Can You Reduce Body Fat by Exercise Alone?
It’s perfectly possible to lose fat simply by exercising, but it takes quite a bit of time and effort. Remember, one pound of body fat is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories.
What Amount of Exercise Burns 1 Pound of Fat?
To burn sufficient calories to lose one pound of body fat, you might:
- Briskly walk a total of 35 miles
- Swim moderately fast for 6 hours
- Dance for 12 hours
- Play about 12.5 hours of golf, carrying your own clubs
- Jog for about 29 miles
At the same time, you would need to monitor your eating habits to ensure that you are not increasing your calorie-intake in line with your increased exercise!
Be Patient When Trying to Burn Fat by Exercise
As you can see, it takes time and considerable physical effort to achieve any kind of rapid fat-loss by exercise alone. So if you want to burn off your last pockets of fat by increased fitness training, give yourself enough time and don’t jump onto your bathroom scales more often than once a month. Also, be aware that muscle is denser (heavier mass) than fat. So while you may look leaner, your weight may show only a slight reduction.
Exercising Without Stretching Can Increase Bulk
Paradoxically, even though some exercise routines (eg. ab-exercises) produce a leaner look, other types of exercise (lower-body training) can make you look bulkier, especially around the thighs. To prevent this, make sure you start and finish your fitness workout with at least 5 minutes of stretching exercises to elongate the muscles worked.
Exercise Doesn’t Turn Fat Into Muscle
One popular misconception is that you can convert fat into muscle by exercising. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Exercise can burn enough calories to force the body to burn fat, but it cannot turn fat into muscle. However, certain types of exercise (eg. ab-exercises) can strengthen muscles in an area of excess fat (eg. stomach) and give the appearance of a leaner shape.