When you’re active, your body uses more calories which helps you maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Regular activity is a fundamental component of any successful weight loss program.
There are two primary forms of physical activity, and both can help you control your weight. These include incidental activity and planned exercise.
What is Incidental Activity?
Incidental activity refers to any small form of movement that you choose throughout the day. This form of activity doesn’t happen at the gym but instead relies on your daily choices.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking instead of driving
- Playing a yard game instead of a board game with the kids
- Walking the dog instead of letting him roam the yard
- Using a stand-up desk for work
- Moving while watching TV
Incorporating more incidental activity into your day is one way to create a more active lifestyle.
Understanding Planned Exercise
Planned exercise refers to organized activity that you engage in to work out. There are three primary forms of exercise:
- Aerobic or cardiovascular activity: This includes exercises like walking, running, swimming, or cycling
- Strength training or muscle building: This includes bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, as well as weight lifting.
- Flexibility training or muscle stretching: This includes activities like yoga, Pilates, and basic stretching.
Most people think of planned exercise when they think of physical activity. You can exercise at your local gym or community center, or in the comfort of your own home. Explore your options and find a workout that you enjoy. This will encourage you to exercise more often, which is important to any weight loss program.
Incidental activity doesn’t replace planned exercise, but these two forms of activity can work together. Engage in both to increase your physical activity level. By just standing up and moving, you can start being active at any moment you choose.
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