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How to Lose Weight and Burn Calories if too Busy 01/03/13

Weight loss experts caution that changing your diet is not enough if you want to cultivate a slimmer figure. Since losing weight requires an average deficit of 500 calories a day, healthy and sustained weight loss can only result from a combination of sensible eating and regular exercise. However, the exercise component of weight loss can be very difficult if you have a hectic life. For single parents, workaholics and other busy people, it is simply not possible to go to the gym most days of the week. Thankfully, these ten smart and simple tricks will show you how to lose weight, and burn extra calories when you have less than an hour of free time at your disposal.

1.) Don’t take the easy way out when doing your grocery shopping:
It is easier to push a cart at the grocery store, but if you choose to carry a basket instead then you can burn extra calories while you pick up your essentials. In addition to burning calories, regularly carrying a basket helps to tone your arms and strengthen your back.

2.) Take the stairs every time:
Most days, you will be confronted with a choice between stairs and an elevator (or an escalator). If you always choose the stairs, the extra calories that this burns will really start to add up. For example, climbing stairs for around fifteen minutes burns 137 calories, so if you climb the stairs for a few minutes multiple times a day then you should burn at least a hundred extra calories every day.

3.) Start doing exercises while you are getting ready to go out:
There are some simple balancing exercises that you can do while drying your hair or brushing your teeth. Each time you balance on one leg for thirty seconds, your body burns ten calories. Assuming that you brush your teeth twice a day, this exercise will allow you to burn around forty extra calories per day (and 280 extra calories per week). If you have long hair that takes approximately twenty minutes to dry, this balancing exercise will allow you to burn around 200 extra calories every time you use your hairdryer.

4.) Incorporate some easy resistance training into your day:
You can raise your heartbeat, tone your muscles and burn some extra calories by doing very simple exercises in the office or at home. Try exercising your abs by repeatedly tightening them and holding them in as you are working, or when you find yourself stuck in traffic. When you are in the office, you can also exercise your arms by placing your palms on the edge of your chair and holding your body above the seat.

5.) Carry more weight when you are walking:
Any time you need to walk to accomplish an errand or pick up groceries, you can make sure that you burn more calories by adding extra weight to your handbag, briefcase or book bag. If you have small weights that are around five pounds each, try adding one or two of those to your bag. If you do not own any weights, it will be just as effective to add a five or ten pound packet of flour to your bag.

6.) Use your lunch break effectively:
Instead of having lunch with colleagues, spend some of your lunch break doing a straightforward aerobics routine in the privacy of your office. Some of these routines will allow you to burn nearly 200 calories in just 25 minutes, and you can easily find instructive videos online. Start with a simple one designed for beginners, and work your way up to a high impact routine as your fitness slowly improves.

7.) Speed walk in short bursts:
If you have just twenty minutes of free time, you can burn around 120 calories by going for a brisk, energetic walk around your local neighbourhood. If you do not even have twenty minutes of free time, you can try to combine speed walking with a simple but necessary task. Take essential reading for work or school to the park with you, and read it while you walk.

8.) Try not to stay still, even when sitting:
Experts on health and fitness have observed that people who habitually fidget will burn more calories every day. If you do not naturally fidget, try to cultivate some simple, repetitive habits that can burn calories while you are sitting. Bounce one leg and then the other, walk the length of the room while reading a document for work or school, or tap your feet while you are sitting at your desk.

9.) Don’t sit down when someone calls:
It is tempting to lie down on your bed or sit down in your office chair when someone calls you on the phone, but think of all the extra calories you can burn if you stay active while engaged in a phone call! You can do simple aerobics steps, march on the spot, or simply pace back and forward.

10.) Spend ten or fifteen minutes on calisthenics:
Just fifteen minutes of calisthenics (e.g. sit-ups, lunges or jumping jacks) will burn almost 140 calories. These exercises require no equipment, so they can be done whenever you have a brief window of free time in your office or home. Once again, you can find online videos that will show you to perform these exercises in an effective and safe way.

Each of these small modifications to your day can add up to help you burn extra calories when you are too busy to go to the gym. If you follow all of the above suggestions in combination with a sensible diet, it will be much easier for you to lose weight in a healthy way.

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