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Build Muscle And Lose Fat By Being More Active

Updated on May 1, 2012

The Challenge

I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch and sitting on the couch does not help me get the body I want. To get the body I want I need to move. So I challenged myself to stay off the couch and keep moving. Exercising for 20 minutes can improve my body but if I have time to watch TV for 2 or 3 hours I can spend most of that time exercising. By exercising I mean moving my body around enough to burn a significant amount calories. Cleaning my room is exercise. So I did not limit the activity to workouts.

Being more active is a pretty general challenge. It does not really give a clear cut plan besides reducing the time I spend sitting around. However it is a good starting point and it would not be hard to turn it into a habit. Being active is more productive than sitting around, it is usually more fun and it makes it easier to fall asleep when you go to bed. It also good for your immune system.

Run
Run | Source
Bike
Bike | Source

Avoiding Injures

When you get tired or experience muscle fatigue it is a good idea to rest. However you can't rest for very long if you are trying to remain active. So the only real option is to do a large variety of actions. There are lots of different ways to get exercise and you can vary the intensity.

Instead of focusing on a particular muscle group or doing the same exercise over and over again try a lot of different exercises. Spend some of the time doing things that you would not do during a workout like clean your room or go for a walk. When you no longer feel like exercising do something fun like play a motion game. It all ads up.

Results

I walked and biked outside, ran, jumped rope, shadow boxed, lifted weights, played games on the Wii, cleaned my room, did yard work and a whole bunch of other stuff. My week was very busy and tiring but it was also fun and productive. I did not miss sitting around for long periods of time doing next to nothing. After a week I lost 3 pounds and 1 1/4 inches of belly fat based on the circumference of my stomach.

Staying active is a good way to build lean muscle but it is not the best approach if you want to bulk up. For that you would be better off with short intense exercises. You get what you put into it. So if you want hard muscles you need to give them a reason to become stronger. I did things that were difficult because I want strong muscles. My strength and endurance improved a little. From past experience I know that if I kept at it my muscles would become bigger and harder but these results are only from one week.

The main problem I experienced was an occasional lack of energy. At first you may want to do easy slow paced exercises that keep you moving so you get into the habit of staying off the coach or chair you usually sit on. If you stick with it for a while your endurance should improve. Sometimes when I was tired I just walked in place while I watched TV.

Staying active takes up a lot of time but it is a good way to get in shape. I made better use of my free time and lost weight. If you want general results like weight loss it does not really matter what activities you do as long as you challenge yourself.

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