Exercise or being more active. What really matters?

Simon Long

Simon Long

Simon is a highly experienced personal trainer and behavioural psychology expert
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By Simon Long MSc. Personal Fitness Trainer at Body Development Centre in Leicester and Leicestershire.


Okay. So you have decided to take the plunge and get onto a weight loss journey. Great! So you hit the gym, pulled out your old running trainers and started to hit the weights and pound the pavement a few times a week. You legend! But the pounds either stopped dropping off, or aren’t moving in the first place. So why is this?


Well we could easily get into the whole “it’s actually nutrition not exercise” etc etc. But let’s get into some information that may actually be new to you. So let’s consider what matters more for burning calories. Is it what you do in the gym, or does your general life activity matter more…


Well, let’s be a little boring (not too boring I promise) and run some numbers. 




So, let’s go with one of the most brutal exercise that everyone hates, the burpee! This is such an intensive, brutal exercise. This surely must burn loads of calories!


I hate to break it to you, but not really. The burpee burns roughly 10 calories a minute, which means if you did 10 minutes of straight burpees (a feat even I would struggle with) you will burn around 100 calories. Doesn’t sound too bad…but when you consider that a banana contains around 105 calories, you can quickly see that actually, it’s not going to be making the biggest difference in comparison to your food intake.


Physical Activity


Okay so what about physical activity? Well, lets go at the lowest level of activity, literally just standing. What does the calorie burn look like for this? 


Well if you just stand for an extra 3 hours per day, you’ll burn anywhere from an extra 50 to 100 calories per hour. Add this up over a week, and you’ll have burnt the equivalent number of calories as going to run a half marathon. Every week! Just from standing!


Scale this up to walking, playing with the kids, cleaning or gardening, or any of the other activities you could be doing in your day to day life, and you’ll very quickly find that your physical activity is actually going to trump exercise every time!


Don’t get me wrong. Exercise will do many things. It will make you fit. It will increase your longevity. It will make you happy. But when it comes to losing weight, you will always be far better off focusing on being more active throughout the day!



I hope that was interesting for you! If you are based in Leicester or Leicestershire, and would like to benefit from Simon’s deep experience and education, then book in your free, no obligation weight loss and personal fitness training consultation today!