Exercising to burn an 300 extra calories per day helps you manage your weight while reaping numerous health rewards. While the physical benefits vary according to your workout routine, you can typically count on a psychological boost no matter which activity you choose because exercise releases feel-good endorphins while hampering chemicals that contribute to depression. Despite the benefits, however, get one or two days of rest from exercise each week to avoid burnout and overtraining.
The most obvious benefit of burning more calories is that it may help you lose weight. One pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories, so performing a 300-calorie exercise routine can help you lose 1 pound about every 12 sessions on your usual weight-maintenance diet -- or more weight if you eat fewer calories. If you're not sure how many calories you normally burn, Harvard Medical School reports that most moderately active people can estimate calorie expenditure by multiplying their weight times the number 15. For example, a 145-pound person typically burns about 2,175 calories per day.
Cardiovascular Exercise Benefits
When you burn calories with cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, rowing, swimming or using an elliptical machine, you help build a stronger heart and lungs. Not only does this result in increased stamina, but it can also improve blood flow as your heart pumps more efficiently, delivering more oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Cardio exercise may also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helping to protect you from heart attack and stroke. People who perform cardio even tend to live longer than sedentary people, according to MayoClinic.com.
Resistance exercises such as pushups, squats, Pilates or weightlifting are particularly effective for building muscle tissue. Increased muscle mass boosts strength to make everyday tasks easier, and also reduces your body fat percentage -- regardless of fat loss -- which may help reduce your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Strength-training exercises may also increase balance, strengthen your bones and reduce back pain and osteoarthritis pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For perspective, a 150-pound person burns 300 calories in about one hour of walking at 3.5 mph, 30 minutes of running at 5 mph or 55 minutes of body-weight resistance exercises such as squats and pushups. For the most health benefits, however, you need to perform a variety of exercises. The CDC recommends 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate cardio such as walking, or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous cardio such as running. It also recommends at least two strength-training sessions per week for all major muscle groups. If you're currently sedentary, visit your physician before starting an exercise routine.
- MayoClinic.com: Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms
- Harvard Health Publications: Calorie Counting Made Easy
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical
- McKinley Health Center: Top Ten Exercise Myths
- Vanderbilt University Health and Wellness: Body Fat Percentage
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Why Strength Training?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.