New Year, New You! Part 2

Dec 11, 2020

Joining us again this week is Dr. Elizabeth H. Hess, family medicine physician at UHC Family Medicine and faculty, here to help us keep our New Year’s Resolution.

1). Last week we discussed selecting the right physical activity and how much we should be doing of that activity. What else can we do to increase the amount of physical activity in our daily lives?

As mentioned in our House Call last week, a New Year, New You should start with reflection on acceptance and appreciation for yourself and the choice to make changes to empower and strengthen yourself mentally and physically. Adopting a movement mindset as well as having regular physical activity is a key component for your wellness journey.

Part of the movement mindset is to break up long stretches of sitting with little bursts of activity. Even scheduled aerobic exercise can be broken into 10 min segments throughout the day to fit more easily in some schedules.

Some ideas to incorporate movement into your daily life can include:

At home:

  • Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.
  • Push the baby in a stroller.
  • Get the whole family involved — enjoy an afternoon bike ride with your kids.
  • Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching the kids play.

At work:

  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk or skate the rest of the way.
  • Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.
  • Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.
  • Join the office softball team or walking group.

At play:

  • Walk, jog, skate, or cycle.
  • Swim or do water aerobics.
  • Take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.
  • Most important — have fun while being active!

2). Okay, we have ideas for some activities, now how many calories are burned with regard to some of these activities? (Graphic included with this question, see next page for chart from

Energy expenditure or calories burned per activity will depend on the intensity and duration of the activity as well as the person’s weight. There are tables that estimate calories required for some common physical activities. Calories burned should not be the lone focus of the physical activity. In a study using calorie burn or exercise alone without other lifestyle modifications to lose weight, it required a month of 60 minutes of daily vigorous exercise to lose a pound.

3). What is the difference between moderate and vigorous physical activity?

Moderate: While performing a physical activity, your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster, but you can still carry on a conversation — it is probably moderately intense. Examples include:

  • Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile).
  • Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower).
  • Light snow shoveling.
  • Actively playing with children.
  • Biking at a casual pace.

Vigorous: If your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it is probably vigorously intense. Examples include:

  • Jogging/running.
  • Swimming laps.
  • Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace.

Even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight can produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars. It is important to add exercise as a component in your weight loss journey so it is a part of your routine and it will help you maintain your weight as well as your wellness.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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