Nutrition Community

How to Burn More Calories Every Day

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
02/26/15  7:48 PM PST
How to Burn More Calories Every Day

Burn more calories and bite into a healthy lifestyle this National Nutrition Month® by adopting healthy physical activity habits!

Whether you engage in physical activity regularly or are just getting started, the FITT formula, which stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type, can help you be more physically active. You can achieve greater health benefits and burn more calories by increasing the frequency, intensity, or time of your physical activities.

F stands for Frequency:

Frequency is how often you do physical activity. To help your body be healthy, it is best to be physically active every day. If you are not physically active every day, do simple and fun activities, like walking, bicycling, and dancing, a little at a time until physical activity becomes a regular habit.

I stands for Intensity:

Intensity is related to how hard you breathe, how fast your heart beats, and how warm your body feels when doing physical activity. As you do more physical activity every day, you can gradually increase your intensity by walking more quickly and pumping your arms, bicycling up hills, and dancing at a fast pace with your family members and friends.

T stands for Time:

Time is related to how long you spend doing physical activity. It is important to do fun, moderate-intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, bicycling, and dancing, for at least 30 minutes every day for adults and at least 60 minutes every day for children. This can be done all at once or in easy 10- to 15-minute intervals.

T stands for Type:

Type is related to the type of physical activity you do. It is important to do a variety of aerobic activities you enjoy, like brisk walking, bicycling, dancing, playing soccer, and swimming, to help you achieve the recommended level of physical activity. As you have fun doing aerobic activities, add some stretching and strength training exercises to your energizing routine 2 to 3 times per week.

 The secret to burning more calories? Move!

Cut down on:

  • Watching TV
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Sitting around
  • Playing on the computer

2 to 3 days per week:

  • Stretch the muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders, and chest
  • Do leg-lifts, stomach crunches, arm-curls, push-ups, use tension bands, or weight lifting

3 to 5 Days a Week:

  • Bike
  • Play soccer
  • Walk vigorously
  • Play basketball
  • Swim
  • Jog
  • Dance at a quick pace

Every Day:

  • Work in the garden
  • Rake leaves
  • Walk to the store
  • Play with your kids
  • Walk to work
  • Walk with a friend

If You Rarely Do Physical Activity:

  • Begin with less intense activities
  • Walk whenever you can
  • Make physical activity a part of your leisure time
  • Set realistic goals and work your way up to more intensity, time or frequency

If You Do Physical Activity Sometimes:

  • Be more consistent
  • Plan physical activity in your day
  • Set weekly and monthly goals
  • Partner with a friend or family member to do physical activity together

If You Do Physical Activity Often:

  • Choose a mix of aerobic, flexibility and strengthening activities
  • Mix up your routine to keep it fun
  • Try new physical activities
  • Challenge yourself with new goals

Reference: Network for a Health California: Champions for Change



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