Weight loss and weight management is a huge reason that most people join a gym.

We all know that in order to lose weight and keep it off we need to be burn calories. A gym is a great place to do that. But when I get the chance to sit down and talk to people about their weight loss plan, I try to convey the message that the calories you burn at the gym is only a fraction of what it takes to be successful.

Look at this way, if you only spend an hour consuming calories in your day, than an hour burning calories might be enough, but that isn’t the case for most of us.

You need to be active as much of the day as you can. It doesn’t have to be as intense as your time “working out”, but the more activity you have throughout the day, the more successful you will be managing your weight.

My strategy starts with an investment in a pedometer. Pedometers are small, inconspicuous gizmos that clip to your belt and measure the amount of steps you take in a day. Some get fancy and have options like calorie counting and distance tracking. The pedometer is how you can track the amount of moving you do in a day. Movement of the human body burns calories, so the idea is to move as much as you can.

Once you have a pedometer to track your progress, you need to get moving. I want people to be up moving and thus burning calories as much as possible throughout the day. Many in the health and fitness industry suggest that you need to accumulate at least 10,000 steps in a day.

That isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when too many people spend most of their day sleeping, sitting at a desk, sitting in front of a screen at home or sitting in front of food.

The best suggestion that I can make to you for accumulating your 10000 steps is be in efficient when it come to your time and energy. If you have letters to take to the mailbox, do it one letter at a time. If you have to go to the store, don’t sit in your car waiting for a close parking spot to open up. Instead, park in the very last row and walk the extra distance. Retire your riding mower and use the old push model. Lose your remote on purpose and get out of your lazy-boy every time you want to change the channel. Don’t email or instant message a colleague down the hall, walk to their office and give them your thoughts in person. Basically forget about things being done the fastest and easiest way possible and you will burn extra calories and help your overall fitness and weight loss endeavors.

Kolby Andrews is a personal trainer at Trinity Mother Frances Health and Fitness Center.

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