Weight Loss Program, Part 3: Exercise & Metabolism - Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Determine the calories exercise burns

This web site activity takes you to a site that allows you to determine how many calories you burn doing more than 158 different types of activities. While exercise has many more benefits than just burning calories, sometimes having this knowledge can motivate and push you a little further.

Web Site Activity:

Fitness Partner Jumpsite

Link to the Web site above and enter your current weight in pounds in the first box. In the second box, enter "1" and press "show me". The site gives you the number of calories you burn per minute doing more than 158 different types of exercises. You might wish to print this out for future reference. If you follow "The 250-500 calorie solution" weight loss plan, you will find this site helpful in planning your daily calorie deficit.

ACTIVITY 2: Starting an exercise program and combating excuses

This week's exercise involves just that - exercise! First, you'll decide which types of activities, exercises or sports you enjoy. Next, you'll find answers to your typical exercise excuses. Then, you'll plan ahead for the week and make "appointments" with yourself to exercise. Last, you're going to get out there and do it!

Overview on starting an exercise program

An ideal exercise program involves strength training, aerobic activity, and stretching and flexibility exercises. Your goal for now though, especially if you are a beginning exerciser, simply involves finding something you enjoy and making a commitment to do it for 20 minutes three times a week. Be sure you include some time for a warm-up and stretching. In order for exercise really to be helpful in long-term weight control, strive for a goal of 45-60 minutes, 5-7 days a week (3-4 days of aerobic activity, and 2-3 days of strength training with warm-ups before and cool downs and stretching after). You can gradually build up to this with a slow but steady plan. For instance, you can add 2 minutes to your time each week. Then, after you reach your time goal, add an extra day each month. Then experiment with new exercises to keep your workout plan well rounded and interesting. Eventually, you will enjoy the benefits of exercise so much that you won't worry about scheduling it - you will simply make it happen.

Be sure that you stay within your target heart rate range. If you overdo it initially, you will lose your motivation because you will perceive exercise as being too hard, and you will also make yourself more prone to injury. Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program, especially if you are over 35 or have health problems.

Step 1 - What exercises do you like to do?

To stick with an exercise program, it is very important that you choose exercises you enjoy, and that you start out slowly. Take some time to really think about what you'd like to do to exercise to be sure you'll stick with your program. Consider the following questions when determining which exercises you will choose:

  • When do I like to workout/when is convenient?

  • Do I like to exercise alone or with a friend or a large group?
  • What facilities or activities are nearby or available to me?
  • Do I like to exercise indoors or outdoors?
  • What do I enjoy more and what is more realistic – exercise at home, or exercise at a club or facility?
  • What types of exercises do I enjoy?

You might also wish to find a YMCA or a Sierra Club near you to see the activities and programs they offer. Many people enjoy exercise more when it involves playing sports, taking group classes, or having fun in the outdoors with others. The following Web sites will tell you how to contact the nearest branches of these organizations:

  • ymca.net
    Click on this link to find YMCA programs in your area.

  • sierraclub.org
    Check out the Sierra Club website to find any sponsored activities in your area. Activities include hikes, bikes, skiing, backpacking and much more.

Step 2 - What are your excuses for not being able to exercise?

Write them all down. You should be aware of what you think might get in the way of exercising regularly. You can most likely find solution to every excuse you have. If you can't come up with your own solutions, consult the following Web sites for some motivational ideas and excuse busters:

  • ACE - Battling Boredom

  • Fitness Partners – What's Your Excuse?


Step 3 - Schedule exercise in

Times of the day when I can exercise:

Time # 1 ________________________________

Time # 2 ________________________________

Days that are best for me to fit in a workout:

Day # 1 _________________________________

Day # 2 _________________________________

Day # 3 _________________________________

Activities I'd like to try:

Activity # 1______________________________

Activity # 2 _____________________________

Activity # 3 ______________________________

My Exercise Goals:

Goal # 1 _______________________________________

Goal # 2 _______________________________________

Goal # 3 _______________________________________

Write down your plan for exercise this week. Start out with at least 20 minutes, three days a week, and write it on your calendar or appointment book. Recognize in your mind that as you write down your plan that you are making a commitment to keep that appointment.

Step 4 - you made the plans, now all you need is to do the exercise

Don't ever forget that inside each of us is an athlete. Often, we look at magazines and see photos of fit and healthy people. We assume that that's good for them, but it can never happen to us. Remember, that with the proper amount of work and training, the things you perceive in those photos can be real for you, too. You can control and change your health and fitness level. Now go uncover your athlete!

For Further Reading:

  • ACE Fit Facts
    Links to over 80 articles provided to you by the American Council on Exercise. Everything you ever want to know about exercise and getting fit.

  • Strength Training Basics
    For further information on the benefits of strength training.
  • Cardio Basics
    For further information on what you should know about cardio workouts.