Increasing your physical activity level will help you boost your calorie burn and lose weight. The American College of Sports Medicine says you need more than 250 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly to see significant changes on the scale. If you aren't inspired by slogging away on the treadmill at a brisk walk for 50 minutes, five times per week, find a hobby that helps get you moving. If you have a passion for the physical activity you choose, you are more likely to make it a regular habit and experience the greatest results.
Weight Loss Basics
Creating a deficit of 3,500 calories can lead to a 1-pound weight loss. You can do this by cutting calories, moving more or combining the two strategies. If you can burn an extra 500 calories per day with moderate-intensity exercise and are eating just enough to sustain your current weight, you should lose about 1 pound per week.
How Hobbies Can Help
Hobbies involving movement that gets your heart beating faster and raises your breathing rate qualify as moderate-intensity activity. While seated hobbies won't give you as big a calorie burn, they can help discourage mindless snacking which contributes to weight gain. Look for seated hobbies that keep your hands busy, such as knitting or painting.
A sports league can be a fun way to be active, competitive and burn calories. Basketball, soccer and hockey can all burn between 150 to 300 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person. If golf is more your speed, you can burn about 205 calories for every 30 minutes you spend carrying your clubs around the course. Even bowling helps you burn about 112 calories every 30 minutes, superior to the 28 calories you burn watching television.
Hobbies that keep you close to home can also help you lose weight. Heavy gardening that involves pushing a mower, digging and weeding burns between 170 and 205 calories per half hour. Hobbies such as woodworking, carpentry and welding also provide a moderate calorie burn of 110 to 130 per half hour. If you are an extrovert, getting involved with your community theater to create sets or act in a play can help you burn about 110 calories per half hour.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers ballroom dancing a moderate-intensity physical activity which can help you stay healthy and lose weight. More active styles of dance, such as salsa, can burn upwards of 400 calories in an hour. Take lessons or classes to learn the right moves and make friends in the process. Because other people expect to see you at class, you may be more inclined to show even on days when you are feeling unmotivated.