Easy fitness tips for weight-loss

8 proven ways to get fit and lose weight.

Get active
"Losing weight is all about calories in versus calories out," says Kerr. If you burn more calories in a day than you take in, then you won't pack on extra weight. That's why it's so important to be active.
Easy fitness tips 1-3
1. Do it in the morning. Many of us lament that we don't have the time or energy to go for a 30-minute walk or take an exercise class. But we're not letting you off the hook that easily. "It's a good idea if you can get [exercise] done before the kids wake up and you have to go to work," says Mazzuca Prebeg. "By the end of the day you won"t have the energy and you probably won't have the time."

2. Turn TV time into workout time. Get off the couch and do some lunges or squats during commercial breaks. If you can afford to, invest in a piece of home cardio equipment, such as a treadmill or elliptical machine. "It becomes an easy link between the TV and working out," says Kerr.

3. Look for ways to add exercise to your daily routine.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, if you take public transportation to work, get off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way. Levine's book, Move a Little, Lose a Lot, has some other suggestions and how many calories you can burn doing them:

• Take your phone calls standing up and pacing (100 calories burned per hour).   

• Tidy up the house by sweeping one room a day (30 calories per 15 minutes).

• Keep flowerbeds looking sharp by pulling weeds, clipping stray grass, raking out dead leaves and twigs (50 calories per 20 minutes).

• Water the garden, plants and grass with a watering can and hose (50 calories per 20 minutes).

• Replace one hour of sitting with one hour of gentle, easy-paced walking (100 to 200 calories per day). At the end of a year, that one hour adds up to more than 20 pounds lost – without going to the gym, changing your clothes or breaking a sweat.

4. Invest in a pedometer. The numbers don't lie, and if you're slacking off one day, this little contraption will let you know. And seeing the number of steps you walked today may light a little internal competitive fire in you: you'll strive to take even more strides tomorrow.

5. Make it a social event.
Spending time with others in a supportive environment – be it a stroller walking group or a 50 and Fabulous biking club – will motivate you even on days when you don't feel like working out.

6. Up your cardio routine if you're stressed. Exercise can help with the hormone issues brought on by stress that can lead to weight gain. The solution: get moving.

7. Try circuit or interval training. Circuit training combines cardio and resistance training in one workout, and is a great way to work your entire body in a short period of time. "Once you hit your 30s, careers and families start to take over and your time is limited," says Mazzuca Prebeg. "Circuit training significantly decreases the amount of time you're working out." With interval training, you alternate high- and low-energy bursts during your cardio routine – be it running, walking or cycling – so you burn more fat now, and continue to burn calories after your workout. Three or four 20-minute sessions a week should do it. Here's one routine suggested by Mazzuca Prebeg:

• Warm up (walk at 4.8 kilometres per hour [km/h]) for 5 minutes.

• Walk at 5.4 km/h for 2 minutes.

• Run at 9.4 km/h for 1 minute.

• Walk at 5.4 km/h for 2 minutes.

• Run at 10 km/h for 1 minute.

• Walk at 5.4 km/h for 2 minutes.

• Run at 10 km/h for 1 minute.

• Walk at 5.4 km/h for 2 minutes.

• Run at 15 km/h for 1 minute.

• Cool down (walk at 4.8 km/h) for 3 minutes.

8. Build up muscle. Doing so will boost your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories. "Having a higher metabolic rate means you burn more calories even when you're not active," says Kerr. He adds that exercising your large muscle groups – for example, your quads and gluteus maximus (butt) with squats and lunges – is the best way to lose body fat. "It increases the amount of bone and muscle – your lean muscle – you have compared to fat," says Kerr. "The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism is. So your body's 'engine' revs a little higher, and thus burns more calories."

By Kathryn Dorrell, Wendy Graves and Daniela Payne - canadianliving.com