Dear Mr. Fitness:
Can I get the same benefit from the walking program you're always suggesting while doing my job as a waitress? See, I walk all of the time when I'm at work, and I figure that's a lot of walking! Can't it be my exercise program? I'm at work at least six or seven hours a day. Do I have to lift weights?
While I admit some jobs seem like a workout, it truly isn't the same as a real workout. You need a couple of things like the proper mindset to get the most from a workout. I believe concentrating on your job may interfere with this somewhat.
The other problem with your "walking program" at work is this: You are continually starting and stopping. That is true unless, of course, you take the customers' orders while still on the move and pick up the orders non-stop, which I doubt. The stopping is enough of a pause to negate the good. In a walking program to be effective, one must keep moving. I believe I have discovered the weak link in your at-work exercise program.
In order for true fat-burning to occur, the body must be exercising for a minimum of 40 minutes to release stored fat as an energy source. Such a minimum is fairly well documented. A low-intensity activity similar to walking, done for a prolonged period of time, will have you burning body fat at a high rate.
The prolonged period should last for at least 40 straight minutes. It works. It helps your heart and lungs, too. Not to the degree of high-intensity aerobics, but it does help. This is another reason you should do it non-stop: helping the cardio-vascular system.
As for lifting weights, I would highly recommend you begin a twice-a-week program.
That will facilitate the firming of your muscles and strengthening of the bones. It will also help burn more fat when you do engage in your no-work walk!
Give it a try, you'll be glad you did!
Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, on Facebook or stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-2930.