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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

You probably associate calorie burning with training, but you burn calories 24/7, even while you sleep. Granted, the gym is your most intense burst of calorie expenditure, but we’re talking one hour of training versus 23 hours of non-training. You can benefit from a much smarter approach to burning more during the other 96 percent of your day.

The calories burned outside the gym matter just as much for health benefits and long-term weight maintenance as the calories burned within the gym walls. Even frequent exercisers are often quite sedentary when not training. Additionally, studies show that people grossly overestimate the amount of calories burned from their workout.

We live on a 24-hour clock. Each hour affords you an opportunity to burn fat; that gives you all the more reason to incorporate small bouts of activity and, of course, the following five calorie-burning strategies into your daily routine!

1 Swap Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal For An Omelette

When you swap your bowl of oatmeal for a 3-egg omelette with vegetables (spinach and bell peppers, anyone?), you do your taste buds a favor. You also affect the way your body metabolizes the food constituents. Thanks to a little something called the thermic effect of food, the different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) each require varying amounts of energy expenditure from the body to metabolize.

The metabolic pathway for protein digestion is rather complex, and as a result, the body spends slightly more calories metabolizing, say, a bolus of chicken than a chunk of sweet potato. In this case, the protein from eggs has a higher thermic effect—which could boost your calorie burn by an additional 40-50 calories.

So the next time you wake up in the morning, hankering for some grub, pass on the oats and say yes to a heaping pile of eggs and vegetables. With improved satiety levels, this small change to your breakfast could even make waves in your dietary choices throughout the day.

2 Move Throughout the Work Day

Look around your office. Chances are you see your co-workers hunched over, eyes glued to the monitor, scarfing down their lunch at their desk. While this habit is common, it shouldn’t be typical. Take back your precious lunchtime and repurpose it for the good of calorie-burning!

I’m not asking you to do anything drastic like run a couple miles (although you very well could), but your lunch time could be better served as “you” time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office. Forty-five minutes of light walking will take off 200-300 calories. What’s more, you’ll feel more focused and refreshed by the time you return to your desk.

“Lunch time could be better served as ‘you’ time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office.”

Maybe you want to dedicate lunch hour to, you know, eating lunch. There’s no rule that your walk must occur during lunch time. So grab your co-workers at any time and push for a quick stroll around the office building. Any excuse to get up and move, such as walking to speak to a co-worker, getting a glass of water from the break room, or going to use the photocopier, will also prove beneficial to your long-term health and help increase the total daily calories burned. Think of it this way: If you burn 20-25 calories for merely five minutes of movement, you can accumulate up to a net calorie burn of 160-200 calories over an 8-hour work day.

3 Stand While You Work

“Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does.”

Modern society has created an entire culture that revolves around sitting: sitting at your desk eight hours per day, sitting in the car for your commute, sitting at home on the couch, sitting at the dinner table, sitting in the Jacuzzi &mdashyou get the picture.

Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does. Then there’s the research on too much sitting. It shows a negative correlation with weakened gluteal (butt) muscles, which have been linked to poor hip function and chronic low-back pain. According to a study published by the “American College of Sports Medicine,” this extended sitting may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various health-degrading causes.

The next time you talk on the phone or pore over stacks of paper at your desk, do it while standing rather than sitting on your rump. This simple change allows you to be more vivacious on the phone and more fidgety in general, thus allowing you to burn up to an additional 300 calories over the course of a day.

4 Take the Stairs

The prospect of climbing several flights of stairs can be daunting, but it’s a great way to burn more calories. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a multi-story building, climbing stairs should be a simple and effective addition to your daily routine. If not, always opt to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.

You’ll burn anywhere between 4 and 7 calories per flight of stairs you take, depending on their length and your body weight. You can even make it more difficult by getting lower, pretending to do step-ups, and come up slowly to make sure your glutes are firing.

5 Drink More Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are well documented. In addition to kicking your metabolism awake, green tea contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that can bolster the fight against cellular damage. Some cellular damage is necessary, of course, but rampant cell destruction is a bad thing and, in the worst cases, may even promote to cancer growth.

“Consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body.”

Rather than downing another cup of coffee or an energy drink, go for the green tea bags. You’ll probably have fewer people to fend off in the break room. The green tea will still provide a modest dose of caffeine for those morning pick-me-ups; the caffeine content of green tea rivals that of a 6 oz. cup of coffee, and gives a nice metabolic boost.

A study published in the “American Society for Clinical Nutrition” shows that consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body. What this means for you is more efficient fat burning and a higher metabolism for the rest of the day. All you have to do is raise that cup to your lips!

As you can see, it’s possible to raise your non-workout calorie burning without dramatically disrupting your daily habits. Noticeable change can come from small, yet consistent changes. All these little tweaks to your daily routine and diet will pile on quickly to ignite a sizeable calorie inferno and advance the achievement of your weight-loss goals.

