30 Minutes||203|
As you will no doubt already be aware, high intensity exercise is not advised whilst in ketosis. This is because in order to sustain high intensity exercise, your body needs carbs; it cannot break down fat stores quick enough to supply the extra energy needs for intense exercise. You’ll probably struggle with fatigue and poor energy levels if you partake in intense exercise whilst on the programme. Whilst you’re on Slim & Save, think about how to incorporate extra physical activity into your daily routine, and plan in regular slots of moderate intensity activities (like jogging, cycling or swimming) especially if you’re unable to exercise during the day due to work commitments. Check out our exercise advice page for more information.
Once you have lost your weight and achieved your goals, it’s important now more than ever to consider your physical activity routine. Think about all those ways you are incorporating physical activity into your daily life, and consider including (or building up to doing) some more intensive exercise. For some people, this may be taking up a sport, for others joining a gym, and for others, simply doing a regular exercise DVD or online exercise video may work best. Do something you love, or set yourself a goal to do something you’ve always wanted to do. However, remember to start small and work your way up, and remember to always set yourself realistic goals.
Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian
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Based on the Slim & Save customers who are using the Weight Tracker Application. (Data auto-updated at 5am each day).