You know you have to burn calories to lose weight, but it can be difficult to find time in your busy schedule for more exercise.
Fortunately, there are alternative ways to increase your energy expenditure without taking time away from other responsibilities.
Transform your regular daily routines by creating more opportunities to move around. Try these suggestions for cutting back on modern conveniences and increasing your mileage.
Cutting Back on Energy-Saving Devices
1. Lose the remote – change the channel “old school”. Watching TV can be less fattening. Walk across the room to change a channel instead of pushing a button – yes, many units do have buttons on the actual TV in case you lose the remote (so pretend the remote is lost). It also helps to reduce your viewing time.
2. Cook from scratch. Your kitchen may be full of automatic devices like food processors and coffee machines. Try out some old-fashioned manual processes for mashing potatoes or crushing herbs. You may be delighted to find that you’re lowering your electricity bills as well as shrinking your waist.
3. Wash some items by hand. Many items can be washed by hand including laundry, dishes, and cars. Your possessions may even last longer when you handle them more gently.
4. Clean house. Traditional vacuum cleaners exercise your arms and legs. Stick your Roomba in a closet for a while, it can’t get deep into the corners anyway. Scrub the kitchen floor on your hands and knees occasionally to catch the residue your mop leaves behind.
5. Do yard work, grow your own food. Even if you need your landscaping company for big jobs, you can enjoy gardening on your own. Plant a patch of vegetables or flowers that you can tend.
6. Build it yourself. Creativity and fitness go hand-in-hand when you tackle DIY projects and crafts. Create your own furniture or paint a mural on a wall in your garage.
Increasing Your Mileage
1. Buy a pedometer. Adults often overestimate their level of activity. An inexpensive pedometer will clarify your starting point so you can plan ahead.
2. Modify your commute. Walk, bike, or take public transportation to work. If you need to drive, park at a distance and walk the rest of the way.
3. Switch bathrooms. It’s natural to choose the closest bathroom, but taking a detour adds up over time. Use a bathroom on another floor at work or walk to the opposite side of the shopping mall for that last stop before heading home.
4. Make calls standing up. Take advantage of the hours you spend on the phone. Let your ringtone become a trigger to stand up and move around while you talk.
5. Visit your coworkers. Drop in on your colleagues sometimes rather than communicating by phone or online. Increasing your face-to-face interactions may even encourage more cooperation and friendships.
6. Adopt a dog. If your living arrangements permit, considering sharing your home with an animal who needs a loving family. Having a dog will probably bring you outside at least twice a day. Some cats will also enjoy walking on leashes if you train them early.
7. Take the stairs. Make it a habit to climb the stairs instead of relying on elevators or escalators. Going upstairs is great exercise, but you may need to avoid trips downstairs if it places too much pressure on your knees.
8. Designate a car-free day. Your lifestyle may make your car an essential, but you can start cutting back on the time you spend sitting behind the wheel. If you can, pick a day each week or each month to travel by foot or public transportation.
Strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones while you lose weight. Increasing your energy expenditure enables you to stay in top condition even when you have limited time for the gym.