In addition to the right diet, another important factor in weight management is exercise. Increasing the amount of exercise without changing your diet is not very effective in weight loss. However, if you combine exercise with a healthy diet, it can help you lose weight. Especially, if you have lost some weight already, regular exercise is an effective way to keep the kilos away. Generally speaking, physical activity can be divided into three categories: daily exercise, including everyday things such as shopping, cleaning and yard work, cardio such as running, brisk walking and swimming, strength and flexibility exercise such as ball games and gym training.

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Daily activities

One of the most effective ways for weight loss is to perform daily activities. This simply refers to everyday life that is lived without deliberately exercising. For example, using the stairs instead of a lift or walking short distances rather than taking a bus or a car. These sort of activities are particularly useful in keeping the lost weight permanently away, since the increase in activity may be just the necessary factor that does not cause weight to rise again.

Everyday activities are not as effective as fitness training, but its benefits come from pursuing it throughout the day. In that case, it adds to the total energy consumption of the day, although it does not consume as much energy per hour as exercise. An example is that if you sleep eight hours a day and walk for three minutes every hour you are awake, you accumulate a little over 5.5 hours of walking per week. This corresponds to about two hours and fifteen minutes of running at a rate of 6 min/km. This makes everyday exercise an effective weapon in the prevention of illnesses caused by obesity.

One of the best ways to everyday exercise is to go to work by bike or foot. When this forms a habit, it will make you exercise five days a week without even noticing it. The effect of this type of exercise is evidenced by the fact that fitness training has increased in recent decades, but daily exercise has decreased. At the same time, the average body mass index and the number of overweight people has risen considerably.

Regular exercise

Another form of exercise is regular exercise aiming for a healthier life, which also has its own benefits in terms of weight management. It includes different types such as brisk walking, jogging, going to the gym or playing ball games such as football. Regular exercise is useful in weight management because it burns more energy than daily activities and is much more than just sitting on the couch and watching the TV. As a result, if you practice any of the forms of regular exercise you burn more energy than a person who tries to lose weight only by changing their diet.

Any type of exercise that supports your body weight burns more energy, such as walking and running. In these forms of activity, the person is forced to carry their own body with their own strength and energy, and this will increase energy consumption. In some other types, such as swimming or cycling, the weight of the body itself is not supported at all. Therefore, there are good and bad sides to it – on the other hand, the energy consumption in these types of exercise is less, but on the other hand, they can be done by those whose joints, for example, due to overweight, are fragile.

Benefits of regular exercise

Exercise, among other things, improves fat and sugar metabolism and maintains muscle tone. Keeping muscles in good condition is important to anyone who is trying to lose weight because, in addition to body fat, weight loss often affects the muscles. This is a bad thing for two reasons, firstly because good muscle tone is important to human health and, secondly, because muscle consumes more energy than fat. As a result, loss of muscle mass causes the body to use less energy, which in turn will make weight loss even more difficult as the number of calories consumed per day falls. Regular exercise can even halve the loss of muscle mass due to weight loss. Even very low energy diets can lead to loss of muscle mass, and this is why it is important to remember to eat well even if it is the goal of weight loss. The effect of maintaining muscles in exercise is a particularly good thing for older people, as the age decreases the strength of the muscle mass, and extra kilos accelerate this process further.

In addition to the direct impact on weight, regular exercise also has other health benefits. It, for example, helps keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels down and prevents musculoskeletal disorders, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Endurance training improves glucose tolerance, while strength training boosts sugar metabolism. Additionally, the lack of regular exercise also degrades the quality of sleep, which, according to some studies, may make weight management more difficult. One of the added benefits of exercise is that it improves the body’s composition, as it reduces the amount of harmful fat around the internal organs. This will improve health even if the kilos don’t drop. If you are not losing weight by exercising and having a healthy diet, you might want to consider using diet pills. The most effective is orlistat, which is the active ingredient of Xenical.

How much should I exercise?

In order to receive great benefits from exercise, it should be as regular as possible. It is better to be somewhat active every day than pulling yourself completely into the barrel once a week and then land on the couch for the rest of the week without doing anything. Excessively heavy exercise is not a good idea, because it is not very motivating and hence it’s easy to drop out. Secondly, heavy exercise can even be dangerous to health in some instances as it may burden your heart and musculoskeletal system, especially if you are overweight and have little experience of exercise. Exercising and how to best lose weight by exercising still has several myths related to it but ultimately it is not difficult. As the old saying goes, sweating and becoming breathless but still be able to have a conversation is beneficial.

There are as many recommendations about the right amount of physical activity as there are people who recommend them. However, one good rule of thumb is that you should spend about one thousand kilo-calories a week doing physical exercise. For the average human being, this means approximately half an hour of brisk walking every day or jogging three times a week. A half an hour physical activity may be completed at once or divided to at least ten-minute time slots.

Children and physical activity

Regular exercise is especially important for children. Within the EU there are currently 22 million overweight children and the number is estimated to grow by 1.3 million each year. According to some estimates, this is due to the decrease in physical activity than the increase in the amount of energy from food, in other words, poor eating habits. It is important for a child to find a physical activity they enjoy. This provides positive experiences associated with exercise, and it encourages your child to move on a regular basis. Otherwise, the child can grow into a person who cannot tolerate physical activity. This is not so much about finding out that no form of exercise suits the child, but the fact that the child’s exercise experience has been negative and this has led to their unwillingness to exercise in the future. For the child to exercise, it should be a pleasure to experience and enjoy good times, not just goals such as weight management.

Children often gain behavioural patterns from adults, especially their parents. Exercising is one of the things where parents can perform as an example for the child, for example by taking the child to hobbies or playing active games instead of sitting on a couch watching television. Regular exercise for children is particularly important and the child should move around 1-2 hours a day. In children, as of course also in adults, obesity may have a detrimental effect on self-image, which can be particularly difficult for young people to handle in particular.