Need some ways to burn calories outside the gym? A person can burn the same number of calories, if not more, as you would in an hour-long aerobics class without ever having to step into a gym or slither into spandex. It’s super easy. Actually, there’s a good chance that you have probably done this before.
Do you remember the days when you had to go into the gas station to pay for gas? When you couldn’t get your pizza delivered? When you mowed your yard? When you had to walk to the TV to change the channel? These are only a few of the many tasks that are starting to become obsolete and depriving the human race of needed physical activity. If you start to add up all of those extra calories you would be burning during these movements, you could end up losing 38 pounds in a single year!
If you are making use of the extra time that these devices are giving you by taking a walk, riding your bike, or some other regular exercise, then perfect. But let’s get real: Most are spending this time sitting in a car or slouched in front of the TV or their laptop.
A lot of people don’t have a clue of how sedentary their life actually is, which is an unrecognized reason for their growing waistline. Nowadays, the average adult expends around 300 to 700 fewer calories each day than their parents did.
The great thing is that if you add some simple activity back into your lifestyle, you can start shaping up and burning more calories. A study at Cooper Institute found that activities, like parking you car in a far away spot and taking the stairs, offer similar benefits as those found in the gym.
Let’s look at eight ways to burn calories outside the gym.
1. Turn off Your Cruise Control
Increase your daily task intensity from walking the dog to vacuuming. Crank up some tunes and throw in some vigorous bursts of movement, and enjoy this time. This is one of the best ways to burn calories outside the gym, but keep reading for more.
2. Step down and then up
Climbing the stairs is a great way to strengthen your legs because you have to lift your body weight against gravity. Besides taking the stairs when you get the chance, try stepping off and back onto the curb when you are waiting for the bus or filling up your car.
3. Hold a Pen between Your Should Blades
This is will help you burn calories and make you look thinner when you stand up straight. To help you to improve your posture, a professor and physiologist at California State University, Taylor-Kevin Isaacs, suggests that the following shoulder crunch should be practiced. Start by standing or sitting with your arms by your side with the palms facing forward. Picture a pen being placed vertically between the shoulder blades, and then you want to squeeze them together like you want to hold that pen in place. You will hold this for six beats, relax, and then do it again 12 more times.
4. Picture Your Bags as Dumbbells
If you have somebody else load your groceries into your car or carry suitcases, you’re missing out on some calorie burning and strength training. Start carrying your own groceries. Make sure you keep them balanced in both hands, even if you have to make more than one trip. Instead of packing one large suitcase, pack two smaller ones, so that you carry them.
5. Have a Ball
Get rid of that old boring office chair and replace it with an exercise ball. Your core muscles have to be engaged to keep your stability. This means that you will be getting a workout in at your desk.
6. Go Long
Quit making things easy by using the closest vending machine, parking spot, or restroom. Start getting into the habit of taking the longest possible route to the bathroom. If you can, pick one that is on a different floor, and make sure you take the stairs.
Have a timer that goes off each hour. When it does, stand up and sit down four times, but do this slowly. This will help your circulation and provide you with a good stretch. This means you will be doing four squats every hour, which can add up quickly.
8. Make a Waiting Game
Don’t just stare at your monitor when something is being downloaded or when the copier is collating. Make use of this time by doing some stretching, balance on one leg, or do some buttocks squeezes.
If you’re not completely convinced that you can burn extra calories without having to go to the gym, I’m going to leave you with a few figures.
30 minutes of gardening and mowing each week will burn 360 calories.
An extra hour each month of washing and waxing your own car burns 282 calories.
An hour of shopping at the mall will burn 210 calories.
30 minutes of walking your own dog, or a friend's, will burn 123 calories.
Parking and walking inside three times a week, instead of sitting at the drive-thru will burn 55 calories.
Walking up three flights of stairs will burn 15 calories.
15 minutes of washing, slicing, and chopping vegetables burns 13 calories.
30 minutes of cooking burns 10 calories.