Whether you want to lose weight, have more energy to play with your kids at the end of the day, don’t have time to make it to the gym, or want to eat an extra cookie or two, here are some easy ways to burn additional calories throughout the day.
If you’re someone who cannot sit still, do not fight it. If you’re a non-fidgeter, start tapping your feet and hands and pacing around the room when you’re on the phone.By fidgeting, you can burn up to 350 more calories a day compared to someone who sits still according to a study at the Mayo Clinic.
Studies have found that longer time spent sitting is linked to mortality. However, research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that fidgeting could offset this.
2. Snooze more
Getting enough sleep can save you about 1,087 calories. Sleeping helps your body maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. A lack of shut-eye will leave you feeling hungrier than when you’re well rested. A study from the University of Chicago showed that people who slept only 5.5 hours snacked more throughout the day. According to another study at the University of Pennsylvania, a poor night’s sleep causes people to choose less-nutritious foods.
3. Do some chores
Clean your bathroom, take out the trash, and wash your dishes. Doing chores is a great way to burn calories, and you’ll even have something to show for it when you’re done (a clean house). Dusting for 30 minutes burns around 50 calories. Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories.
Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can burn between 10 and 40 calories according to research conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
5. Walk with a purpose
Walking briskly, and walking longer will help you lose weight. You will burn more calories walking at a rate of a 17-minute mile. So, start walking like you’re late for a meeting.
6. Take extra steps
Keep your phone across the room so that you have to walk to get to it. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, get up and walk around every hour. Walk your dog, or your friend’s dog. Take the stairs, rather than the elevator. Even better, run, don’t walk up the stairs. Park far away when you go to the store. Consider getting a pedometer. Fitbit and Nike + Fuelband are very popular right now.
7. Have good posture
Good posture requires you to teach your body how to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions that cause the least strain on your muscles and ligaments. Benefits of having good posture include strengthening your abdominal muscles, preventing fatigue by using muscles more efficiently, and preventing backache and muscular pain. Good posture can also make you look taller and leaner.
Tone your legs and protect your back when picking something up from the floor by keeping your back straight and bending at the knees, rather than the waist.
9. Chew gum
Chewing gum can burn around 11 calories an hour and can also keep you from snacking when you aren’t hungry.
10. Drink ice water
One 16-ounce glass of ice water can burn up to 17.5 calories. This is because your body is trying to maintain its temperature while digesting that cold glass of water.
11. Add some spice
Spicy foods may lower calorie consumption and reduce body fat. Research has shown that chili peppers can increase your metabolism, resulting in the body burning 50 more calories a day.
12. Include small workouts to your morning routine
Stretch in the shower. The warm water will help relax your muscles. Do calf raises while doing your hair. To ensure you brush your teeth long enough, time yourself doing a wall-sit while you’re brushing.
13. Sit on a fitness ball
By sitting on a fitness ball, you are constantly engaging your core abdominal muscles. An added bonus to using a fitness ball is that it can help reduce lower back pain. Since you will be building stronger abdominal muscles, this will protect your lower back and promote better posture. Remember to keep your posture in mind since there are no arm or back rests.
If you are considering using a fitness ball, start out using the ball in small increments (about one hour), to let your body and muscles get used to sitting this way.