In the past few years, more and more Americans have started exercising by taking slower paced walks. A recent government analysis showed that nearly 50 percent of all Americans in 2010 were walking as a form of exercise. This is up from a little more than 40% in 2005. These walkers were more likely to achieve the exercise guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Amid this good news, there are a few watch outs. Even though there are more walkers, they tend to walk less. The time that they walk shrunk by about 10% in the past 5 years. The CDC recommends a half-hour of walking five times per week. The Health and Human Services recommendation are similar. They recommend 150 minutes per week of “moderate” activity like walking, cleaning, etc. , or 75 minutes per week of “vigorous activity” such as swimming, running, dancing, cycling, etc. All activity is recommended to be at least 10 minutes long.
Walking is probably the most accessible activity to most people. All you need is a pair of shoes and some space. There are a number of other things you can add to your daily routine to help you burn calories. They are small, simple steps that will help you burn a few more calories every day if you can incorporate them into your daily routine. A daily routine is defined as a task that requires less than an additional 15 minutes a day to accomplish, so, in short, incorporating such activities is completely doable. Let’s take a look at how this can be done.
- Clean the house: 15 minutes of doing the dishes (rather than using the dishwasher), folding and putting laundry away, sweeping and/or dusting can make a dent if it becomes part of your everyday routine.
- Play with your kids and/or pets: 15 minutes a day would be good for all of you. A walk would also be a beneficial alternative.
- Take the stairs: Even walking up and down stairs burns calories. You can burn 50 calories if you can find a way to use the stairs for 10 minutes.
- Mow your lawn: Believe it or not, 10 minutes of mowing (push) burns over 50 calories.
- There are a number of other outdoor hobbies, such as gardening/weeding, which can achieve the same results.
- Get out of your desk chair: Take the scenic route to the copier, restroom, your assistant’s desk, or coffee machine. Don’t stay idle at your desk all day.
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