We all know how important it is to incorporate exercise and a good diet into our daily routine to keep fit and stay healthy.
Unfortunately, we also know how busy life can get, and sometimes a healthy meal or a quick trip to the gym has to be sacrificed in favor of time with the family or even just a good night’s sleep.
If you’re struggling to juggle and keep up with your health, work, family, and friends, you will be happy to hear that there are a few things you can do to keep yourself thin and trim without carving time out for the gym. PSST! You may even already be doing them!
According to Dr. Melina Jampolis of CNN, many people that are in good shape stay that way from engaging in daily activities that burn fat without even knowing it. Below are ten ways people can stay fit without too much extra effort, or time.
1. Laugh It Off
Laughter is one of the best exercises there is, and it also happens to be the easiest. Letting out a deep belly laugh for just a quarter of an hour is enough to burn through 10-40 calories on average.
An added bonus to heavy laughter (as if you need one), is that it releases serotonin in your brain, the happy-hormone that also happens to suppress appetite. If you needed an excuse to buy tickets to the comedy club, just say you’re doing it for your health!
2. Dance The Weight Away
Another great way to boost those feel-good chemicals is to dance your butt off, literally. Having a fun night out on the town and crushing it on the dance floor can equate to burning up to 600 calories or more, depending on the intensity of your personal brand of boogie.
If you’re a closet dancer who isn’t too keen on pulling out your secret moves in front of a crowd, that’s okay. You can still burn over 200 calories just by swaying back and forth to music for an hour or more, so go ahead and get your party on!
3. Keep It Hot In The Bedroom And You Won’t Be Heavy On The Scales
When you feel like things are about to get hot and heavy between you and your lover, crank up the heat. Numerous studies have proven that sex is actually extremely good for our health.
Not only does it help lower your blood pressure and ease muscle pains, but it also boosts your immunity. Beyond that, having sex is one of the best exercises there is, and a quick 30-minute session in the sack can relieve you of over 150 calories, 200 if there’s an equal amount of foreplay involved.
We know, your day just got a lot better.
4. Shop The Pounds Away
Going shopping is just part of the hustle and bustle of life. Sometimes shopping can be fun, but more often than not, it’s really just a chore.
The next time you’re out poking through sales racks, reaching for items and squatting to see what’s lingering on the bottom shelf, know that you are doing your body a favor.
While it seems like you’re not “doing” anything for your health, a one-hour shopping trip can shave off 180 calories, and carrying around your food at a grocery store can help you burn over 260 calories. So, don’t feel too bad if you had to skip your cardio workout to get groceries instead.
5. Work It Off
If you work a job that has you tied to a computer screen for most of the day, you can help yourself shed some weight throughout the year simply by taking time to stand.
On average, your body burns 2 calories per minute more than it does just by sitting to work. According to exercise physiologist Mira Rasmussen, this can equate to up to 20 lbs of weight loss in 12 months.
You can up that to 30 lbs if you spend your breaks walking around the office or building.
6. Belt It Out Like A Rockstar
Believe it or not, singing can actually help you burn a pretty solid amount of calories…even as much as sex!
What’s even better is the more you weigh, the more you’ll burn. According to the folks over at Livestrong, a 150 lb person will burn roughly 100 calories per hour if they’re singing sitting down, while somebody weighing 200 lbs will get rid of 140 calories per hour doing the same thing.
They both will burn an extra 40 calories on top of that if they stand up to belt it out, so consider taking your co-workers up on that karaoke night once in a while.
7. Cook It Up In The Kitchen
The next time you come home feeling frustrated because, once again, you didn’t have time to work out, resist the urge to opt for a precooked meal.
Whether it’s leftovers from your fridge or a roll through the drive-thru, if you didn’t put the effort into preparing it then don’t eat it.
Choosing to cook something up in your kitchen will get you the benefits from all the work. The chopping, slicing, lifting and standing that goes into a fresh home-cooked meal can easily help you shed 100 calories or more.
So if you find yourself unable to get enough exercise in your routine, always opt to prepare your own meals.
8. Shiver Yourself Into Fitness
You may not be one of those people who love cold weather, but exposing yourself to it could help you hit the number of calories you’re aiming to burn.
In fact, studies show that when your body shivers for just 15 minutes, it burns through 100 calories. That’s 400 calories per hour! Of course, shivering for that long might be a little too uncomfortable, but opting to go outside in the cold winter air on work breaks could really put a dent in your weight loss target.
Instead of hitting the gym in winter for exercise, consider doing an outdoor sport like skiing or ice-skating to increase your total burn.
9. Keep It Clean And Keep Lean
Cleaning the house never sounds like much fun, especially after you get home from a long day of work interspersed random errands. It will make you feel better to know, though, that when you clean your house, car, or anything else, you’re killing two birds with one stone.
The average male loses over 200 calories from an hour’s worth of cleaning activity, like sweeping out the garage and house. The average woman loses just shy of that amount from the same type of work.
So, even though it seems like a daunting task on your already overwhelming schedule, just know that you’re actually accomplishing more than meets the eye when you crack down on your cleaning chores.
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10. Break A Mental Sweat To Stay Healthy
This might be last on the list, but it’s also one of the most important. Breaking a mental sweat by honing in your focus on a brain-challenge like a game of Sudoku, crosswords, or puzzles, can increase your calorie burn by 90 calories per hour!
That makes it well worth it to really turn up your thinking cap when it comes to problem-solving, either at work or for a game.
If you engage of at least several of these activities each day, you can rest assured that you are still burning up a good chunk of your calories, even if you can’t get to a gym.