Big Differences Can Come from Small Changes

06.04.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

AP Photo

Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach

You’ve heard all the dangers of being overweight and how exercise can help, but you just can’t seem to get motivated, because it seems so strenuous! The good news is that even a small amount of exercise can make a big difference. Physical activity contributes to weight loss especially when it’s combined with calories reduction. It’s really that simple….calories in and calories out.

You Can Get Active!

While exercise may seem intimidating at first, you don’t need special skills or training to be physically active. Keep in mind the following tips:

• Initiate physical activity slowly and increase intensity gradually. Start with a 10 minute walk three times a week and work your way up to 30 minutes of brisk walking or some other form of moderate activity five times a week.

• If it’s easier, split your activity into several short periods like 10 minutes three times a day. You will still get the same benefits as one 30 minutes session as long as you work at the same intensity.

• Pick activities that you like to do and fit into your daily life.

• Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or two. It takes time to incorporate more activity into your daily life. Just keep trying your best to make it a regular part of your life.

• Remember that many forms of activity can be social so find a friend or two to enlist. You can spend time with family and friends and exercise all at the same time!

• Make fitness a priority. Commit to it!

Burn Calories For Weight Loss

To lose weight, you must use more energy than you take in. For weight maintenance, your intake must equal your energy output. Let’s think of weight loss in 150 calorie increments because it’s a small and doable amount to reduce throughout your day.

• A difference of one 12 ounce soda (150 calories) or 30 minutes of brisk walking most days can add or subtract approximately 10 pounds to your weight each year.

• Adding moderate amounts of exercise to your routine five or more times a week uses 150 calories of energy on each day of activity, which can be equivalent to approximately 5 pounds in 6 months or 10 pounds in 1 year.

• Reducing your calorie intake by 150 calories a day, along with participating in moderate activity, could double your weight loss to approximately 10 pounds in 6 months or 20 pounds in 1 year.

Ways to Burn 150 Calories: 

Common Chores
• Gardening for 45-60 minutes
• Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
• Raking leaves for 30 minutes
• Shoveling snow for 15 minutes
• Washing window or floors for 45-60 minutes

Sporting Activities
• Swimming laps for 20 minutes
• Jumping rope for 15 minutes
• Walking 1.5 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
• Running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)
• Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes or 4 miles in 15 minutes
• Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
• Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes

As you can see, it doesn’t take much for 150 calories to add up. Multiply that amount over a period of time and you should see a weight loss. It’s not as daunting when you break it down to a smaller amount. Set a goal for yourself this week to do something everyday that will reduce your calorie intake by 150 or increase your activity to burn 150 calories and see where you are at the end of seven days. Then try it for another seven days.

Small steps can lead to big changes!

Stay Fit and Healthy,

Do you have any creative ways to stay active? Leave them below for other WOW members to read!

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