REFERENCES

  1. Chantre, P. et al. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, no. 6.
  2. Church, T.S. et al. (2009). Sitting Time And Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer. American College Of Sports Medicine. Vol. 41, No. 5. Pp. 998-1005.

 

About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight lossComments Off on 5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

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Top tips to help you get lean

Want to swap your fat for muscle? Trainer and high performance manager of Oakleigh Chargers Football Club Ben Sharpe and director of MP Studio Luke Archer share their lifestyle tips to help you lean out.

1. Get enough shut-eye: aim for 7.5 to nine hours of sleep per night for optimal recovery and hormonal balance.

2. Office know-how: manage your stress levels, increase your calorie burn and reduce your chances of muscle wastage by going for regular walks throughout the day, or asking the boss for a stand-up desk. “If a person is sitting at a desk all day, their energy requirements are much less than someone who has a physically demanding job,” says Archer. “We generally switch off our muscles, sit back, slump or have no need to use our muscles. And which group of muscles do we switch off most? The glutes – which are the largest muscles in the body.”

3. Eat well, eat often: eating smaller meals more often will aid in boosting the metabolism, while plant foods are important to insulin sensitivity. “The more your plate looks like a rainbow of colorful fruit and vegetables at every meal, the faster your results will come,” says Archer.

4. Hydrate: drinking cold water regularly throughout the day can boost your metabolic rate by up to 30 per cent according to Archer. “Our body is made up of 70 to 80 per cent water – so it’s no wonder we need it so often to function properly,” he says.

5. Prioritise strength-based training: your lean muscle mass has the greatest impact on your ability to burn fat, so be sure to incorporate three to four full-body weight sessions per week. A weighted circuit with lower loads, higher reps and limited rest will keep the heart rate elevated to increase muscular endurance while burning body fat.

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Top tips to help you get lean

Posted in Bodybuilding, Nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Top tips to help you get lean

10 ways to be more active

1 Choose the furthest corner

Instead of fighting for parking spots closest to the supermarket doors, park your car as far away as possible. This gives you the opportunity to walk further, for longer – and it’s less stressful, too.

2 Skip the lift

Stop taking the lift and take the stairs instead. It’ll get your heart pumping and body moving to build your fitness levels, plus climbing the stairs requires your bum, thigh and calf muscles to engage, helping to tone and sculpt your legs – a win-win!

3 Walk the last stop

If you commute to work by bus, jump off one stop early – or even two! – to increase
the distance you walk. Not only will this
add in some extra cardio exercise to your
day – particularly if you march at a fast pace – it’ll burn a few extra calories, too.  

4 Get pedalling

Boost your fitness by cycling to and from work. It’s a great way to get two cardio workouts into your day without having to take time out to exercise. Cycling is also a great way to tone up and keep those calories burning

 5 Use your lunch hour

Instead of staying glued to your computer screen, use your lunch hour for some retail therapy or a wander in the park. Just 20 minutes walking around the block, will help perk you up and boost your motivation. And, of course, it will add that extra bit of physical activity into your day. In fact, according to a recent study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
in California, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Walk on!

6 Leave your car at home

If you have kids, walk them to school instead of driving, if it’s close enough. Not only will you start your day with a spring in your step, but walking to school will also encourage your kids to be more active, and it also helps reduce pollution. If walking isn’t an option, why not take them to the park after school or to the swings to play? And make sure you run around as much as your kids do!

7 Stand up more!

While talking on the phone, whether at home or in the office, get out of your chair and stand up or pace up and down. As well as helping you to focus on the conversation, this can have real benefits for your health. A study by Dr John Buckley and a team of researchers from the University of Chester proved that standing for a total of three hours each day will burn up an extra 144 calories. Over a year, that adds up to about 30,000 more calories or eight pounds of fat!

8 Be a tourist

Instead of the usual catch-up over coffee and cake or dinner, why not arrange
a jog around the park with a friend instead
or book onto a sightseeing tour around your nearest city. You’ll still have a chance to chat, but you’ll get in a bit of extra cardio, too.

9 Get your groove on

Spending your evenings slumped in front of the TV after a stressful day at work? Why not create a playlist of some of your favourite songs and have a dance around your bedroom for 15 minutes (or longer!) instead? Or look up dance classes you can join in your area. Not only does dancing
help boost self-confidence, but it’s a great chance to get a sweat on and burn some extra calories. A study published by the American Council on Exercise found that dance-based workouts can burn 200-400 calories per hour – almost as much as you burn swimming, cycling or walking. 

10 Invest in a pedometer

Record the number of steps you take each day with a pedometer. Then challenge yourself to increase the number every day or have a competition with your partner
or friend to see who can bank the most steps. This will boost your motivation
and get you more active

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10 ways to be more active

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on 10 ways to be more active


Paige Hathaway

22 hours 2 minutes ago

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Paige Hathaway

1 day 4 minutes ago

Life is tough but so are you.

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