Fit for the year

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The Silver Life - Fit for the year

How many calories can you burn in an hour?

By now we have either settled into the routine of fulfilling New Year’s resolutions by attending a gym or exercise class, or we have settled into the couch resigned to lose another year’s battle with calorie expenditure because burning calories is just too much trouble.

In the event that you are in the second category let me point out that burning calories need not feel like a chore — in in everyone’s life, no matter your level of fitness, there are a variety of fun things to do that are also burn up those calories and the fat that the manufacture.

I came across the chart below and was struck by how much one can burn in a relatively short amount of time (one hour). If you can’t find your favorite activity below, look at some of my previous articles for helpful suggestions of activities and how to undertake them or just use your computer and google the activity which you enjoy and make your own chart.

Activity (1-hour duration) Weight of person and calories burned
160 pounds 200 pounds 240 pounds
Cardio, high impact 533 664 796
Cardio, low impact 365 455 545
Aerobics, water 402 501 600
Backpacking 511 637 763
Basketball game 584 728 872
Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisurely pace 292 364 436
Bowling 219 273 327
Canoeing 256 319 382
Dancing, ballroom 219 273 327
Football, touch or flag 584 728 872
Golfing, carrying clubs 314 391 469
Hiking 438 546 654
Ice skating 511 637 763
Jumping rope 861 1,074 1,286
Racquetball 511 637 763
Resistance (weight) training 365 455 545
Rollerblading 548 683 818
Rowing, stationary 438 546 654
Running, 5 mph 606 755 905
Running, 8 mph 861 1,074 1,286
Skiing, cross-country 496 619 741
Skiing, downhill 314 391 469
Skiing, water 438 546 654
Softball or baseball 365 455 545
Stair treadmill 657 819 981
Swimming, laps 423 528 632
Tae kwon do 752 937 1,123
Tai chi 219 273 327
Tennis, singles 584 728 872
Volleyball 292 364 436
Walking, 2 mph 204 255 305
Walking, 3.5 mph 314 391 469

Adapted from: Ainsworth BE, et al. 2011 compendium of physical activities: A second update of codes and MET values. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1575.

Okay, you have found out something that you want to do to burn those calories, but what about the second half of the weight loss equation-that of reducing you calorie intake?

If you are like me and so many others there are a number of situations or stimuli that prompt, or even compel, eating when I am not necessarily hungry.  The things that seem to call my name start with the irresistible call of junk food.

I find that if I don’t purchase junk food to have around the house that is the first step.  Then If I eat healthy foods, they reduce my cravings as does waiting ten minutes when the craving comes on me (I often have to distract myself with a good book or other activity).

My second biggest Waterloo is when I am socializing with friends.  I find the dips, snacks, and appetizers irresistible once I start eating them.  To combat this, I try to eat something healthy before the event, drink water or club soda instead of other beverages, and try to stay away from the food tables by talking with friends at the other side of the room. It is great that many hosts now offer more healthy dishes like vegetables, hummus and other alternatives.

I have to assume that you know the physiological, sociological, and psychological benefits from increasing your fitness and reducing your calorie intake.  So even if you have slacked off this year’s resolution to get fit and lose weight, it is never too late to start and look forward to a great year and a revitalized you.

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Dennis F.
Dennis has lived or traveled in Australia, the United States and Asia. He is an Army veteran with a PhD in Child and Developmental Psychology. He currently lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, USA, with his wife Nancy and two dogs. Dennis is keenly interested in antiques, particularly militaria and coins. He occupies his time researching and writing for The Silver Life and caretaking houses for the summer residents of the mountains.

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