Exercise and Calories

Daily exercise is vital for a healthy body and is also important for our mental/emotional well being. The human body was designed to move and not to be static but in this technical age, we seem to find ourselves in unnatural situations much of the time. This often means having to make extra efforts to burn off those unwanted calories.

We are using calories every minute of every day, even when we are asleep or quietly relaxing, we burn calories, in order to maintain our basic body function of course the more exercise we do the more calories we use up.

Regular exercise helps us release tension and fight off boredom, which otherwise may temp us to overeat. It energizes us, helps to keep us fit and usually increase the appetite, so make sure you keep your eye on the calorie intake!

When biological fuel (Protein, fat and carbohydrate) from the food you eat combines with oxygen in the body, combustion takes place to produce energy and heat, which is measured in calories. Some of the energy is used for the body's immediate needs and the rest is stored as glycogen or fat. When we exercise, increased amount of oxygen enter the blood stream fuelling the combustion process and this burns off excess calories.

Our bodies are said to be in 'energy balance' when the energy gained from the food we eat is equal to the total amount of energy we use up. When our bodies are in energy balance we will either lose or gain weight.

The exact amount of energy we need to keep our bodies ticking over depends to a certain extent on our age, sex and build and on our basal metabolic rate. This means the rate at which we use up energy when we are lying still and are relaxed and warm.

Our metabolic rate will be highest at birth and will gradually slow down. As we get older this may explain why we tend to put on weight in our middle age. Our metabolism determines our food needs, without a doubt some people need much less food than others. Unfortunately our metabolism cannot be changed so if you have a slow metabolism you will need to eat less than average in order to keep your weight stable. Who said this world was fair!?