Aerobics on the Go...Keeping It Simple!
Source: Joel Fuhrman, MD www.drfuhrman.com
Many People Find That The Simplest, Lowest-Tech Approach Often Works Best.
By Steven Acocella, M.S., D.C.
Adopting a healthful diet is an important step toward a leaner and more vibrant you, but diet alone will not make you fit. Getting toned and keeping those extra pounds off will require some regular physical activity.
Unfortunately, people express frustration when it comes to getting regular exercise. Just getting to the gym can take more time than some of us have to spend on the entire workout! I’ll show you how getting fit and staying fit is not as complicated as you think. With a little ingenuity, you can transform your home, work place, and even the shopping mall into personal fitness centers!
Here’s a bit of basic science to help you get started. We’ve all heard of the term “aerobics.” Simply put, aerobic exercise includes the type of effort that raises your heart rate and breathing for several minutes or more. Aerobics is the most efficient form of exercise for burning fat calories as fuel. We need to expend about 3500 calories to “burn” one pound of fat. Naturally, different activities burn calories at different rates. The good news is, there is no need to buy any expensive exercise contraptions, because even your simplest efforts can produce dramatic results.
The key to benefiting from any lifestyle change is consistency. When it comes to exercising consistently, many people find that the simplest, lowest-tech approach works best. By finding ways to incorporate exercise into activities you already do each day, you will be more likely to stay with your program. More importantly, you will be amazed at how fast those burned calories add up.
Keeping the famous K.I.S.S.— keep it simple—approach in mind, I’ve put together a few no-hassle exercise suggestions and calculated how many calories they burn during a typical day. The following routine calculates the number of calories a 40-yearold, 150-pound female will burn in one day. If you weigh less than 150 pounds, you will burn fewer calories; if you weigh more than 150 pounds, you will burn more. Let’s take a look at a typical day.
Shower time is a great opportunity to incorporate a bit of aerobics. Many people take a shower in the morning, and there’s nothing like starting your day with a bounce in your step.
A few simple calisthenics in the morning before showering always works well. Jumping jacks, fast toe touches (while bending your knees), and jumping rope fit right in with our low-tech plan. If jumping rope is too difficult or strenuous, use a make-believe rope and slow down until you can manage to jump for five minutes. Mix it up and enjoy your favorite exercises. Play a CD of your favorite five-minute song and keep moving until it’s over. Have fun with it. You can rock out in the morning, use your make-believe jump rope, and in less time than it takes Bruce Springsteen to sing Born to Run, you will burn 91 calories.
Other than maybe getting up to the Sears Tower Observation Deck, there is no reason not to take the stairs. Each morning upon arriving at work, sneak in three flights of stair climbing. Hit it again during a mid-day break and add a final three flights at the end of the day before you leave. You’ll be doing nine flights a day, five days a week, just for starters. Like any exercise effort, the more fit you become, the more you’ll be able to do. Work your way up to fifteen or twenty flights per day. Let’s calculate the benefits of intentionally taking the long way up. By simply skipping the elevator, you can burn a hearty 120 calories! And you don’t have to spend $500 for a stair-climbing machine.
I have one word for how to make television enhance your calorie burning efforts—commercials. For every hour of network TV you watch, you are forced to endure about thirteen minutes of commercials. So the next time that the inane commercials for Pizza King and Burger Hut appear on your TV screen...get up and dance, dance, dance for two minutes. Total calories burned by dancing during commercials during one hour of TV—90.
The Parking Lot
When it comes to using parking lots for exercise, size does matter. So if you want to keep your size small, park far away from the mall and from your office! Just think how relaxed you’ll be knowing you don’t have to drive in circles looking for a spot close to the entrance. If it is impossible to safely park far enough away to do some walking outside, add an additional minute of walking inside the building.
By allowing just a few extra minutes to walk from your car, you can burn 81 calories! If you park your car at one end of the mall and walk to the other to shop, you will burn an additional 43 calories. Total calories burned in one mall visit—124.
Let’s tally your simple, but vigorous, calorie-burning day:
Pounds Melt Away
By engaging in these simple, everyday activities, you can expend a whopping 3000 calories every week. Expending this many extra calories each week will make a huge dent in your waistline. Remembering our basic science lesson that we need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound, by consistently burning 425 extra calories per day you will lose three-and-a-half pounds per month. That’s over forty pounds per year. And remember, these are additional lost pounds, on top of those you will lose because of improved diet.
The chart above shows a wide variety of activities and their calorie- burning values.
From skipping the drive-through car wash and washing your car yourself to raking your own leaves, there are many ways to keep burning extra calories during your daily activities. I’ve mentioned just a few of the virtually limitless examples of things you can do. Get creative and make up your own user-friendly routines that fit your individual lifestyle.
The most important thing to remember is that consistency is the key to success. Keep your program simple (K.I.S.S.) by incorporating exercise into your existing daily activities, and you’ll enjoy much greater results than if you try to rearrange your life around a complicated—and often expensive—exercise program.
Exercise is an essential component in your quest to achieve health excellence. Make the commitment today to exercise consistently. If you think of more fun and practical ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life, please let us know. We’d love to post your suggestions and your results on our website.