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Weight Loss Tool Underused by Many: Active Lifestyle

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What usually comes to mind when we think about weight loss and weight management? Diets, nutrition, healthy foods, exercise programs, weight lifting, cardio exercise, heart rate training; the list goes on and on. These are all good for your health and fitness.

But, maybe you’ve not paid enough attention to something you can do every day. Stay active as much as possible! When you sit down, your fat-burning enzymes shut down! Beware if you have a desk job or other sedentary job.

This was the subject of an ABC News article, “A New Way to Control Weight." Here are two excerpts from the article:

1. "It was hard to believe at first," said Marc Hamilton, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and leader of the research team. He said the team didn't expect to find a strong signal when they began researching what happens to fat when we remain seated. But the effect, both in laboratory animals and humans, turned out to be huge.

2. Hamilton is not suggesting that anyone quit exercising. But, he says, “his work shows that exercise alone won't get the job done . . . We have to pay more attention to what's happening when we aren't in the gym, because the body's ability to dispose of fat virtually shuts down,” he says, “at least if we're sitting down.”

I always encourage clients to stay active between workouts and even on the days they do workout. One of the best weight loss/management tools is an active lifestyle. You can’t workout every day but you can stay active every day. All movement burns calories.

I always use the example of my dad and many of his generation. He never formally exercised but he has never been overweight or obese. Two of the main reasons for his overall fitness is that he worked on a farm every day and his hobbies (such as fishing and hunting) required movement. The same things will work today to keep us fit but it might require us to be more intentional about staying active.

In a Mayo Clinic article titled, “Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success,” the following point is important:

“How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.”

“Any extra movement helps burn calories, though. Lifestyle activities may be easier to fit into your day. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can't fit in formal exercise on a given day. For example, make several trips up and down stairs instead of using the elevator, or park at the far end of the lot when shopping.”

I have 6 tips to help you stay active during the day:

1. walk-in-place while you watch television,
2. take a 30-minute walk or bike ride after dinner,
3. take walking breaks at work,
4. walk or bike when you can instead of driving the car,
5. do house chores and
6. walk at least 5 minutes every waking hour.

These activities require no money. Fit them into your day as often as possible.


Mayo Clinic article, “Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success”


ABC News article, “A New Way to Control Weight” Marc Hamilton, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and leader of the research team


Reviewed August 3, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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