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Diet or exercise?

walkingIn our modern world we don’t get enough exercise the natural way unfortunately. We drive to work, we sit most of the time and we use escalators instead of stairs if we get the chance. And we certainly do not have to hunt for our food anymore. Instead we drive to a supermarket and even prefer to park close to the door to avoid having to walk too far from the car to the store and back. Do you do that too? I mean the parking thing? Do you drive an extra round on the parking lot in order to find that spot closest to the door? Not good!

We need exercise to stay healthy but sadly those who have packed on too many pounds often try to avoid exercise. And that is understandable. Exercise is hard. Certainly then the joints have a hard time coping with the overweight. Knees, feet and hips might be hurting, and walking becomes a burden.

You cannot win the fight against overweight by exercising alone though. Because 3,500 calories equals about one pound of fat, you would have to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. That is a lot of exercise, I can tell you that! Absolutely too much for most of us. So you have to limit your calorie intake to lose weight. Sorry, no other solution. If you are able to cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you will lose about one pound a week. Over time you would need to even cut back more than 500 calories to continue losing weight.

Just to show you how much exercise would be needed to lose one pound:

Running at 5 mph consumes 750 calories per hour. So you would have to run more than 4.5 hours to lose a pound. Swimming consumes 528 calories per hour, so swimming for more than 6.5 hours will do it also. A lot of people are walking and walking at 2 mph consumes about 255 calories per hour. So you would need to walk for 13 hours to take one pound off!

So if you had a large meal at your favorite restaurant you may feel good about yourself if you go walking the next day, and that is healthy and nice and you should definitely do it, but be aware that an hour walking will only take you 255 calories to do and the large meal may be a lot more than that….

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