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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

11 Easy Ways to Burn More Calories During the Day

Looking to increase your calorie burn doing the things you already do every day? Forget adding another thirty minutes of workout time to your gym visit. With minimal equipment and a little creativity, you can significantly increase your calorie burn - check out these 11 expert ideas:

Increase Resistance
Improve workouts without even going to the gym simply by adding resistance to your everyday exercise. Wear wrist or ankle weights on your daily walk, load your daypack with a few heavier items for your afternoon hike, or hold a medicine ball between your knees during your wall sits and planks.

Snack Healthier
Optimize your calorie intake to calorie burn ratio by finding healthier ways to snack during the day. Ditch the high-sugar energy bar for lower-calorie snacks like fresh fruit, carrot sticks with hummus, whole grain rice cakes, a small serving of cottage cheese, half of an avocado, a low-fat cheese stick, cucumber slices, and so on - the ideas are endless.

Chew Gum
A University of Rhode Island study found that participants who chewed gum following a controlled breakfast burned more calories than when they did not chew gum. Whether chewing gum helps prevent cravings and quell hunger pangs, however, is still up for debate. Science is pretty certain though that gum chewing should not be considered a weight loss strategy in itself.

Head Uphill
Gradually switch out your relatively flat terrain workouts with more hill (slope) work. For example, if you walk for 30 minutes a day, change your route to include more inclines. Not only does going uphill require you to exert more energy than if you traversed a flat surface, but it also engages more muscle groups for a more well-rounded workout.

Boost Your Steps
Driving to work each day? While getting in and out of the office as quick as possible might be a priority, parking even 15 to 25 yards further away can easily increase the amount of calorie-burning steps you take each day (as can taking the stairs instead of the elevator).

Stand Up
Ditch the office chair for a standing desk. A 2017 study in the journal Circulation found that replacing 6 hours of sitting with standing each day could garner upwards of an additional 50 calories burned (for a 154 lb. person). Combine the extra sitting with added movements like 10 squats at the top of each hour, and that calorie burn will add up fast.

Increase Intensity
Take your existing exercise circuit to the next level by boosting the intensity and pace of your workout. If you walk 1.5 miles in a half hour, try boosting that rate to 1.75 miles in a half hour, and then 2 miles, and so on. Incorporate more dynamic stretching into your pre-workout warm-ups too with plyometric jump squats, lunges, and high kicks. Jump rope between exercises to keep your heart rate up.

Make Easy Cuts
Hardcore elimination diets might induce short-term weight loss, however, it is long-term lifestyle changes that help you reach your ultimate health and fitness goals. Make easy cuts in your day to day consumption like using almond milk instead of cream in your coffee, skipping dressing on your salad, or replacing white sugar in recipes with Stevia or Swerve.

Carry a Water Bottle
Take a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Not only will you stay more hydrated, but you’ll be getting up more often to both refill it as well as use the restroom. Already use a water bottle? Find a new one that is smaller. Keep up with the same water consumption but potentially double the number of trips you take to refill it.

Turn Down the Heat
Keeping your ambient temperature cooler than normal could play an interesting role in tricking your body into burning more calories. Turns out that a special type of fat in your body, brown fat, is activated to help keep your internal temperature up. A 2012 study of 6 male participants who wore a 64.4° cold suit for three hours revealed that they burned 250 calories even while being completely inactive.

Transform Your TV Time
If all you wanna do at the end of a long work day is binge the latest Netflix hit on the couch, that’s ok. Minor tweaks to your TV time could help you burn more calories while you watch. For example, sit on a stability ball instead of the couch and bounce up and down. Do 1-minute workouts (squats, push-ups, planks) between episodes. Or move your feet on a portable pedal exerciser while you watch.

This is a guest blog entry.

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