4 b) Calories & exercise
By now I suspect you are beginning to understand the issue. As Americans we eat quite a lot. I wonder how we do on exercise? It is estimated that the average person takes about 10,000 steps a day. While this is not considered incremental “exercise”, it does add to your calorie burn. This activity will burn about 350 incremental calories, so now we are up to 1,850. Only about 15% of Americans have a scheduled exercise period beyond normal activity. The recommendation for all of us is a minimum of 30 minutes of any sort of exercise that will raise your heart rate by at least 50%. If your normal heart rate is 60 bpm then you need to raise it to 90. Brisk walking at 4 mph will accomplish this. You do not have to pay a gym to walk! This will burn another 300 calories, so now we are up to 2,150. Need some motivation to commit to this 30 minutes a day?
If you have yet to watch the video “23 ½ hrs.” please take a few minutes to do so:
A common comment is: “I’m a very busy person. I can’t spare even 30 minutes a day for exercise.” I have two suggestions for this person:
- Most people are lacking in time management skills. Unless time management is already incorporated in your daily activities then I would bet you are missing out on at least 30 minutes of daily time (probably closer to an hour). If you have not taken advantage of this skill set, do so.
- Set number one above aside. All of us need at least 30 minutes a day of alone time where we just plan and think things through. Pick an exercise activity that allows you to multi-task (both exercise & plan/think at the same time).
About ingestion of calories
However, we still have a problem and that is? You know this one as well………. We just eat too darn much food! Based on the averages we would need to exercise almost 3 hours a day to avoid gaining weight and that is not going to happen. There is no way around it, we must shrink our stomachs and learn to eat less. The average American needs to eat about 1,000 calories fewer a day, even with the recommended 30 minutes of exercise!
But what about the quality of the food that we eat? This is important for a lot of reasons, but not a huge factor regarding obesity. It is true that all calories are not created equal and there is a significant hoax regarding fat consumption that has been marketed to the public, but for that we will have to wait for the next blog.
Calorie Burn Chart (following is based on my personal treadmill computer which may or may not be exact, but it should be close):
Walk/Jog rate in MPH in KPH Calorie burn per min. Approx. heart rate %