If you can burn more calories without exercising – why not start now? Fitness is about making small, positive lifestyle choices, not just busting out a tough workout three times a week.
Think of weight training, cardio, gym and fitness classes as the main course. These tips are side orders that will round out your menu and give you the satisfaction of being fitter, lighter and healthier.
The first and perhaps most obvious to burn more calories is to stand up more. Get off your duff and on your feet, and you can burn an extra 0.7 calories per minute. Doesn’t sound like much? Well, let’s do the math: that’s 42 calories per hour times, say, 3 hours per day = 126 extra calories burned per day.
You can easily hit three hours a day of extra standing if you stand on the bus or train during your commute, stand up while you talk on the phone, or check emails on your phone instead of hunching over your computer. If you do this for three hours a day (126 calories) times five days a week you can burn an extra 630 calories in a working week.
That is the calorie burn equivalent of jogging or swimming for about an hour, or almost two hours of weight training, walking or power yoga. Once you put it in those terms, it makes sense to make the effort to get on your feet! This is enough to offset a missed workout or two on a busy week. And if you do it in addition to your usual exercise sessions you are going to get fit even faster.
Next time you catch yourself circling the parking lot looking anxiously for a “good” parking space – turn around and head for an empty space on the fringes. Walking the extra distance tops up your daily dose of physical activity and protects you from the stress and irritation of jockeying for a spot by the door. Plus you get the karmic boost of leaving parking spots near the door to people who need them more. It’s a win-win-win.
Bonus tip: Avoid the drive-thru! Just because you can do your errands without getting off your backside is no reason to do it. Park and walk into the bank, post office, pharmacy or restaurant.
There are lots of ways you can take charge of your fitness simply by doing more for yourself. Carry and load your own groceries for a nice little resistance workout. Mow your lawn and prune your hedges (trust me, it’s a great pec toner!) Sweep and mop your own floors instead of paying someone else to do it. If you have the space and the sun is shining hang your clothes outside instead of using a tumble dryer – lifting and carrying that wet laundry is good for you and cutting down on energy use is good for the environment. For an extra boost put on your favorite upbeat tunes and bop along while you work. It’ll make chores less of a chore and up your calorie burn.
Share your top tip for quick-and-easy calorie burning in the comments below!