We all know it’s not good to be sat at a desk all day, we all know we should be exercising more, but for most of us there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But what if you could make your daily tasks into your workout and cut out the gym altogether? Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! And we’ve got the top 16 changes that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will help you burn the most calories without eating up your free time.
1 KEEP IT CLEAN
Perhaps not everyone’s favorite chore, but cleaning is one of life’s necessary evils and if it has to be done you might as well lose that extra belly fat while you’re at it! To make the most of your cleaning sesh you need to stay mindful about your movements. Engage your core as you bend over or as you push the vacuum around. You can increase your strength and balance by balancing on one foot while you clean surfaces or scrub the dishes. Just 25 minutes of cleaning will burn a whopping 100 calories – so what are you waiting for?
2 ADD SOME WEIGHT
Invest in some ankle weights and leave them by your front door, so whenever you step out to run an errand you’ll be reminded to slip them on. Whether you’re heading to the shops or out for lunch, you’ll be burning extra calories as your legs work harder to carry you around.
3 GET ON YOUR BIKE
Save money on fuel or public transport and hop on your bike to work. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of light exercise in the morning increases overall employee happiness, so you’ll be the ray of sunshine in your office every day!
4 GOT A POOCH? GET PLAYFUL
Just walking your dog is good exercise but you can maximize the fat-burn potential of time with your pup by joining in his playtime. Just 10 minutes of active playtime every day with your dog can burn up to 15,000 calories in a year!
5 WHY SIT WHEN YOU CAN STAND
Many employers now offer standing desks for their employees and the benefits are enormous. Not only will you burn up to 160% more calories per hour but studies have shown that sitting for long periods can cause back and neck pain.
6 GET FRISKY
A recent study by the University of Montreal showed that women burn 69 calories during the average sex sesh, and men burn 100. What better reason do you need to get in the bedroom?
7 TAKE THE STAIRS
It’s an obvious one but taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator is going to burn calories like nobody’s business. Climbing stairs works both your cardio and your legs so you get a much bigger calorie burn. If you’ve got to go to the 15th floor, why not walk up the last two flights? Just two flights a day can burn pounds of fat in a year.
8 GET A BALL
Trade in your desk chair for a stability ball and work your core while you earn your dollar. The instability of the ball means your body has to constantly make micro adjustments to keep you balanced – you won’t notice it at the time but this can burn up to an extra 100 calories a day. Plus stability balls are great for your posture!
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9 MINI WORKOUTS
Just two and a half minute bursts of exercise are enough boost your metabolism and kickstart your body into burning calories. Try setting a timer at your workdesk and every hour complete a high intensity mini workout at your desk. It could be burpbees, push-ups or jumping jacks, just make sure you give maximum effort for two to two-and-a-half minutes.
10 TAKE A WALK
If working out frantically at your desk every hour is not going to go down well at your office, then try to at least get up and walk for two minutes every hour. Make sure you time yourself when you walk because two minutes can get you quite far in an office – it’s not just to the water cooler and back! Go for a walk to another floor, but make sure you take the stairs!
11 GET ACTIVE WITH YOUR KIDS
Join in your kids’ backyard games to burn calories while you bond. Games like tag, hopscotch and hide and seek will have you running around like a big kid and can be a great form of exercise. If you don’t have kids why not offer to watch your friends’ children so they can get some much needed peace and quiet for the afternoon?
12 DO THE BOOGIE
Whether you are at home, out partying or even at work, shaking your booty for just 18 minutes will burn over 100 calories. It’s also a great social activity where you can meet new friends and have fun doing it. A study by the University of Brighton even showed that certain kinds of dance can burn more calories than going for a run! So why not check out classes in your local area?
13 GET OF A STOP EARLY
If it’s too far for you to bike to work then you can still sneak in some extra calorie burn by getting off your public transit a stop early and walking the rest of the way. The walk will freshen you up, get your muscles working and get rid of that dreary commuter vibe, all the while making you slimmer and fitter!
14 WALKING MEETINGS
Why sit in a stuffy office to have a meeting when you could be just as productive outside? Walking meetings are becoming more and more popular as bosses and managers realise the benefits of getting their staff up and moving about.
15 TAKE A HIKE
Escape the city at the weekend and take a hike in your local countryside. Or even go exploring in your city – you choose! Either way you’ll burn up to 300 calories an hour just by walking briskly and taking in the scenery.
16 GO TO THE PARK
Next time you have a social gathering with your friends why not grab a football and have a kickabout in the local park? Anything that gets you moving will burn calories, whether it’s frisbee, ping-pong or good old fashioned catch.