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Little Ways To Burn Big Calories

Posted in General Health 28 May, 2015

It looks like the world is heading for an unparalleled obesity crisis, with recent figures from the World Health Organisation predicting that nearly all of us will be overweight by 2030.

You don't need me to tell you that shedding excess weight is likely to make you feel better, improve your health and boost your energy levels. BUT, let's not beat about the bush. Most of us don't like exercising, and others can't find the time because between our jobs, housework, seeing to kids and goodness forbid, having a hobby, there is little time for the 'faint or vomit' spin class.

It made me think that there must be other ways to exercise. Ways that don't take up three hours by the time you've driven to the gym, sorted out your kit, exercised, got changed and driven home again.

Can exercise still be incorporated into everyday life, even now that we have a remote control for almost everything? Well yes, and here are 11 little ways to help you burn a few calories.

1. Fidgeting- Fidgets are annoying, especially at the cinema, but they have the edge. They are more likely to burn calories simply because they are always moving.

2. Queuing- Yes really, standing up requires more calories than sitting down.

3. Shopping- Not browsing River Island online, but actually pushing a supermarket trolley around. It's even better if you carry a basket - get those biceps moving. Arnie would be proud.

4. Sex - Woo! Even if it's just with yourself, sex burns calories. Earn extra points by going on top. Feel the burn in your thighs and clench that backside.

5. Load the dishwasher - Reach, lift, twist, stretch and repeat. Sound familiar?

6. Carrying your handbag- If your handbag is like mine, it weighs the same amount as a modest dumbbell. Lift it up and down for extra calorie burn.

7. Mowing the lawn- Walk, sweat, and work out your shoulders. You'd pay a fortune to do that in the gym. Offer to cut your neighbour's lawn too if you feel energetic (or lie down to recover - either is fine).

8. School 'run' - Can you walk it instead of driving? What about parking further away? Once upon a time, before our obesity crisis, most kids and parents walked to and from school twice a day. We were generally thinner then, too. Coincidence?

9. Be cool- It's thought that your body has to work extra hard to keep warm. It does that by burning calories. So there's no excuse for moaning about the English 'summer'.

10. Talk to people- Instead of sending an email, walk to your colleague's desk for a good old-fashioned conversation.

11. Make a cup of tea - Short runs to the kettle keep you moving. Just use low fat milk to avoid scuppering your weight loss. If making tea ever becomes an Olympic event, I am in there.

Little movements during the day stack up and have a beneficial effect on your health. I'm not saying you should give up structured exercise, but why not squeeze into your lycra, tie those running shoes and dawdle to the kettle. Feel the burn! No pain no gain.

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