Sneaky Fitness – Easy Ways to Burn Calories Without Exercising
I’m pretty sure I was born to multitask. I love rising to the challenge of whipping up a delicious meal, all while checking email, watching movies on Netflix, and beating my high score in Mahjongg Dimensions. Managing to serve all components of a complex meal to the table at the same time, all piping hot perfection, makes me feel like a master of my own little universe.
Ask me to find time to fit in a traditional workout, however, and I just might look at you like you have lobsters coming out of your ears. I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to dedicate one of them to sweating, panting, and trudging along while shapely gazelles prance majestically to my left and right, at one with their high-tech gym equipment, experiencing the endorphin rush of their runner’s high. Nope, I simply don’t have that kind of time, or interest.
Why Can’t I Just Be “In Shape” Without the Work of Getting There?
While it’s true I was a top notch distance runner during my high school days, those days are long behind me, and if you promise not to tell my old coach I might admit that I never really liked practicing anyway. If I could have just shown up on race day, run the course, and been done with it, that would have been ideal. Simply doesn’t work that way, and I learned the hard way if I’m going to burn calories, I have to play mind tricks to get past my stubborn opposition to working out.
Getting Fit on the Sly
•Find a new “office” for the day – Working from home is awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This little pot belly I’ve developed over the years from this sedentary lifestyle, however, that’s all yours! Oh, I see you already have one. To shake things up, and give myself some different scenery, I pack up my laptop, walk to different locations with wifi available, and set up my office there. So far in the past week I’ve called McDonald’s, Panera, and Starbucks my office. To really pump up the intensity of this endeavor, I’ve marked my home on a map, then drawn a 5 mile radius around it, anything within that circle is my “no-drive zone”, accessible by walking only.
•Swap out your chair – Chairs are so overrated! No lumbar support, they cut off circulation to your feet leaving you with swollen, achy stumps, there’s got to be a better solution. There is, it’s called a stability ball. Try doing your job while perched on one of these babies, I guarantee you’ll get an ab workout as you make small adjustments to maintain your balance throughout the day. More than just a workout for your core, it’s a brain flexer too, because you have to remain alert as well. The moment you stop paying attention to maintaining balance you’ll be picking yourself up off the floor. Try explaining that ruckus during a conference call. I’ve done it, it was a hoot.
•Take the stairs – I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard before when I suggest you take the stairs instead of the elevator, escalator, or moving sidewalk. To sneak in some extra calorie burning, take the stairs two by two. Remember the more sneaky fitness you squeeze into your day, the less time you’ll need to spend at the gym doing the real stuff.
•Take your calls standing – Our bodies burn more calories when standing compared to when we sit. A super easy way to sneak some fitness into your day is to take all of your calls standing up. If you’re in a line of work like me that has you receiving calls every two minutes, just picture those pounds melting away each time you stand up, sit down, and stand up once more.
•Pace around the place – Now that you’re on the phone and standing, start pacing! Hooray for multitasking. Walk back and forth, walk in place, walk wherever your bluetooth allows you to mosey while still being on top of business. Moderate pace, fast pace, just move around, adopting this as a habit will make a major difference in your fitness level.
•The buddy (with benefits) system – My favorite sneaky fitness tip of all time, sexercise! Not only do you get the benefit of a rousing romp with a friend, you can repeat as often as you like so long as your friend is up for it. Enthusiasm really counts for something here, if you’re approaching the task simply because there’s nothing on television you’ll burn a lot fewer calories compared to treating the act like it was some kind of major emergency. Seriously, look up Dr. Weider’s famous study if you don’t believe me, and always use protection.
Short of This, There’s Always Competitive Beer Pong
I hope this has been helpful to you other fitness-phobes out there, and really these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sneaking in exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise at all. Dance parties with your kids, running through the sprinkler, and chasing down the ice cream truck are viable alternatives as well. Of course, if this is all too taxing for you, and you’re deeply committed to maintaining a position of constant recline, you may wish to browse through the various design options available with recumbent exercise bikes.
Freelance writer Rachel Cook doesn’t actually dislike exercise, she dislikes witnessing her reflection in the mirror while she exercises, which is why she likes to switch it up and get creative with her fitness routine. She also enjoys reading, watching documentaries, and volunteering in her community. When she’s not browsing http://www.allexercisebikes.net for her dream stationary bike, Rachel can be found trying to teach her cat, Patches, how to fetch toy mice.