Many people think that losing weight is all about an intense gym routine and a strict dietary regimen. In reality, a small fraction of our days are spent in situations that are strictly meant for exercise, such as going to the gym or for a run. Instead of focusing solely on how to burn as many calories in the gym as possible in an allotted amount of time, focus on burning more calories throughout the day doing your everyday activities. Don’t discount tasks that require you to be physically active as not being exercise just because their intended purpose is not to get fit.
Here are some simple ways to burn extra calories everyday:
Walk everywhere and anywhere you possibly can.
Bike to work or class (even take the long way).
Park far away from the entrance of wherever you’re going.
Shop. After a day of shopping I far surpass my step goal. It’s a win-win!
Choose the stairs over the elevator or escalator every time.
Make it a habit to get up and move every hour. You can set most fitness tracking devices to remind you to get up and move. Even if it’s just walking to the restroom.
Stretch. In class or at your desk at work, take some time to get up and stretch your muscles every now and then.
Build muscle. Just by having more muscle mass, your body will burn more calories throughout the day just by living.
Drink lots of water. Digesting burns calories. Also, if it’s really cold, your body will expend a few extra calories to raise the temperature of the drink.
Clean. Cleaning and other work around the house burns extra calories, so at least you know you’re multitasking, right?
Play with your pets.
Squeeze in small workouts whenever possible. 60 seconds of jumping around is better than nothing at all.
Stand more than you sit.
Take a walk during your lunch break.
Monitor your posture. Not only will you avoid postural distortions, but you will burn more calories when recruiting more muscles to keep you upright as opposed to slouching.
Have sex. (Sorry mom and dad if you’re reading this).
Walk the stairs during your morning or afternoon breaks at work.
Wear comfortable shoes so you’re more likely to get up and walk during the day.
Instead of ordering delivery, go get your food or better yet, cook it yourself.
Carry your groceries to the car instead of using a cart (within reason of course) and when you get home, instead of trying to carry everything in one load, take a second trip. Extra steps taken equals extra calories burned.
A healthy lifestyle is what it suggests—a lifestyle. It’s not an hour of your day where you’re sweating at the gym. It’s not simply eating in a caloric deficit and saying no to dessert. It’s the cumulative actions you take to treat your body with respect and give it what it needs to function optimally.
Try incorporating a few of these ideas to your daily routine. You won’t notice crazy results, but overtime, everything adds up. Have a healthy week, everyone!