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Lose Weight the Healthy Way

Get Physically Active

Physical activity is an important part of everyday life. One common misconception is that logging long hours at the gym or playing on a sports team are the only ways to be physically active. But in fact, physical activity includes daily tasks like walking, gardening, even doing chores around the house.

AICR's second expert report, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, found convincing evidence that physical activity of all types protects against cancer and also against weight gain (and therefore those cancers whose risk is raised by excess body fat). As a result, it is important to make physical activity a part of your daily routine.

AICR recommends that you be physically active every day – in any way – for 30 minutes or more.

Regular physical activity can help you:

  • gain strength
  • relieve stress
  • boost self-esteem
  • reduce anxiety
  • sleep better
  • feel more energetic

While being active can prevent weight gain, increasing the duration or intensity of physical activity can help promote weight loss. As fitness improves, aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day. As your level of physical activity increases, expect to see pounds gradually shed.

Use the chart below to see how many calories are burned during specific activities.

How many calories does physical activity use?

A 154-pound man (5’ 10”) will use up about the number of calories listed doing each activity below. Those who weigh more will use more calories, and those who weigh less will use fewer. The calorie values listed include both calories used by the activity and the calories used for normal body functioning

Moderate Physical Activities
Activity
In 1 Hour
In 30 minutes
Hiking
370
185
Light gardening/yard work
330
165
Dancing
330
165
Golf (walking and carrying clubs)
330
165
Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)
290
145
Walking (3 ½ miles per hour)
280
140
Weight training (general light workout)
220
110
Stretching
180
90

 

Vigorous Physical Activities
Activity
In 1 Hour
In 30 minutes
Running/jogging (5 miles per hour)
590
295
Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
590
295
Swimming (slow freestyle laps)
510
255
Aerobics
480
240
Walking (4 ½ miles per hour)
460
230
Heavy yard work (chopping wood)
440
220
Weight lifting (vigorous effort)
440
220
Basketball (vigorous)
440
220

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agricultureexternal site.

Read more about physical activity in our brochure Guidelines for Cancer Prevention.

 

 older Woman on Stationary Bike

Published on June 29, 2011

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