Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Weight Loss - Simple Tricks for Burning Calories P.2

Hello everyone! I'm back. And to start this week, I'm going to finish where I left off last week - simple tricks for burning extra calories. In my last post, I mentioned that drinking ice-cold water and eating celery were ways of making the body burn calories without doing any exercise. Today, I'm going to focus on simple changes to your everyday routine that can add up to substantial weight loss.

Parking Your Car

We're all guilty. We'll spend a couple extra minutes cruising the aisles of a parking lot in order to find the closest spot. Even though there are always spots open in the back of the lot, finding a closer spot feels like a game - a game we're compelled to "win" by doing as little walking as possible. Sometimes that close parking space is important. If there's a storm or you're worried about walking back to your car in the dark, parking close is best.

But for most errands, parking farther away gives you an excuse to walk more, burning extra calories and building muscle.

Hats are encouraged, but not required.
 The CDC released a study last Tuesday, detailing that most Americans still aren't walking as much as they should. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That's two and a half hours! I read that number and my jaw dropped. "Just how are we expected to find an extra two and a half hours during the week to do this kind of exercising?" But the answer is simple - do everything you normally do, but add a little difficulty.

If you park your car at the back of the lot, it'll likely take you two extra minutes of walking. That's two from your car and two back

Now get up from your desk every 30 minutes or hour for a stretch. Take a brisk walk around the room for a minute and sit back down. Not only do you get to avoid all those annoying aches and pains from sitting in one spot for too long, but you add  8 to 16 minutes of activity to your day. Over the five day work week, that could mean an extra hour of activity!

This guy is going places!
I should note that for these exercises to actually "count" for the CDC's total, you need to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time. My ideas for stretching at work or walking extra in the parking lot wouldn't cut it, but they would still burn extra calories and get your body going. 

Walking is easy and relaxing. If you have a dog, bring him/her with you. Kids also like to go for long walks. ("Wow! We really just walked a whole mile!?") Take 20 minutes after dinner to walk around your neighborhood with your pets or your family. Not only does this give you a chance to relax and reflect on your day, but it brings you closer to other people, brings you closer to nature, and gives you some exercise as well!

But don't buy into those "Shape-Ups" or other shoes that promise you'll lose weight if you wear them. They recently paid a $40 million fine for false advertisement. Stick to a nice, comfortable pair of sneakers, instead.

The Stairs

...I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. If you've ever been in a real rush and you had a choice between the stairs and the elevator, which did you take? You might have rushed up the stairs because it was quicker.

"But that's because I was in a rush. If there's no emergency, why make things hard on myself?"

I'll admit, getting started using the stairs after a long time of using elevators or escalators is hard. When I started at college, I swore to myself I wasn't going to use their agonizingly slow elevators. All it took was two flights of stairs and I was panting and pouring sweat. I went into classes and sat in the back to avoid people smelling me (Calculus stinks anyway - I doubt many people would notice

Not me, but pretty close. I usually wasn't smiling.
But I stuck with it. In a matter of weeks, the stairs stopped making me sweat. I made it to all of my classes faster than my peers and I was feeling much better about myself.

A study released by the US National Library of Medicine showed that after 12 weeks of using the stairs instead of the elevator, people had lower blood pressure, lower body fat, better lung capacity, and more muscle! Again, it's a small change that can add up to a big difference!

Happiest. Walking Cat. Ever.
For other quick ideas, check this link to the American Heart Association's list of easy exercises to add to your daily errands.

1 comment:

  1. That was an excellent blog. Great work! I learned some new things and I enjoy your humor.