Sunday, February 2, 2020

Some Easy Ways to Burn Off Those Calories

So many people say they will exercise more as the new year starts.  Always good intentions, they join a gym, go a few times and by late February or early March they stop going or go to the gym rarely.  But one doesn’t have to “go to the gym” to exercise and burn off calories.  Engaging in some simple, everyday activities can put some exercise in your day and help burn off some calories.  Going to the gym is fine and I go a few times a week. But one can also “exercise” in many ways throughout the day.  The goal is to be more active, Sit Less and Move More.  Shape and Self have some ways to “Burn More Calories In A Day”.  Here are a few:  

1.  Cook – who ever thought one could “work out” by cooking a meal?  But when you cut, chop and dice you are burning up some calories.   Shape estimates about 128 calories before you sit down to eat.

2.  Cleaning – add in some 25 minutes of cleaning – scrubbing, bending, vacuuming, washing the car and you burn up about 107 calories.  

3.  Gardening – a little early for gardening in most parts of the country but once the weather warms up you can go out and do some gardening.  Digging, planting and walking around your yard can burn up about 105 calories over 25 minutes.  No place for a garden?  Then put some pots on your deck or patio and plant some herbs like chives, parsley, Rosemary.

4.  Paint – no, not a landscape but paint a room.  Painting can burn up about 120 calories over 35 minutes. 

5.  Stand Up – instead of sitting at work, answer a phone call standing up.  My Apple Watch reminds me to stand every so often throughout the day.  Or, if someone calls walk around your office or house.  A neighbor has a friend call her every night at 8:00 PM and while they are talking, they both walk around their home for their evening “workout”.  Standing instead of sitting can burn up an extra 100 calories a day. 

6.  Move More – Instead of sending a text to a co-worker – walk to their office and talk to them.  I was always amazed when an employee 2 cubicles down from my office would send an email instead of walking down the hall and talking to me in person.  Walk to the copy machine.  Go to the stairwell and climb up and down a few flights of stairs.  Registered Dietitian, Patricia Bannan,  recommends, “If you have a job that requires you to sit all day, set your smartphone alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to get up and take a brisk five minute walk.  By the end of an eight-hour day you could have walked an extra 40 minute or burn an extra 150 calories.”

7.  Park Far Away – whenever I go to a mall, a store, my car is always far, far, away from the door.  Walking across the parking lot to the store door is an easy way to add some steps into your day and to burn up a few more calories.

8.  Protein – add some protein to your lunch, in fact, to every meal.  Your body burns up more calories digesting protein.  “A 2002 study published in the NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition found that consuming a high protein meal, 30 percent calories from protein, nearly doubles the amount of calories burned during digestion when compared with a meal of only 15 percent calories from protein,”  says a trainer.  And easy way to add some protein to your day is to pack some yogurt – real dairy yogurt, not fake yogurt.  Real dairy has an excellent quality protein. And according to the Cleveland Clinic, “Eating yogurt (as part of a healthy diet) also is linked with gaining less weight long-term.”
Yogurt is a great way to add high-quality protein to a meal.

9.  Stretch Breaks – take some time during the day for some stretches.  Get up from watching TV and do some Yoga poses or stretches.  Get up from your desk and take the time to do some stretches.  Instead of a “coffee break” have a “stretch break”.  Adding in 10-20 minutes of stretching during the day can burn up 100 calories.  And, your body will feel better.

10.  Stairs – take the stairs, not the elevator whenever you can.  If there is an escalator, “walk” up the escalator.  Need a bathroom break at work?  Go down or up the stairs to use the bathroom on a different floor and take the stairs back.  Registered Dietitian, Maxine Young, says she got this idea from one of her patients and now she shares it with others.  
Take the stairs and not the elevator whenever you can.
So often I hear, “I don’t have time to exercise.”   By incorporating some exercise throughout the day, you will be “exercising” even though you don’t hit the gym, or you didn’t have to block out an hour or more of your day to take an exercise class or “workout”.  Stand more, sit less, move more, walk more, stretch more.  Find ways that work for you.  This week, try just one of the above ideas and see if you can incorporate the idea into your day.



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