Hey Lady! Don’t Waste Your Time at the Gym

best exercise to lose weight for womenFor many, “exercise” means intense workouts at the gym or on the treadmill – lots of sweating, lots of pain and lots of effort. It’s no wonder it takes a lot to get motivated to even start any type of exercise routine.  And when you do, it seems like so much effort for so little results.

Besides, some people are just not wired for intense workouts like this.  Admit it, even with the best intentions in the beginning, you eventually end up getting bored or burnt out and discouraged.  And do you really have the time?

Not to mention pushing yourself and over-exercising ends up doing more harm to your body, not to mention your self-esteem and your stress level.

The truth is, you don’t need to exercise to burn calories.

You see, you burn calories just by living.  No matter what you’re doing you burn calories.  In fact, you’re burning about 34-55 calories right now as you read this. You even burn calories while you sleep, because your body is working hard at digesting food, building and repairing muscle tissue and cells, and a bunch of other internal functions.  You burn calories when you eat, when you brush your teeth, when you’re laughing like crazy at some hilarious joke or comedy, and even when you’re stressing out.

How many calories do you burn without exercise?

The amount of calories burned takes in factors such as age, sex, height, weight, and general health.  As an example, a 35-year-old, 155 pound woman of average height will have an average BMR of just above 1,470 calories. Add in about 184 calories burned during eight hours of sleep, and she will burn 1,654 calories without exerting any extra effort.

BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. Meaning, this is what you burn when you are doing nothing and your body is simply functioning.  Now, add some regular daily activities to the list like walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking a little faster than normal, or throwing a Frisbee with the kids, then you burn even more.

The Harvard Medical School published a table in 2004 listing calories burned from 30 minutes of different activities based on people of three different weights.

What is interesting, and great news for us busy women, is that some of the activities that we do anyway as part of our normal daily routine, can burn just as much, if not more, calories than 30 minutes of exercise at the gym.

For example, 30 minutes of raking the lawn or playing with kids burns just as much as 30 minutes of yoga or brisk walking.  Same result, but now you’re actually being productive and having a good time as well.

Have a quick look at the list and you’d be surprised at some of the findings.  Here’s one I love – 30 minutes spent cooking burns 75-111 calories, plus 105-155 spent on basic child care activities like bathing, feeding, etc. and already, you’ve burned more than half an hour of low impact aerobics or on the stair step machine!

Trim Down Belly Fat discourages calorie counting, but just because I love the math and want to make a point, I want to throw in some numbers for you to think about.

A busy Saturday morning…

The recommended daily calorie requirement for a female age 14-50 is between 1800 (for inactive women) to 2,400 for active women.  If you were to eat healthy meals as we recommend, cut down on sugars, get some rest and manage your stress so your body is functioning at optimum, here’s what you can expect to burn on a regular busy Saturday morning:

Calories Burned in a morning

 

That’s a total of 2,404 calories burned so far and your day has barely begun!

As you can see, a typically busy day already burns a good amount of calories, all without exercise.  So why is it that you don’t seem to be losing any weight?

1) Overeating.  This is pretty obvious.  More calories in than calories out equals weight gain.  If you have bad eating habits, or are an emotional eater and constantly “graze” and snack all day long, chances are, you will end up taking in more calories than you burn.

2) Too much sugar.  This would have to be the biggest reason for how quickly the weight goes on.  Sugar is deceptive in that a small amount packs on a lot of calories.  And because it doesn’t really fill you up, you end up still hungry and eat more.

3) Lack of sleep.  When your body is tired, the rest of your internal functions become lethargic.  So, it doesn’t burn as efficiently or even effectively.

4) Stress.  Strangely, stress does burn calories – and quite a lot of it too.  But, it is on this list because even though it burns calories, stress also releases the cortisol hormone, which, if left at elevated levels, ends up causing fat to be stored in your belly.

As you can see, in order to lose weight, the message is still the same. Steps 1, 2, and 3 – Sleep more, eat more (healthy food), and stress less.  Those three alone will put you on a sure path to burning calories and losing weight permanently.

Where does exercise come in?

Exercise is the booster to help you build muscle mass which tones certain areas and further increases your metabolism.  Besides, exercise – or ANY physical activity for that matter – is essential to a healthy heart and should be part of living a healthy lifestyle – weight loss or not.

But before you hit the gym to sweat it out for an hour that you don’t have to spare, check here for a better alternative – 8 Minutes in the Morning lean belly workout.

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