Defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure, physical activity makes important contributions to a person’s health, sense of well being and the maintenance of a healthy weight.

Maintaining regular physical activity increases one’s ability of physical fitness, helping you to meet the demands of everyday tasks and work. People with higher levels of physical fitness also have a lower risk of developing chronic disease.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing issues with excess weight including obesity, and many chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

Mortality rates from all causes of death are lower in people who are physical active than those who live a sedentary life.

The following are recommendations to promote health and well being and a healthy weight.

· If you are new to exercise, engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
· As you become fitter increase the intensity of your activity or the duration of your workout. Greater benefits can be obtained when exercising at a more vigorous intensity.
· Monitor calorific intake each day.
· Aim to build up to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week to help sustain or maintain a healthy weight in adulthood.

Physical activity should include cardiovascular training, stretching exercises to improve flexibility and resistance exercises for developing strength and endurance.
In addition to physical activity helping in weight management and lowering the risk of chronic diseases, it has been proven to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression.

It is also important to remember to reduce the amount of sedentary behaviours each day and week. Limit the time spent watching television and playing video games and replace with activities that require movement.

Prevention of weight gain is critical; as the more you weigh the more challenging it will become to change lifestyle habits. Since people gain weight slowly, small decreases in calories consumed can make a big difference, especially when combined with increases in physical activity.

Remember this number, 3,500 calories per pound of fat. If you reduce you calorie intake by 250 calories per day and increase your physical activity by 250 calories per day, then you will have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. Over 7 days that equally 3,500 calories and 1 pound of fat lost. Not bad for just making some small but smart changes each day.

Simple steps that can be implemented straight away are reducing the amount of sugar, fat and alcohol consumed each day. These foods provide calories but very few or no essential nutrients. Also portion control is another key in keeping calories down. Cutting back on the amount served per meal and understanding serving sizes can help reduce calories.

For long term success in weight management, it is important to keep track of calories in and calories out below is a list of how many calories can be burned off during different forms of exercise per hour. This is a guide as some people will burn more and some will burn off less. This depends on muscle mass of the individual and the intensity of the exercise and the weight of the person performing the exercise.

Walking 280-depending on speed
Dancing 330
Bicycling 300-depending on speed
Weight lifting 220
Jogging 600

This is just to give you an idea of what it would take to burn off those unwanted extra calories. So do you really need to eat that dessert?

Author's Bio: 

Adrian Bonner is the founder of a free online directory of exercise videos and articles designed to help you get from where you currently are, to where you want to be. In the video’s you can learn exactly how to perform specific exercises on equipment including the bosu ball, swiss ball, kettlebells, your own body weight, tyres, the step box and others.

This really is ‘how to’ information that breaks down each exercise so you can learn the basics of the exercise and what you will expect to feel doing each exercise. Also included are program ideas of how to take the ‘how to’ videos and put those into workouts that you can perform in the gym, at home or outside.

Articles cover a wide range of topics including exercise, nutrition and motivation. This is all practical information that you can apply to your life straight away.

A Personal Trainer, group exercise instructor and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Adrian shares his knowledge and skills that he had learnt developed and implemented since 1998. This is information that Adrian uses every day with his clients, classes and in his own training to get great results. This information is available to you, to get you great results as well, to move you forward to a future of greater health and vibrancy.

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