Sports, Health and Weight Loss

Obesity levels have tripled in the United Kingdom over the last three decades, leading the country to be dubbed by some as the fat man of Europe. 24.9% of British adults are obese, and another 58% are overweight. While UK still has a long way to go to match the 36.5% obesity rate for U.S. adults, the situation remains critical. Obesity-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the country, affecting approximately 1 in 10 adults.

To make matters worse, the problem is not limited to adults. 22.1% of children in the primary reception class (4 and 5-year-olds) are classified as either obese or overweight. The figure is even higher for primary six pupils at 34.2%. At this rate, UK’s obesity rate will overtake the United States in less than two decades.

At the crux of it, obesity is caused by consuming calories in excess what is required by the body. The body stores all excess calories as reserve fuel to be used at a future date in the form of fat. There are two ways to reduce the amount of calories (or fat) stored in the body. The first is by consuming lesser amounts of calories for a period of time which would compel the body to use its own store of fat. The second option is to increase the amount of physical activity so more stored calories are burned off.

Many opt for the second option as the results are faster, sustainable, and above all, fun! So how do you get things started?

First off, carve out a 30-minute window in your daily schedule. You can even go as low as 20 minutes if you’re pressed for time. Ideally, the window should be when you are at your most energetic, typically in the morning. Needless to say, it is crucial for you to maintain a consistent daily regime.

Next, choose from one of the following high-calorie burning sports. For individual sports, jogging and rollerblading are the perfect weight loss activities. Both sports can burn between 360 and 450 calories in 30 minutes on a flat track.

For team sports, football, squash, tennis, badminton, basketball and boxing can burn between 250 and 450 calories in 30 minutes.

However, if you have issues with your ankles, knees or back, please limit yourself to low-impact sports like swimming and cycling. Although the body consumes only half as much calories, this will ensure that your condition is not exacerbated.

Considering that a single pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, you can actually create a long-term weight loss schedule for yourself. For instance, if you are overweight by a stone (14 lbs.), and there are no changes or fluctuations in your eating habit, it would take you 109 days of 30-minute runs to return to your optimal weight.

It bears reminding that people with definite targets in place and actionable plans typically succeed in reaching their objectives – like losing weight.


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