Think the only way to really lose weight is to huff, puff and sweat at the gym? Think again. More than a decade’s worth of research has shown that simple, everyday movement keeps your metabolism humming. In fact, simply tapping your feet, standing rather than sitting and generally moving a lot more during your day can add up to extra calories burned — as much as 350 more per day than if you’re just sitting still. Keep it up and you can burn nearly 37 pounds in a year!
By adding short bursts of activity throughout the day, you can amplify your calorie burn, says fitness expert Chris Freytag. Here are some easy ways to get going.
Crunch in bed. Get a jump-start on flatter abs before you rise and shine. While lying in bed, draw your knees toward your chest 25 to 50 times to rev your energy and tone your belly. Add a set at night to double your fun.
You burn: Up to 20 calories in less than five minutes.
Dance while you dress. Turn up the tunes and get hopping while you dress, brush your hair, put on makeup and get ready for the day.
You burn: Up to 55 calories an hour.
Take a stroll. Make it a rule to wear shoes comfy enough for a long walk, and look for ways to add some strolling throughout your day. For instance, lap the grocery store before you pick up your first item, take a 15-minute midday walk, circle the block before you walk in the door after work or errands, take the stairs whenever you can, or walk around the bleachers or gym during your kids’ athletic events.
You burn: Up to 375 calories throughout the day.
Take a stand. Stand up more throughout the day. Take phone calls while on your feet, have quick stand-up meetings with colleagues, eat your lunch while standing, read the mail while stepping in place.
You burn: Up to 200 calories an hour.
Travel in front of the TV. There’s no law that says you can only watch TV while sitting on the couch! So get up and get moving while you view your favorite shows. Dance along to “Dancing With the Stars,” do jumping jacks during commercials, bend and stretch while tuning in to the weather report.
You burn: Up to 300 calories an hour.
Fuss and fidget. Make it a habit to never sit perfectly still. Instead, bounce your knee at your desk, tap your toes, shift in your seat, pace while you talk on the phone, sway and twist from the waist while at your computer.
You burn: Up to 100 calories throughout the day.