Physical Activity and Weight Loss

Posted: Mar 24 in Activity Recommendations, Weight Management Strategies by

What is physical activity and why is it important for weight loss? 

Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that increases energy expenditure. Simply put, any time you move your body that can count towards physical activity. Walking, group fitness classes, weight lifting, hauling mountains of laundry up and down the stairs, stretching, and physical work can all contribute to your activity goals. While physical activity alone is not enough to treat chronic high body weight, it is an important lifestyle modification for successful weight management. As we lose weight, metabolic rate will decline and muscles become more efficient meaning we will burn less calories than before doing the same activities. Gradually increasing and continuing physical activity through our weight loss journeys helps promote a shift in body composition to shift towards lean body mass rather than fat mass. In addition, independent of weight loss, physical activity can improve blood pressure, lipids, mental health and metabolic health. 

What kind of physical activity should I be engaging in?

There’s an abundance of programs and gyms out there, but what is the right fit for you? The most important part of finding the right activity is something that you can commit to consistently (i.e. something you don’t hate). Whether you are the type of person who enjoys the gym atmosphere, needs group fitness instructors to push you or prefers minimal equipment workouts at home there are options for you. It is recommended that we engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week plus 2 days a week of strength training. 

Adults need a mix of physical activity to stay healthy


Here are some things that you can do to be more active everyday: 

  1. If you aren’t tracking steps and you have a pedometer somewhere, it is time to dust it off! Challenge yourself to take more steps throughout the day. If 2,000 is a struggle, push yourself to be consistent with that. If 10,000 is easy, push to get to 12,000. Meet yourself where you are at. 
  2. Sample different types of exercise. There are lots of different gyms out there that offer free weeks or free classes. Try something new each week or each month until you find something that you like. Yoga, kickboxing, weight training, dance classes and Pilates are all great ways to get active. If you aren’t into the social experience of working out try out some free apps until you find something that fits for your. 
  3. Plan exercise into your schedule. Just like you plan what you are going to eat, plan how you are going to move. Find ways to keep yourself accountable. Simple things like sticker charts, having a workout buddy or even blocking out time on your schedule can help motivate you. 
  4. If you are not sure how to get started, talk with your treatment team at CNC. We are here to help!

Here’s some things that your team at CNC enjoy doing to stay active:

Jamie– Kickboxing in a fast paced environment with friends. It is a stress reliever and an amazing community which helps keep me accountable. 

Dr. Lazarus– I love watching a show on Netflix after work while riding on my stationary recumbent bike for an hour. It restores energy, helps me relax, and helps so I’m not so hungry at dinnertime! Also, I enjoy using my moving workstations at the office and at home for all of my virtual patient visits, meetings, presentations and zoom calls. Some days I walk so long at work I’m too tired to exercise when I get home!

Stacy– Listening to my favorite music when weight training-as loud as possible without compromising my hearing.  I learned from my Obesity Certification that people burn more calories when the music is louder! Trying something new to keep from getting bored-I have found a new love for pickleball, Pilates, and biking! Hiking different trails-seeing new wildlife, meeting new people (or catching up with old friends/family members),  and getting some fresh air and vitamin D! There are hundreds of hiking trails-short and long- right here in town or in the foothills. Reflecting on how powerful and strong I feel after a good workout, especially on days when I’m not feeling as motivated. Once the body starts moving and the blood starts flowing, you always feel better!

Erin– “Cozy Cardio” a trend where cardio happens in a low pressure environment. Lights are low, you have your favorite movie playing and get on the treadmill or stationary bike. Cozy Cardio TikTok Trend: A Low Impact Workout for Mental Health (today.com)

-Jamie Shriver, PAC

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