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There is one simple formula that is guaranteed to help people lose weight: Burn more calories than you eat. Nearly every activity, from breathing to running, requires the body to use energy and therefore causes the body to burn calories; however, there are certain calorie burning exercises that burn more calories than others. In addition, many factors play a role in the determining how many calories will be used by the body during an exercise session. These factors include the weight of the person, how vigorously the person is exercising, the duration of the exercise, and the environment.
Aerobic exercises are among of the best to burn calories. Aerobic exercises are exercises that require oxygen to be delivered to the muscles through the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Among the highest calorie burning aerobic exercises are activities such as running, dancing, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, biking, ice-skating, canoeing, and kickboxing.
Calorie burning exercises, like the ones listed above, will certainly use calories; however, the number of calories that are actually expended is a variable. For example, a person weighing 135 pounds (61.2 kg) and running five miles per hour (8 km per hour) will burn about 472 calories. If that same person runs a little faster at seven miles per hour (11.3 km per hour), she will burn about 679 calories. But, if the person weighs 190 pounds (86.2 kg), the 5 miles per hour (8 km per hour) run will expend 690 calories and the faster run will burn 992 calories. Throw a few hills into the running course and even more calories will be expended.
Not all calorie burning exercises must be in the form of an athletic activity. There are plenty of opportunities to expend energy without heading to the gym. For example, an hour of gardening will burn around 295 calories for a person weighing 135 pounds (61.2 kg) – again greater or fewer calories can be burned depending on the level of activity during gardening and the weight of the gardener. Other examples of calorie burning exercises for the non-athlete include caring for children and general house cleaning. Climbing the stairs to put away laundry, chasing after an errant toddler, and even scrubbing the bathroom floors all burn calories.
Anaerobic exercises, such as weight lifting, also burn calories. Anaerobic exercises usually use smaller bursts of energy and do not use oxygen to fuel the muscles. Although weight lifting is beneficial for a variety of reasons, it will not burn as many calories as most aerobic exercises. For example, a 135 pound (61.2 kg) person who is lifting weights at a moderate rate will only burn about 177 calories in the course of an hour.
It is important not to confuse calorie burning exercises with exercises that maintain a healthy lifestyle. For example, although chasing a child through the house will burn calories, it may not be enough to improve a person’s cardiovascular health. Typically, exercise should be done for at least 30 minutes each day and the heart rate should be elevated in order to achieve maximum cardiovascular health. If a person’s goal is weight loss, every calorie expended counts, even those that do not raise the heart rate or cause the person to perspire.
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