Top 5 Activities to Increase Energy Expenditure (Part 1/2)
I am often asked what the “best” weight loss activity is. Everyone who decides to change their lifestyle doesn’t start at the same level. Consequently, I took the initiative of making a double Top 5 of the ways to increase energy expenditure. I invite you to choose the option that best suits your current situation. Please note that caloric expenditures are estimated, and may vary according to individual intensity and body weight.
Walking (~200-300 cal/h)
Nothing is gained by running if you do not start on time. Many of you decide to make drastic changes in a very short time, and begin training and following a regime despite being severely overweight. If you want to burn calories, do not burn any step. Not only does walking increase your daily energy expenditure, but it also improves the strength of your postural muscles, which are very often neglected by staying in resting positions for prolonged periods of time.
Hiking (250-350 cal/h)
Trekking is the deluxe version of walking, in the sense that it often involves a few more hills in addition to its uneven surfaces. These have the effect of strengthening the stabilizing muscles of your lower limbs and torso while burning more calories. Note that connecting with nature often has a soothing effect on people that are predisposed to stress. If you are the type of person who eats more when under stress, imagine the effect this activity could have on your lifestyle…
Running (500-1 100 cal/h)
Supposing walking is not your cup of tea, here are a few things to take into consideration if you happen to decide that running is the activity of choice for you. First, make sure you own a pair of running shoes. All these impacts on the ground will be felt if you do not have a good pair of shoes. Also, try to run on soft ground as much as possible (gravel, grass). Your joints will thank you. Finally, gradually increase the length of your sessions.
Biking (400-900 cal/h)
Biking is easier on the knees than running, and thus ideal for seriously overweight people who want to put a little “hummpf” back in their legs. Also, biking can quickly become more interesting than walking or running, simply because as we move faster, we get to see more scenery.
Swimming (550-800 cal/h)
Swimming has the advantage of being done… in water! Aside from the increased resistance, overweight people will appreciate the absence of impacts of this sport. Running can be very taxing, especially on the knees. Swimming doesn’t come with this problem.
Finally, remember that the best activity for you might just be the one you enjoy the most. This way, you will have a better chance of succeeding on the long-term with your new active lifestyle.
Go get back in shape!
By Xavier Jutras