Maintaining a healthy weight – When it comes to weight loss, many of us choose to make a change in our diet instead of doing any physical activity only because reducing the calories intake will surely help us achieve the goal faster.
But there’s a catch: only physical activity will help you maintain a healthy weight after losing the extra fat. In addition to this, physical activity also helps prevent many health problems, get better sleep, improve the condition of our mood, and many others.
Physical activity and a healthy diet go hand in hand. You can’t choose and maintain one while ignoring the other. Here, in this article, we will help you understand why physical activity is important in maintaining a healthy diet. So, let’s get started.
Misconception about physical activity
A significant amount of people imagine physical activity as an intense workout session. You know, lifting heavy weights at the gym, or running on treadmills on a high speed setting. But that’s not the entire picture.
Physical activity is basically what we do throughout the whole day, any bodily movement that requires a certain amount of energy to work.
Whatever activity we do during a normal day can be considered as ordinary physical activity. For instance, doing chores, walking to school, etc.
The force of physical activity can vary from ordinary to vigorous. Examples of vigorous physical activity are doing regular exercise like running for a good amount of time, swimming, jogging, etc.
Importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy weight
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, regular physical activity is very necessary. But keeping yourself motivated to do a certain physical activity routinely might not be easy. So here we are giving you all the details on why physical activity is important.
1. Maintains A Healthy Weight
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, physical activity is very essential. Because after losing the excess fat, only doing exercise will be able to help you from getting it back. Remember only reducing the calories will not be the solution.
However, if sometimes you’re lacking the motivation or don’t have the energy to exercise, increase your daily activity, like, walk, run, do more chores, but be active.
2. Health Problems And Diseases
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Being physically active raises the HDL cholesterol and reduces the triglycerides which keep a smooth blood flow in our body.
Besides reducing triglycerides, it also reduces high blood pressure which prevents heart attack. It also helps in managing diabetes, decreases the risk of having many types of cancer, and improves our cognitive function.
3. Helps In Weight Control
Physical activity repairs our tired muscles and naturally builds up new muscles. This activity uses our calories thus, helps in controlling our weight.
4. Improves The Condition Of Our Mood
Exercise improves our mood as it prompts different brain chemicals leaving us happier and better. It also helps us in being content and confident which in turn helps in fighting anxiety and depression.
5. Makes Us Stronger
A consistent cycle of physical activity certainly levels up endurance levels and makes us stronger. Exercise improves the condition of our heart and lungs hence making our daily jobs easier.
6. Helps To Get Sleep Better
Performing regular physical activity helps in getting a better night’s sleep and keeps you healthy and energized for the next day. Sleeping for a healthy amount of time reduces our stress and helps in many factors in our daily life.
7. Prevents Obesity
Exercise makes people use up energy and reduces fat all over the body which slows the growth of abdominal obesity.
8. Reduces Cravings For Unhealthy Food
Exercise reduces the cravings for unhealthy food and junk food consumption. It’s not easy to maintain a healthy body shape so our brain automatically lowers the possibility of eating unhealthy foods.
How much physical activity do I need?
Now that we are aware of the importance of physical activity, it is time to know what kind of physical activity is feasible for you to do. Thus we are here to provide you a list of activities and how many calories they burn a day approximately.
When it comes to managing a healthy diet, there are different kinds of ranges as the amount of physical activity varies from one person to the next. So start by doing the less intense exercises and gradually increase your intensity. There is no right way to do it, all you need to do is be physically active and remember, consistency is the key.
It is important to note that an average male requires 2200 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight whereas an average female requires 1800 calories. However, not all of us have the same weight. The calorie intake of each person depends on the BMR( Basal Metabolic Rate) of each person.
|Activities||Calories Burned (approximately)|
|Cleaning the house||240 – 300|
|Walking, gardening, dancing||360 – 450|
|Playing football, swimming||580 – 740|
|Running ( at a six-minute mile pace)||650 – 910|
|Basketball||330 – 450|
|Stretching||170 – 190|
|Weight lifting||420 – 500|
|Doing yard work||320 – 450|
|Hiking||360 – 410|
Different Physical activities to maintain a healthy weight
Physical activity and exercise are a great way to improve your mood, boost energy, and at the same time, it can be enjoyable once you get acquainted with it.
Set a goal for yourself and stick to it. For healthy adults, it is recommended to do a combination of moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the week. It is important to set a specific time and gradually work your way up from less intense to the most intense ones.
Talk to a fitness expert and make a routine.
