Saturday 15 March 2008

1 mile a day burns over half a stone in a year

This post has now been moved to my new blog fit2thrive

I just thought I would record this stat and how I worked it out because it's important when trying to understand the benefit of physical activity to our daily lives. Because I'm a fan of health and fitness I'm always striving to find simple answers to the question of how to be healthy and happy throughout life.

Basically I was told once that if you want a simple measure for how many calories you've burned then one rule is that for every mile you cover you burn 100 calories. This isn't exactly true because if you check the stats on this it more like 100 calories +10% or -10% depending on various factors but it is a stat you can use to make general assumptions. Unless you want to be totally exact therefore you can say that no matter whether you run, jog or walk the mile you will burn about 100 kcals because that's the energy needed for a human to move itself across the ground over 1 mile.

So given this assumption you can say 100 kcals x 365 days = 36,500 kcals.

That's a lot of calories and you've only walked one mile a day which is not exactly difficult. So how much fat is actually in 36,500 kcals?
First you need to know how many calories there are in 1kg of Fat. The answer is approximately 9,000 kcals because 1g of fat contains 9kcals multiply this by 1,000 to get your answer.

So how many kilos of fat are in 36.5000 kcals?
The maths is simply 36,500 / 9,000 kcals = 4.04 kilograms.

So the answer is that you burn around 4 kilograms in fat over one year. Now this does not sound like a big amount but remember that you are also not doing very much exercise to achieve this. You are only walking 1 mile a day and you could easily increase that.

So how much is this amount of fat in stones?
I'll admit it I was lazy I just Googled the answer and got:

4 kilos = 0.63 stone.

I've known this answer for a long time but just felt like putting it on record. It's nice to be able to remind myself and show others. What you can see very clearly is what happens over 1 year if you walk 1 mile less per day than you did previously. Each year that this goes on you are likely to put on weight.

If you reverse it and walk an extra mile each day than you did the previous year and don't change anything else you're likely to lose weight.

It may seem like a slow way to lose weight but it's a common way to gain it too because it's so simple.

The point is simply that big changes come from small steps and in this case the pun is intended. The less you move the more energy you will end up storing as fat, You do not need to move much to reverse the trend. Then you can just let time do the work for you.

Learn more about preventing obesity, heart disease and Diabetes, dementia and alzheimersand even Cancer through exercise
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