Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important
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For people wanting to lose weight, burning calories is high on the agenda. And with fancy new diet hacks and pills out there promising to increase the amount of calories you burn daily at little to no effort, experts have advised that sadly this isn’t the case.
If someone really wants to decrease their calories intake, they have to do it the “old-fashioned way” – by moving more.
The number one way to burn more calories remains the same says Barry Popkin, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“Essentially, we know of no way to burn more calories or up our metabolism than to move more,” he explained.
Exercise is the gift that keeps on giving, as the body burns calories to fuel the activity a person is partaking in.
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And even after the workout has ended, the body is still burning more calories.
While experts have had a hard time to pinpoint just how long this effect lasts as it can vary depending on body composition and level of training, personal trainer Christopher Wharton said: “It’s safe to say metabolic rate can be elevated with aerobic exercise for at least 24 hours.”
He advised exercising for longer periods if a person wanted to prolong this calorie-burning effect.
“Studies have shown that with increases in exercise time, the elevation in resting metabolic rate is prolonged,” he explained.
Wharton went on to reveal that strength training is another form of activity that has added benefit.
While a person is still burning away those calories, they’re building muscle mass as well.
And muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, even when you are resting.
He explained that 10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories.
His theory was supported by Megan McCrory, a researcher with the School of Nutrition and Exercise Science.
“The most effective way to increase metabolism and burn more calories is by aerobic exercise and strength training,” she said.
“Both are important.”
If you’re still not convinced, nutrition lecturer at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Jamie Pope, revealed even fidgeting can burn calories as it still qualifies as movement.
“Older studies suggest additional calories can be burned each day with fidgeting,” said Pope.
One study even found that informal movement such as fidgeting may be more important than formal workouts in determining who is lean and who is obese.
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