Keeping up with your exercise sessions- a walk, bike ride, a strength-training workout- is great and goes a long way toward burning calories and making you feel fit. But don’t forget the importance of working more physical activity into your daily routine! One easy way to remind yourself is to think about every little step you take. This helps keep your body burning calories all day long. If you’re sitting all day your body isn’t burning the calories it wants to. Sitting is the fastest way to gain weight- except for lying down. I’m a big believer in doing easy activities without getting sweaty. Short bursts of activity like that can really add up—which is what you want when you’re trying to lose weight. Here are some tips on stepping your activity up a notch:
- Dance your dinner off. Whether you’re out on a Saturday night or staying at home, turn on your favorite tunes. The beat will keep you moving your feet, not to mention burning off some extra calories.
- Stand up every hour on the hour and stretch your arms overhead. It opens your chest and brings oxygen into your lungs. It’s great for circulation and enhancing your energy level.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators. In addition to burning more calories, you’ll save time—one study showed that waiting to ride an elevator takes twenty seconds longer than climbing up one flight of stairs. Today, see if you can take that stairs at least once when you normally wouldn’t. Then tomorrow, do it twice. In no time, you’ll be a stair master! If you need to go up several flights and climb then all, try a combination of the stairs and elevator. Every step counts!
- Walk up the escalator rather than just riding along. You’ll burn calories and get to where you’re going in no time.
- Ride Your Bike. Decrease your dependency on your car and see how many errands you can run (or how much commuting you can do) by bike. Biking is fantastic exercise because it helps tone your legs and gives you a great fat-blasting cardio workout.
- If you live in a house with more than one level, bring things up or down the stairs as needed rather than letting a pile gather and then doing so.
- Try this wall squat next time you’re chatting on the phone. Stand up and lean your back lightly against a wall, making sure to press your spine flat. Then, as if you are sting down in a chair, slowly lower your body along the wall until your knees is bent to at least a forty-five-degree angle (but don’t go lower than ninety degrees). Hold that position for as long as you can. Start with twenty seconds and work your way up to sixty-second intervals. Repeat the exercise every few minutes during a phone call and you’ll really give those thighs a workout.
- At work, walk to a co-worker’s office to tell him or her something rather than e-mailing. Not only will you burn a few calories and stretch your legs, but you’ll reap the benefits of making a human connection instead of computerized one.
- Walk your kids to school rather than driving them. Childhood obesity is a huge epidemic, and physical education classes at many schools are being cut from school schedules. So if it’s possible to walk your child’s school from your home, do so. You’ll help establish healthy habits at a young ate—and that’s priceless.
- Lift and lengthen your legs while you cook. I stretch my legs like a ballerina using my kitchen countertops. Just lift your leg, place your heel on the counter and, with your abs in, fold over your leg and reach for your toes. Do this and other stretches often enough and you will be able to touch them one day.