Between work and a personal life, squeezing in a workout can be tough, even for the most diligent exercise fiend. If you don’t have time for a workout or even 20-minutes of cardio, don’t worry about not getting a full sweat session. There are other ways that you can burn more calories in a day. With a little extra attention and very little effort, you can find ways to make small changes that will increase your calorie burn between workouts.
- Working out first thing is the most convenient time for most people, but rising early enough to get to the gym can be daunting. Instead, set your alarm just 15 minutes early and then do something like jumping jacks or squats to get your blood pumping. The 7-minute workout app can also come in handy for a tight schedule as you can do one in the morning and then other routines throughout the day.
- Do a little bathroom ballet. As you brush your teeth, shower, get ready, do plies, leg lifts, lunges and squats, whatever movement your bathroom space allows for. Just don’t let the water run while you move.
- Think small by squeezing in a set of 10 throughout the day. As in, every hour do 10 jumping jacks or 10 push-ups, and alternate the exercises throughout the day.
- Develop the fidgets. If you’re a natural fidgeter that can’t seem to sit still, kudos to you. People that fidget burn more calories. If you don’t usually fidget, then learn how. Tap your foot or pace while you’re on the phone.
- Take extra steps. Park further away from your destination. Take the stairs at work. Carry your grocery bags into your house one at time. Squash your urge to multitask to maximize your calorie burn.
- Drink more water. It can be hard to tell if you’re hungry or thirsty. Before you grab a snack, drink some water because you may just need to hydrate, not eat. Drinking water before a meal can also help you to eat less.
- Chew slowly. Don’t rush your meals so that your stomach has time to tell your brain that you’re full.
- Learn about portion size. As a general rule, a portion of anything is the size of your fist. Knowing this can keep you from overeating.
- Skip the screen when you eat so that you eat mindfully. It’s been shown that eating in front of the TV can add over 200 calories to your meal.
- Use a small plate so that you’re not tempted to eat too much.
- Keep the food in the kitchen; don’t bring it to the table to serve family style. Having food easily accessible on the table means that you might eat more than if you have to get up and get more food from the kitchen because it gives you time to decide if you’re still hungry or not and really need a second or third helping.
- Add some spice. Eating spicy foods can rev up your metabolism.
- Turn down the thermostat. If you’re a little chilly, then you increase the brown fat in your body, which in turn burns more calories to keep you warm, even if you’re just lounging on the couch.
- Forgo your couch and pull up a spot on the floor. Your muscles will have to work to support you, so you’ll burn more calories. Plus, it’s harder to get off the floor than off the couch.
- Exchange your chair at your desk for a stability ball to burn a couple hundred extra calories a day supporting yourself.
- Stay calm. Meditate or breathe to keep stress at bay. Being stressed can pack on the pounds.
- Get plenty of sleep. Studies have found that lack of sleep can contribute to a higher weight.