Fun Ways to Get Fit: How to burn an extra 500 calories a day without exercising
If you often tell people you are “not an exerciser” and think there are just no fun ways to get fit, try to think back to your elementary school days.
I remember when I was a kid and recess was the best part of the day.
I would sit in school all morning and as soon as that bell rang, I and all of my classmates would run out the door and cherish every minute we had to play outside.
So when do we learn that movement is a chore, rather than a treat?
As we grow up, it seems everything is working against us in terms of our physical activity. When you add up the 8-10 hours a day we spend in our offices with the more than 1.5 hours a day we spend in our cars, plus all of our other responsibilities, finding time for exercise can become one more burden.
Albert Einstein said that the “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’ve struggled for years to find time for an exercise regimen without success, why not try the opposite? An “unworkout” exercise regimen in which you incorporate movement throughout your day. There’s no need for a gym or anything else!
Why don’t we exercise?
Eighty percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise they need.
Why? The No. 1 reason why people say they don’t exercise is because they don’t have time. Another reason? We are tired. One in seven people wake up feeling fresh every day of the week, and two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.
However, one of the best ways to kick fatigue to the curb is to exercise more, not less. University of Georgia researchers found that people who are fatigued could increase their energy by 20 percent simply by participating in regular, low-intensity exercise.
The benefits of movement
Humans (and animals!) are naturally wired to move, play and have fun. Just by incorporating more fun ways to get fit into our lives, we can reap all of the benefits movement offers us, including:
- Improved mood: Exercise is a natural antidepressant that boosts our mood and helps us deal with stress.
- Increased longevity: One study showed that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can help you live three years longer.
- Heightened energy: Movement helps our lungs and hearts work more efficiently, leaving extra energy for us to use throughout our day.
- Better sleep: As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise on a regular basis can greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
- Increased self-esteem: Studies show that exercise improves self esteem in children and adults.
- Better brainpower: Exercise has a big impact on our ability to concentrate and enhances our brainpower and creativity.
- Reduced risk of disease: By improving our cardiovascular health, exercise reduces our risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and so much more.
How to burn an extra 500 calories a day without exercising
In addition to all of these benefits, exercising of course helps us lose weight.
Let’s say, like more than half of Americans, you want to shed a few pounds. To lose a pound, you need to burn roughly 3,500 calories. Burning an extra 500 calories a day amounts to 3,500 calories, or one pound, per week.
So how can you incorporate more regular, low-intensity exercise into your day and reach your health and wellness goals once and for all?
Try this “unworkout” this week and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
The Unworkout: Fun ways to get fit without exercising
Morning: Are you a news junky? This morning, rather than drinking your coffee or tea while reading the news online, take a little vacation from your regular routine. Spend 20 minutes outside planting some flowers for spring, mowing the lawn or shoveling. The fresh air will energize you and the fresh landscape will bring you a sense of joy and calm.
Total calories burned: 175
Next week: Bike to work
Afternoon: Are you in meetings all afternoon? See if one of your colleagues would like to swap the conference room for a walking meeting. Just 30-60 minutes of walking will account for 20 percent of the calories you set out to burn today. Plus, getting out of the office will enhance your creativity, and being outside will reduce your stress level.
Want to burn even more calories at work? Ask your company if you can order a standing desk. Stand, rather than sit, most of the day today and you’ll burn an extra 87 calories (and have more fun working!).
Total calories burned: 187
Next week: Take the stairs
Early Evening: Skip happy hour at the bar this week for a different kind of happy hour. What did you love to do when you were a kid? Paint? Play basketball? Consider making a list of the hobbies you used to do but don’t have time for anymore and commit to picking one up. Today, volunteer. Sign up to help take care of furry friends at a local animal shelter and you’ll burn an extra 150 calories (or more!).
Total calories burned: 150
Next week: Give a room in your house a fresh coat of paint
Total Extra Calories Burned: 512
How will staying hydrated help you on your “unworkout” day?
Drinking 32 ounces of pure, fresh water first thing in the morning will boost your energy throughout the day. Add some lemon for an extra kick and you will be half-way through the amount of water you need in a day to stay hydrated (64 ounces).
Make sure you have a safe, BPA- and toxin-free source of water from which to drink. Here at Healthy Human, we believe hydration is central to living our Live Life Healthy mission. Our stainless steel water bottles will keep you drink cold (or hot) all day, without sweating or leaking harmful chemicals into your water (yuck!).
Come join us and make Healthy Human your essential fun fitness partner!
What do you think?
How did your “unworkout” day go? Let us know how it went in the comments below. We’re here to support you!