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Monday, February 21, 2011

Weight creep

"Weight creep" is the unwanted pounds that slowly show up on the scale.
You may think that a couple of pounds here and there is no big deal. When it happens every holiday season, though, it can add up. If you are overweight, shedding as few as five pounds can make a difference in your health.

Exercise may be the best way to keep a check on weight creep. How much exercise you need depends on the amount and type of the activity, and how much you eat. The more calories you consume, the longer or harder you have to work to burn them off.
Burning off caloriesA medium-sized adult would have to walk more than 30 miles to burn 3,500 calories, or one pound of fat. Although that may seem like a lot, you don't have to walk the 30 miles all at once.
  • Walk your kids to the bus stop instead of driving them.
  • Take a walk during your lunch hour and spend more time exercising instead of eating.
  • Walk across campus from class to class instead of hitching a ride.
  • Take a 10-minute walk after a meal.
These are small steps. It doesn't require a big change in your life, but it can make a big difference.
The goal for a healthy lifestyle should include at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Even if you walk for 10 minutes, three times a day, you've reached your 30 minutes. To lose weight, you need to exercise more than that - for 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week.
Do something you likeWalking is a popular option for people looking to get off the couch. If this is your choice, start slowly. Gradually put some swing in your arms and increase your speed and distance. After a while, you may want to add 3- to 5-pound hand weights to burn more calories and to gain more definition in your upper body. Check with your doctor first to ensure the weights won't aggravate an existing problem such as arthritis or hernia.
Also make sure you pick an exercise that you enjoy. If you pick something you like, you're more likely to stick with it. Choose an activity that is right for your lifestyle, too.
Whether you walk or kick box, doing it regularly is rule number one. Also, exercise smarter, not harder. Intensity is important, but first try increasing the length of your workout.
Finally, "no pain, no gain" is a myth. Exercise should tire you, but it should never be painful.

By:  Barbara Kunz, PhD



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