Lose Weight In 700-Calorie Steps
Exercise Can Be Worked Into Everyday Tasks

UPDATED 11:05 AM EST Feb 27, 2012

BEDFORD, N.H. —Losing weight can seem like a daunting task, but it's possible to work exercise into your daily routine and lose a pound per week.

Fitness experts said about 3,500 calories need to be burned to shed a pound. Personal trainer Donna Wilczek said it's easy to find ways to burn 700 calories per day and drop a pound in a week.

Wilczek said many people already have what they need at home, such as a staircase. A 150-pound person walking up and down stairs for 10 minutes can burn 91 calories.

"So what you want to do to make this more of a challenge to your muscles is to add some weight," she said.

Carrying two 5-pound weights while walking up and down the stairs will typically let you burn more than 100 calories.

Wilczek recommends using some tools to help track your activity. At a website like healthstatus.com, you can type in your weight, then enter the activity you're doing and how long you did it. The site then calculates how many calories you burned.

Mundane chores can add up. Shopping for a half-hour burns 80 calories. Putting those groceries away can burn another 90 calories.

Just as important as tracking how much you burn is tracking how much you take in.

"I always recommend that my clients for a month, maybe longer, keep a food diary," Wilczek said.

Food calorie counts can be easily found online. For example, a medium-sized banana is 60 calories, while a plain bagel can add up to 300 calories.

Wilczek said it can also be easy to exercise while doing other things, like watching TV or taking care of a baby. Lifting lightweight dumbbells for 30 minutes burns another 117 calories.

If you start doing more exercise, though, Wilczek warned to not overdo it. Stretch between sets and start out slow.

"You don't want to do too much too soon," she said. "That causes people to be discouraged. They hurt too much, and they don't want to come back."

Different exercised can have different results. Wilczek said a lower-body workout burns more calories than an upper-body one. She said she's a big fan of squats, recommending three sets of 15 while holding 5-pound weights.

A 125-pound person can burn 55 calories while doing squats with 5-pound weights for five minutes. A 140-pound person who does two sets of squats at five minutes per set can burn 88 calories. Adding light weights bumps that up to 121 calories.

Beginners can start with leg lifts while sitting on the edge of an ottoman or chair, Wilczek said, adding that ankle weights can be added later.

Surveys have shown that more than 40 percent of Americans own a piece of exercise equipment, but the percentage who actually use the equipment is much lower. But Wilczek said home exercise machines can provide a quick and efficient way to burn calories.

"For burning calories, do it 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at night," she said. "That's OK. You're burning those calories. That's what it's all about."

Spending 15 minutes on a Stairmaster will burn about 108 calories. Hit it again in the evening to shed another 108 calories.

At work, you can carve off calories by taking a five-minute walk every hour, adding up to 40 minutes by the end of the day and another 100 calories burned.

Free pedometer apps for smartphones can show you how many steps you take, how fast you walked and how many calories you burned. A brisk walk for 30 minutes can burn 150 calories.

Wilczek said the key is to consider both what you eat and what you do. Plan ahead, ideally working out your diet and exercise the night before.