How long does it take for the average man to burn off a Big Mac? 57 minutes worth of weightlifting. How long does it take for the average man to burn off 1 pineapple tart? 25 minutes worth of jumping jacks. How many steps does it take for the average man to burn off 1 plate of char kway teow? 16,556 steps.
The basis of sharing this information isn't to scare you to work harder in the gym. It is to show you that your food intake can easily wipe out all you've worked hard for in the gym. If the purpose of going to the gym is to burn all those calories so you can eat, you'd have to be in the gym for hours a day. And that's terrible for your physical and mental health.
Mentioned in my previous blog posts, for us non-athlete folks, working out for over 90 minutes at one go is detrimental to our fitness and health. It'll take over 90 minutes to accomplish 16,556 steps. Fun fact, according to Health Promotion Board, the average Singapore doesn't even do more than 5,000 steps in a day.
Here's another fun fact. The amount of calories you burn in your day's worth of physical activity comes up to just 10-30% of your total amount of calories burnt in a day. Physical activity includes walking around, shaking your legs, twirling your pen while your boss mumbles on during a meeting. Exercise is simply a subset of physical activity.
Yet, for the longest time, the fitness industry has been pushing for people to make those calories count, when they don't do much. Jump more, push harder, run further, spend more time on the treadmill. Okay, Jose. So people run more and get tendonitis. Jump more and get ankle, knee, hip issues. Push harder and get lower back injuries. All because they are so focused on using exercise to lose weight. Some do find success. A minority. But for the rest? They either find it too demoralising and hard to continue, or they keep going hoping for a miracle to happen.
If you're hoping to jump, dance, run your weight off, it may be time for you to relearn what exercise is about.