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Sneaky Ways to Drop Extra Pounds.

According to a recent study by the Institute of Medicine and Public Health, we spend 56 hours a week on our butts. 56 HOURS!!! Even if you do exercise, the rest of your time sitting can result in weight gain, higher cholesterol, increased chances of diabetes, increased back pain and can even contribute to depression.

It is time to make a commitment to sit less. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you use doing anything besides exercise (i.e. standing while reading as opposed to sitting). Breaking the habit of sitting constantly and learning to become less sedentary can boost your metabolism, improve your mood, increase energy, burn hundreds of extra calories, and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

And you can do this all without breaking a sweat.

Out on the town?

  • Dance! You can burn up to 420 calories an hour just by shaking it a local club. (Careful of those cocktails!)
  • Skip the bar for your hot date. Try bowling, miniature golf, or a museum as a first date.
  • Go for a stroll after a treat dinner. Recent studies show that a post-meal walk can minimize your metabolic response to meals and reduce the rise in blood-glucose significantly.

At the office?

  • Walking meeting? When possible, see if your co-workers would be willing to walk and talk during a meeting.
  • Stand! If possible, take your calls while standing at your desk. You will burn 50% more calories than sitting.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Move your trash can so you have to get up to throw things out.
  • Go speak to your co-workers instead of shooting an email.
  • Take a lunch break. Get outside. Spend the last 30 minutes of your break walking or hiking the stairs.

At the Grocery Store?

  • Park on the other side of the lot.
  • Use a handled shopping basket. As it gets heavier, add some bicep curls to your walk.
  • Carry your shopping bags.

At Home?

  • Organize. Turn off the t.v. and sort through closets to donate things to charity. Not only are you doing a good deed, but you are burning calories while organizing.
  • Add movement in the morning. Blow drying your hair? Plie squat time!
  • Cleaning? Cooking? Getting the kids ready for school? Get the music going! Time to bust a move… music will make you move!
  • Supervising bath time? Grab some resistance bands and do strength moves.

Don’t believe it? Check out these calorie burns:

Cooking for 30 minutes – 81 calories burned.

Vacuuming for 45 minutes – 169 calories burned.

Carrying a baby for 30 minutes – 113 calories burned.

Shoveling snow for 45 minutes – 279 calories burned.

Shopping for 60 minutes – 146 calories burned.

Showering for 10 minutes – 43 calories burned.

Washing the car for 30 minutes – 137 calories burned.

Sleeping for 8 hours – 454 calories burned. (Do you need a better excuse to get those zzzz’s?)


Sources: Oxygen Magazine. Fall 2010.

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