Exercise prevents muscle loss, so it is important to exercise when you are losing weight. Exercise will protect your muscles and keep your metabolic rate ticking over at a healthy level.
The number of people who are overweight and obese is increasing every year. This is because we have become more sedentary (inactive). For most of us, physical activity is no longer a natural part of our lifestyle, so it must be fitted into our daily schedule.
Get moving – it will give you energy
Some people feel too busy or too tired to exercise regularly, but exercise will actually increase your energy levels and help you to feel less tired. Exercise does not have to be overly strenuous, even moderate amounts of physical activity of about 30 minutes a day can speed up your metabolic rate and help weight loss.
The amount of energy you ‘burn up’ depends on your age, your gender and your activity level. Young people burn more energy than older people. Men burn more energy than women. More physically active people burn more energy than your average couch potato.
A healthier approach to exercise
The best approach to increasing the level of physical activity in your life is to take it slowly. You can increase your activity levels by simply increasing movement throughout the day. The human body is designed for movement and any physical activity brings benefits.
Moderate intensity exercise – walking, gardening, cycling, and even mowing the lawn – has been shown to help reduce body fat.
Other suggestions for a more active lifestyle include:
- Play a sport that you enjoy.
- Walk instead of taking the car on short trips.
- Get off the train, bus or tram one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
- Play more outdoor games with your children.
- Walk the dog.
- Take stairs instead of lifts.
- Choose exercise activities you think are fun, rather than those you think are good for you. You could try dancing or kicking the footy around with some friends.