The most common type of physical activities are:
Aerobic or cardio exercise
This type of exercise includes swimming, walking, running, riding a bike, etc. Aerobic exercises have a major effect on burning calories and most importantly the belly fat in your body. As a result, it reduces the risk of getting diabetes and heart diseases.
It includes weight lifting, free weights, etc. it helps in increasing your physical strength and the overall muscle in your body. The higher the number of muscles will increase the metabolism thus you will burn more calories. Besides, it prevents weight gain
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
This includes doing vigorous exercise for a while followed by a short rest. It can be done with both the cardio or resistance training exercise. Like the cardio exercise, HIIT also helps in burning the fat around the belly and overall fat as well. It helps people who are overweight and struggling from obesity.
How to prevent weight gain?
Many of us face some difficulties while maintaining a healthy weight from time to time. As you are well aware of the risks of weight gain, it is much better to learn how to prevent weight gain in the first place. Instead of cutting calories, you can prevent it from happening altogether.
Physical activity along with maintaining a good diet is essential for maintaining a good physical state. Without physical activity, your risks of getting heart attacks, diabetes, and other chronic conditions increase a lot.
As you age, your body starts to gain weight so staying more active will help keep your weight steady and inactivity will have the opposite effect. During middle age, it gets very difficult to maintain a healthy weight. So, staying physically active will help you slow down the process of weight gain.
In terms of a general trend, along with having a healthy diet, you will find vigorous physical activities like biking, brisk walking to be of greater help to keep your weight under control than slow walking.
Moreover, reach out to people who have already done this before and get all the help you can from them. Let your friends and family know about your goals so you can have a support system if you fall. And most importantly, it’s up to you, so you need to keep yourself motivated as much as you can, but trust in the process.
Nonetheless, there is not a definite amount of physical activity fixed for a certain person, as it varies. Hence, follow a regular cycle of physical activity and make sure you’re on a healthy diet as you’re going to benefit a lot if you can maintain these two combinations.
How to lose weight?
After gaining a few pounds it certainly gets difficult to get back in shape. A healthy weight is very essential for us and we all know the importance of it. It not only benefits us in maintaining our shape but also helps prevent many chronic illnesses, depression, and helps make healthier decisions in life.
Physical activity greatly helps in losing weight and even maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to this, lowering the calorie intake surely gives us the best result. If you can’t switch to a healthier diet, you have to exercise for a much longer period with a higher intensity to bring any noticeable change in your body.
However, since not all of us have the same weight and calorie intakes, thus it completely depends on you, as an individual, to make sure how much activity you need in a single day to achieve your goal.
Studies show that those who are active could achieve their goals a lot faster than those who are inactive. Being active means not only the daily physical movement but also the regular planned exercises to help lose the fat all over your body.
Bring changes in your daily life
Due to our busy life, sometimes it gets difficult to manage everything. So bringing changes in your daily life might have more benefits than you can imagine. A small change in your today will bring a much greater change in your tomorrow.
Some of the better lifestyle choices to maintain a healthy weight includes, taking the stairs instead of the elevators every day, cycling or walking regularly to reach your destination, if not the whole distance then at least half of it. Swimming, jogging in your leisure period instead of sitting idly.
There are some other ways too, some people also get a walking desk or a working cycle to exercise as they work out. I’m also thinking of getting one of these, they’re so cool!
Few health risks to keep in mind
Exercise can be beneficial as we all know, but it can also be challenging for people who have been inactive for a long time or for those who are overweight. Make sure you’re fit to perform vigorous exercises.
People who have other health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease should consult with their doctors first before starting any exercise programs. Take into consideration that before anything else, your health comes first so be sure to check it.
Tips to overcome cheat days
Everyone has cheat days. Even at the time of writing I’m having my own. It’s basically when we take a break from our rigorous exercising schedule to catch a break.
There are so many days when we are stressed or upset about something we skip our daily routine to laze around all day and go back to the old ways of eating unhealthy foods. It happens with all of us, and it gets hard for us to get back on track.
However, keep in mind that it’s very natural and it’s not the end of the world. Try to talk to a friend or your family about what is bothering you instead of overeating. You can also take a walk, go to a park, even talk to a stranger, it might help you.
Nevertheless, learn to make the healthy choices of life, it’s not easy but every step leading to the goal is worth it.
In a nutshell
Physical activities have an immense number of benefits that are hard to ignore. Maintaining a healthy weight is more challenging than losing weight however, if you keep on working on it, keep on challenging yourself, it will get easier over time. Most importantly, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. So let’s start eating healthy and exercise even for a very brief time because consistency is the only key to maintain a healthy weight.