Summer Diet Plan

Weight loss secret - Incidental Exercise

Incidental Exercise

Today, our ever-increasingly sedentary lifestyle is causing a 'down-sizing' in daily activity and a corresponding 'up-sizing' in our body sizes and the readings on our scales.

This article explains one of the main reasons many of us are getting fatter and provides some suggestions for reversing this trend. Finally it describes what exercises are best to do to lose fat and provides 5 easy steps we can all follow to help us look and feel great everyday.

What's making us fatter?

Over the past 50 years humanity's pursuit of 'convenience' may seem to have made life much better for a lot of us, but all this convenience has come at a huge cost.

Just think about how much easier life is with access to elevators and lifts, automatic carwashes, remote controls, home delivery services, internet shopping, electric golf buggies, restaurant drive-thru's, lawn-mowing services, house-cleaning services, clothes dryers, cordless phones and the like.

While all these things make life simpler, easier and save us time, they also cost us valuable energy and fat burning potential. Combined with our access to large quantities of inexpensive calorie dense foods, our life of convenience and ease is the main reason that collectively we are getting fatter.

Incidental exercise, or the exercise we get doing daily activities, can make a big difference between being overweight and losing or maintaining weight.

Engaging in more incidental activity can help boost our daily calorie expenditure and keep our metabolism (fat burning engine) fired up through the day and in doing so help us reverse the trend and lose weight.

Increasing our incidental exercise

While saving time and effort in today's hectic world seems important and desirable, what's more important is maintaining good health so that we can be around to enjoy all the convenience!

The key to increasing incidental exercise is planning to change some of our daily lifestyle habits and acting on those plans.

The idea here is to try to replace a few 'convenient' activities each day with something that will cause us to 'move more'.

For example, while we are speaking on a cordless phone we could pace up and down the hallway or office.

Here are some more examples we all might like to try:

  • Instead of take the lift or escalator we can walk up or down the stairs
  • We can go for a 10 minute walk during our lunchbreak instead of sitting at our desk
  • We can get off the bus one stop early and walk a little further to work
  • We can take the dogs for an extra walk during the week
  • We can leave the remote on top of the TV and get up every time we want to change channels
  • We can have a piece of exercise equipment strategically placed in front of our TV & actually use it
  • We can park our car a little further away in the shopping centre car park

Can you think of some other things that you can do to increase your incidental exercise each day?

'Huffy Puffy' exercise - how much should we do?

In addition to increasing our incidental exercise, we might need to do some 'Huffy Puffy' exercise each week if we have weight loss or improved health and fitness related goals.

Generally speaking if we want to lose weight and get fitter and healthier we should aim to do a minimum of 100 minutes of cardiovascular or 'Huffy Puffy' exercise each week.

Contrary to the implied suggestion of many articles we read on exercise for weight loss, that there is an 'ideal amount of time for each workout' and that our exercise should be 'continuous blocks', we need to remember that any exercise, no matter how short, is better than none and that at the end of the day, it all adds up.

What really matters is the total amount of exercise (incidental and 'Huffy Puffy' that we do).

Depending on our lifestyle and what we can fit into each day or week, our 100 minutes can be split up into 10 x 10 minute sessions or a mixture of 10, 20 and/or 30 minute sessions.

I get my clients to write down "10 minutes" 10 times on a piece of paper at the beginning of each week and simply cross each one off after they have completed 10 minutes of exercise.

According to the clients that do this, it is not only a very effective way of making sure they're getting enough exercise each week, but it's also so simple!

What exercise is the best exercise to do?

This is the most common question I am asked by clients.

And the answer is simple...something you enjoy!

I love to run, but if you hate running and I was to tell you that you needed to run every week, chances are you either wouldn't do it, or it wouldn't become part of a long term lifestyle change for you.

And that's the real secret to long term weight loss - long term lifestyle changes.

If you do something you love, such as dancing, roller-blading, swimming, ice-skating, cycling, rowing, skipping, boxing, aerobics, walking, etc, then you are more likely to make it part of your weekly activities instead of something you 'do' whenever you wake up feeling less that pleased with your health, fitness or appearance!

Five easy to follow steps to look good and feel great!

Life doesn't need to be complex and neither does weight loss. Here are five very simple steps to take to look and feel great:

  1. Move: Just Do Something
  2. Move More: Aim for a minimum of 100 minutes of 'Huffy Puffy' exercise every week
  3. Move More Often: Aim to do something everyday
  4. Move Quicker: Aim to go faster over the same distance or further in the same time
  5. Move Differently: Choose different activities or do the same activity differently.
         e.g. Run or walk a different way everyday, run hills, flat, sand, slower for longer & shorter &      quicker


Today, our ever-increasingly sedentary lifestyle is causing a 'down-sizing' in daily activity and a corresponding 'up-sizing' in our body sizes and the readings on our scales.

This article explained one of the main reasons most of us are getting fatter and provided some suggestions for reversing this trend through a combination of incidental exercise and what I call 'Huffy Puffy' exercise. Finally it described what exercises are best to do to lose fat and provided five easy steps to looking and feeling great which all revolved around moving more.

As well as helping us to achieve our weight loss and health goals, an added benefit of moving more is that we actually end up with more energy to do more throughout our day and who doesn't need that!

Happy moving and thanks for visiting

Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch in 2005. Today, provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

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