Exercise vs. Incidental Activity
When you are active, your body uses more calories, and this helps you maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This is why 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. They are:
- Incidental activity
- Planned exercise
What is Incidental Activity?
Incidental activity refers to any small form of movement that accumulates throughout the day, resulting in an increased level of daily activity. This form of activity doesn’t happen at the gym, but instead relies on your daily choices.
Incidental activity refers to any situation where you choose to be active. Examples include:
- 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 yardtanding more often at work
- Standing more often at work
- Moving while watching TV
Incorporating more incidental activity into your day is one aspect of creating a more active lifestyle. While scheduling out 30 minutes a day to exercise is great, it doesn’t counteract sedentary behavior throughout the rest of your day.
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 activity: This includes body weight 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 activities.
Most people think of planned exercise when they think about physical activity. There are many forms of exercise, including walking, team sports and aerobics classes. You can participate in 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 can help you manage your weight.
Get Moving: Incidental or Planned Activity?
Incidental activity doesn’t replace planned exercise, but these two forms of activity can work together to increase your physical activity level.
The greatest difference between incidental and planned activity is where and when they are performed. Incidental activity requires no gym, special equipment or preparation. By standing up and moving, you can start engaging in incidental activity at any moment you choose.
What is Low-Impact Activity?
Low-impact activities are exercises that require minimal force between the body and another object, such as the ground. This form of activity is generally regarded as a good starting place for those interested in becoming more physically active.
During a low-impact activity, the amount of stress placed on the joints, bones and muscles is much less than experienced with other forms of exercise. This helps to protect joints like the knees, hips and ankles from injury.
Benefits of Exercise
Adding an exercise routine to your medical weight loss program can encourage long-term weight management. Exercise encourages weight loss by burning calories, toning muscle and improving metabolic health.
Getting Started with Exercise
During your medical weight loss program, Dr. Primack, Dr. Ziltzer and Dr. Rodarte will provide you with the education and support to begin an exercise routine. Exercising is a key factor to optimizing and maintaining weight loss during your program, so it is important to get started and stick with it. Regular physical activity can not only help with your weight but also reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance, coordination, sleep habits and even your self-esteem. However, if you’re accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, it may be difficult to determine just how to get started with physical activity.
Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
In the early morning before the heat of the Arizona sun takes hold, there is no better time to take the fitness aspect of your weight loss program outdoors. The gym is great when it’s too chilly outside to work out but when the sun is shining and the air is fresh exercising outdoors can revitalize your body and mind:
Swimming while Trimming
A swimming pool might not be your first thought when you think about weight loss — but perhaps it should be, especially during the hot days in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Swimming is a one-of-a-kind workout. Not only is it a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise, but it tones and firms muscles in a non-jarring way. It ignites metabolism, burns calories, trims inches and builds strength and stamina — all without stress on your joints. For instance, one hour of swimming laps burns more than 500 calories in a 200-pound person, according to the Mayo Clinic. Besides all of those beneficial factors, it’s a fun activity.
Walking for Health in Scottsdale
Scottsdale area residents who are participating in a medical weight loss program already have a great head start on dropping pounds quickly. To really jump-start their weight loss, many people choose to add walking to their exercise routines or even to use walking as their primary mode of exercise.