Eager to shed those extra kilos, but don’t fancy yourself a gym junkie? Perhaps it’s time to look at ways you can include physical activity in your day without needing to head to the gym. Daily activities like carrying your own shopping bags, or doing calorie burning house work and chores like vacuuming and car-washing, can help you burn those calories too – here’s how to get started.
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Crazy Easy Weight Loss
Not a fan of the gym? That’s totally fine, because there are lots of ways to sneak exercise in your daily routine
Gym workouts are often touted as one of the best ways to burn calories and get your weekly exercise. But if you don’t have a gym close by, have the responsibility of looking after children or other dependents throughout the day, or are financially strapped, using the gym may no longer be a convenient option. Cue incidental exercise!
Here are our ideas on how you can conveniently incorporate activities into your day that will contribute to a healthier, fitter you.
Bust A Move
There’s a reason why dancers have such amazing figures – they move their bodies in every way possible for hours at a time, every muscle is being stimulated and their heart muscles get a great amount of stimulation, too. Dance anywhere – whether it’s an organised class, with your girlfriends or solo at home. Dance like there’s no one watching, and you’ll have maximum enjoyment and a great endorphin release.
Step To It
We all know how to walk: It’s the best way to get from A to B, it uses every muscle and keeps the heart strong – so do more of it! Set your alarm half an hour earlier, and start your day surrounded by nature; head to the park or to the beach and experience the sand between your toes, or feel the waves roll over your feet. Jump off the train or bus a few stops earlier, walk to your work colleague’s desk to chat rather than send an email, make it a family routine to go for a walk after dinner, and aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
Suck It Up
It doesn’t just have to be your living room; vacuum underneath furniture, your office if you don’t have regular cleaners in, or vacuum the car. While it is recommended you vacuum at least once a week for hygiene reasons, it’s the constant push-pull movement that does wonders for your upper body and core, and also burns a significant number of calories.
Take A Flight
Many of us have programmed our brains to avoid stairs at all costs, and automatically head towards lifts or escalators. The fact is, stairs are one of the best forms of convenient incidental exercise, and are a great way to tone and strengthen your legs and buttocks, as well as increase your heart rate. Imagine how many additional flights of stairs you could tackle in a year if you consciously used them every time you went to a shopping centre or walked up into your apartment or office; this is what really adds up.
Clean The Windows, Car And Fridge
Not only is there an element of satisfaction in looking through crystalclear windows, or admiring your gleaming car after spending an hour washing an waxing it, but the amount of squatting, reaching and upper body movement involved when doing such activities is quite impressive. Choose to clean at least one of these items each week for a great workout – not to mention the bonus mental satisfaction.
Use Your Arms
Carry your shopping wherever you can, rather than pushing a trolley. If you think your bags are too heavy or that they’re likely to break, just think about how much the Sherpas carry in the Himalayas! Let’s face it, you’ll never get stronger if you don’t challenge your muscles – and if you’re not going to pump iron in the gym, then it’s time to build your muscles in other ways. Start taking re-usable bags (a plus for the environment) to your shopping centre, and loading your arms up with some (sensible) grocery weight, even if you’re only carrying your groceries to the car.
Give Someone You Love A Massage
This is a beautiful way to pamper and connect with a loved one while increasing strength in your hands, wrists and core too. You will burn quite a lot of energy as well – similar to the amount you’d burn on a brisk walk (depending on the length of the massage, intensity and efficiency of technique).
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