Many people exercise for the specific purpose of weight loss or to help maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. Being overweight or obese, as we now know can actually lead to a long list of dangerous, and even deadly, health problems. This information has been well documented and is sadly on an upward spiral.
According to the Public Health Organisation in England results in 2014 showed that "61.7% of adults were overweight or obese (65.3% of men and 58.1% of women). The prevalence of obesity is similar among men and women, but men are more likely to be overweight."
It is also fair to say that regular exercise burns calories, carbohydrates and fat. For those reasons alone exercise works perfectly if you are looking to lose weight. So, the really big question for most people is exactly how much do you need to exercise to drop the pounds you are looking to lose?
Time to do the REAL Numbers
We should begin this by stating clearly that no two people are exactly alike. It is impossible to be exact about your own unique bodily function by using general global averages. You could for example have two women with the exact same height and weight, but their body shape could be completely different. However, what you can do is to use the following formula as a base, and adjust accordingly to the specific results you experience.
To lose one pound of weight, you need to get rid of 3,500 calories
So now that you know the number, there is a little more to understand. Let us assume that over the period of one week you can burn off 3,500 calories. You will lose that pound in weight providing that you do not over-consume that same number above and beyond your normal daily recommended caloric intake.
This means you need to know how many calories you should be eating on a daily basis. If your dietician or doctor has recommended a 2,000 calorie daily intake, then it is important to start planning your meals and counting calories to make sure you do not go overboard.
You should also remember that exercising for weight loss only works if you don't replace the calories you burn.
In the above example if you were on a 2,000 calorie daily intake, then you need 14,000 weekly calories to maintain your current weight in any given week. If you burn 3,500 calories by exercising in that same week, you will lose 1 pound.
However, if you stray from your normal eating habits and consume an extra bunch of calories, your weight loss for that week is zero.
How Many Calories Do Specific Exercises Burn?
In addition to understanding how many calories your food contains, you need to know what exercises burns what amount of calories. There are weight loss calculators and exercise calorie charts available for free online. They reveal how many calories are burned by a specific type of physical activity.
For instance, you burn 4 calories per minute when you walk or bike slowly, and 7 calories when you pick up the pace. You can expect to burn 10 calories every minute you walk or jog.
You also expend 10 calories of energy every minute you swim at a strenuous pace.You can also expect to burn around 4 calories per minute playing golf or gardening, ice-skating or square dancing, or performing simple housework.
Playing basketball or baseball, ballroom dancing or walking downstairs you burn roughly 7 calories a minute. Dancing, Zumba class, weight training, climbing upstairs and cross country skiing all allow you to burn 10 calories per minute.
Once you know how many calories your particular exercise burns over a certain period of time, you simply need to put in the time required to drop the weight you are targeting. The best path to success here is recording everything.
Your body may burn more or fewer calories than average. Keeping track of how many calories you consume, what types of exercises you perform and the duration of each, in relationship to how your weight fluctuates, will reveal your personal exercise/weight loss formula.