What's the Best Weight Loss Exercise?
It's walking or running. These are not only the oldest form of exercise, but among the most healthful. Here are just a few of their benefits:
- Running burns more calories in less time than almost any other continuous exercise.
- A regular running or walking program lowers your risk of life-threatening maladies such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Walking is a low-impact exercise that produces less stress on the knees and joints than many other activities do.
- Both walking and running produce endorphins, brain chemicals that make you feel happy and confident.
- Both are social activities—you can run or walk with a friend, your kids, or even strangers in a race.
How Many Calories?
The energy you burn while walking or running depends on your body weight, speed, and experience. (Athletes burn less
energy per mile, because they've trained their bodies to higher efficiency.) Below is a chart showing burn rates for average people on average terrain.
Calories Burned in 20 Minutes*
|Activity & Speed
|Walking, 3.0 mph (20:00/mile)
|Walking, 3.5 mph (17:09/mile)
|Walking, 4.0 mph (15:00/mile)
|Walking, 4.5 mph (13:20/mile)
|Jogging, 5.0 mph (12:00/mile)
|Jogging, 5.5 mph (10:55/mile)
|Running, 6.0 mph (10:00/mile)
|Running, 6.5 mph (9:14/mile)
|Running, 7.0 mph (8:34/mile)
|Running, 7.5 mph (8:00/mile)
|Running, 8.0 mph (7:30/mile)
|Running, 8.5 mph (7:04/mile)
|Running, 9.0 mph (6:40/mile)
|Running, 9.5 mph (6:19/mile)
|Running, 10.0 mph (6:00/mile)
To Translate Calories Burned into Weight Lost...
...divide the calories you burned by 3500. The result is how much more you would have weighed (in pounds) had you not performed the exercise.
Example: According to the table above, a 20-minute walk at 4.0 mph by a 190 pound person would burn 140 calories. Divided by 3500,
that represents a loss of 0.04 pounds. (Sound small? Do the walk every day for a month and you lose 30 x 0.04 = 1.2 pounds.
Do it for a year and you'll weigh 14.4 pounds less than if you don't walk.)
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