Let’s talk about some easy ways to burn calories and get some quick weight loss into your own life. You know, the type of stuff that doesn’t require going to a gym, eating gross stuff, spending any extra time or energy. Just some plain old-fashioned weight loss that requires…nothing. I’m giving you free, easy weight loss here. Who doesn’t want that?!
So, there’s active, direct fitness like going to the gym or running a 5k. Then, there’s fitness that just happens because you exist. I want to focus on the latter for this post and talk about 4 things that you can easily add to your everyday life that will help you easily burn calories without taking up a lot of your time.
1. Hydrate – constantly!
It’s so easy and beneficial to drink water that it’s crazy that a lot of us don’t do it enough. More than a third of us regularly mistake hunger and dehydration, so it can easily lead to a lot of unnecessary calories. How easy is it to lose weight simply by drinking water and being less hungry? Water also helps with a million things in our bodies including digestion, circulation, and body temperature control. If we’re thirsty and things aren’t working properly in our bodies that’s only bound to make us cranky, sleepy, sick…all bad stuff. Plus, water gives you something to do! Sometimes you just need something to do with your hands – reach for a glass and mindlessly burn calories.
2. Don’t be that person on the elevator
We all want to kill the person that takes the elevator one floor, right? Yet, it happens all the time. I created a little rule for myself: no elevator for anything less than three floors. If you’re finding yourself taking the elevator without thinking twice about it, make a conscious effort to put an end to it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself doing it forever. I work in Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower and arguably the tallest building in the U.S.) and I have a group of coworkers that climb 10 flights of stairs twice a day. Super motivating. It makes the little 1-2 flights on the elevator seem completely ridiculous.
3. Pretend that shortcuts don’t exist
The bathroom at my building is either 90 steps or 170 steps away depending on whether I take the long route or short route. Assuming that I go 6 times, that’s almost 500 steps and 600 extra calories in a month. I’m geeking out with the math a little, but you get the point. Burn calories just for a walk to the bathroom – why not? I totally earn a cheat meal with that. Think of all the extra steps you get by parking your car farther away, or walking to the neighborhood bar instead of driving. Of course, we’re busy and we tend to be in a rush, so by all means, rush when you have to. But take advantage of the long road to your destination and do some much-needed thinking, daydreaming, or even social-media monitoring on your phone.
4. Engage in some random stretching
A lot of what I’ve discussed has focused on balancing out the fact that most of us sit around a lot during the day. We spend anywhere from 7-15 hours a day on our butts (and nope – that doesn’t count sleeping). Well, if we’re going to sit, we may as well add some movement at the same time. You can go more hardcore and get a treadmill desk or hold a squat, but in case that’s too much, throw in a stretch. Any kind of intermittent movement is better than no movement at all and it’s easy to throw in a stretch while you’re waiting in line, sitting at your desk, or waiting at the bar for a drink. Also, since most of us tend to neglect stretching during our workouts (yep, guilty), it’s a great way to add more of it to your life. Here’s a nice little video to give you some ideas.
As you do virtually anything during your day, you will have an opportunity to step up your activity and health. Find something you can do that won’t kill you or take up a lot of your time, and you’ll feel awesome about your choices and the results.
Bonus: 7 more things you can do to burn calories
I recently started writing for Mode.com, which is a site that houses a ton of content. I happened to write an article on 7 things you can do to add activity to your day-to-day life, so the gift just keeps giving. Check it out and get [passively] moving!