Quick Tips for a Healthier Daily Life
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might wonder how you can burn more calories. The obvious way is to do more structured exercise, including high-intensity exercise that burns many calories per minute, but there are other ways to subtly boost the number of calories you burn each day. Don’t skip regular workouts, but also consider these seven calorie-burning hacks.
Add More “Play” to Your Diet
The problem with exercise is it isn’t always fun. The key is to add more fun calorie-burning exercises to your day. Challenge your kids to race you across the yard or take a bicycle ride with them. They’ll get benefits and learn the value of physical activity too. Don’t have children? Play a game of fetch with your dog or take them for a brisk walk. Try to add two sessions of unstructured movement into your day. How about a bike ride in the morning and a dog walk in the evening?
Get Up from Your Desk Every 30 Minutes
Sitting sends your metabolism into idle mode. Break the sit-down cycle by standing up, stretching and moving around. If you do this throughout the day, you’ll burn modestly more calories by the end of the day. Over time, that adds up. Plus, sitting too long increases your risk of blood clots. If you can’t take a stroll, at least get up and move around.
Put Downtime in the Kitchen to Use
Another way to get incidental or unstructured exercise is to fit in some exercise during idle time. When you’re prepping a meal, launch into jumping jacks while waiting on water to boil or something to come out of the oven or microwave. Do squats while you’re washing the dishes. Exercise is less intimidating when you do short bursts of it, and it all counts.
Don’t Drive When You Can Walk or Bicycle
Why fire up the car when you only have to go a few miles? Walking or bicycling to your destination is a chance to be outdoors, enjoy nature, save money on gas, and help the environment. Whew! That’s a lot of benefits. In many countries, cars are less common than in the United States, and people get to their destination on foot or by bicycle. Is it a coincidence that some of these countries have a longer lifespan and tend to be leaner? Probably not. If you’re ready to burn more calories, leave the car in the garage.
Don’t Just Walk, Hike
Most people use walking on flat ground as their go-to exercise, but hiking burns more calories and works your glutes more. The uneven terrain also helps you build a better sense of balance. Google hiking trails in your area and see what’s close by. On some days that you walk, head for a trail instead. If you have to stay in your neighborhood, add some hills and increase the pace.
Don’t Go on a Low-Calorie Weight Loss Diet
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might think cutting way back on calories is the secret to shedding those extra pounds. Such a plan could backfire on you. Anytime you drastically reduce the calories your body has available, it compensates by conserving energy and burning fewer calories. Your body is smart enough to know it must be frugal if you’re not supplying it with energy. Focus on eating the right kinds of foods – whole, unprocessed fare, and feeding your body smart, but don’t make it go hungry.
Add Metabolism-Boosting Foods to Your Diet
The idea that a certain food alone will cause significant weight loss is a myth, but there are some foods that modestly boost your resting metabolic rate for a period of time. Some backed by science include green tea, hot peppers, and caffeinated coffee. These foods have health benefits, but are part of a healthy diet, not a one off to burn more calories. Otherwise, you might be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
These calorie burning tips can give you a weight loss edge if you do them consistently. Don’t forget about the basics – enough sleep, stress management, and adequate hydration. They all matter when you’re trying to get to or maintain a healthy body weight.