Tips for burning more calories throughout your day

I talk to people all the time about lifestyle and the things that they can do throughout their day to have a great impact on fitness and energy. Here are some tips for finding time at home and at work to stay active and burn more calories throughout the day:

  1. Get a standing work station. Ask your company for one or buy one if you work from home. Another option is if you have a laptop, you can put your laptop on top of a box or something like that on your desk so that you can stand up with your desktop at the appropriate level for you. By standing instead of sitting, you burn a lot more calories. Sitting has been shown in research to be harmful for your health.  People who sit have a greater chance of disease.
  2. Wear ankle weights. You will be amazed at how sore your legs can get from ankle weights. It’s amazing! You can have your ankle weights while doing laundry, cooking, or just hanging around your house. You will be getting some movement in with added resistance.
  3. Exercise while doing other activities:
    1. Hold a wall squat. Let’s say you have to send a text message or make a call. Hold a wall squat while doing that! You can read a book, watch T.V., brush your teeth, or wait for your food to cook, all while holding a wall squat. We’ve been making jokes in boot camp that we’ll try to do a wall squat wherever we go. Somebody the other day said she was holding a wall squat at the gas station.
    2. Hold a plank. This is similar to holding a wall squat, you can read or listen to an e-book while holding a  plank.
    3. Do calf raises. Try this the next time you are standing in line, waiting for your gas to pump, or anytime you find yourself just standing around.
  4. Get in a quick workout. This can be a 5 minute workout break in the middle of your day. You can go for a walk or run, hold a wall squat or plank, or go up and down the stairs. 5 minutes is easy to fit in. By taking several 5 min workout breaks, the time adds up throughout the day so you can get a good workout in without having to take an hour out of your day. You don’t need take an hour out of your day to get fitness results. Any form of movement/exercise, even if its only for 5-10 minutes, will accumulate.
  5. Get active with your kids. When you run around and do your workout they look at it like playtime. We as adults think of exercise as some chore whereas kids are doing something they love where they get up and run around. They can keep you accountable to get a workout in. All you have to do is spend some time getting active with them, like by playing fun games.  You will get a workout without taking time away from them. You will both be spending time together and having fun!

I have had a lot of people ask what to do if they haven’t done any form of fitness in a while. The first step that I suggest is to start with something small.  You may start out small too, but do whatever you can do and you will build up to greater fitness.

We run across a lot of people who have various injuries. In most cases, this should not hold you back from starting to exercise or continuing to exercise. Check with your doctor.  There are certain things you can do by exercising the muscles that are not injured, assuming it’s not something that affects your entire body. For example, if you have a knee problem, usually you can do arm exercises like push-ups and bicep curls or core exercises like planks and ab crunches. A lot of times if you have some kind of a knee problem, if you strengthen the muscles around your knee it will actually help and improve the knee issue.

What can you do today to commit to doing something active?

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