How to burn an extra 500 calories a day
Dietitian Susie Burrell shares her tips to lose weight even if you can’t leave the house.
More days spent at home, can also mean a lot less activity, as we lose the extra calories that we usually burn as part of a daily commute and are also generally sitting down a whole lot more.
Over time, such a significant reduction in activity will inevitably lead to weight gain, weight gain that few of us want. With the Winter months already associated with a couple of kilos weight gain thanks to their association with heavier food, and staying in for a movie and pizza rather than more active socialising some serious planning is required to avoid the kilo creep.
So, if you know that you are not getting anywhere near the amount of activity you need at the moment, and the waistband of your jeans is already feeling a little tight, here are easy ways to increase your daily energy burn by as much as 500 calories, without leaving the house.
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Get up every hour
We burn roughly 40% more calories when we stand compared to when we sit, which means an easy strategy for all of us is to ensure we move regularly throughout the work day and avoid extended periods of sitting.
Simply committing to getting up every hour during the work day and moving for 5 minutes – to pick up the mail, go the bathroom, make a cup of tea or get something from the car, you will burn at least 60 extra calories throughout the course of the workday.
Turn the heater off
Working at home can mean it can be extremely easy to switch the A/C or heater on to keep you warm and cosy but the down side of this is that we burn far fewer calories when we are warm than when we are a little cooler and the body has to work harder to maintain body temperature.
Now, by no means are we encouraging you to feel excessively cold and getting sick, but opting for warmer clothes and a blanket rather than light clothes and running the heater constantly will help to make your body work harder throughout the day to help maintain body temperature, burning more calories as a result.
Add a skipping workout
Of all the cardio activity that we can choose, skipping is one of the most intense calorie burners you can find, with just 10 minutes of skipping burning at least 100 calories!
This means that scattering some skipping throughout your working day is not only great for blood flow and cardio fitness, but you will help to counter balance some of the extra time you have spent sitting. Just make you skip on a safe surface and wear the appropriate shoes to help ensure you minimise the risk of injury.
Blast some tunes
Another good calorie burner is a solid dance session to some of your favourite tunes with a 5-minute dance burning 20-30 calories depending on the intensity of movement.
There is nothing more motivating than hearing great music and creating your own mini play list will help you to get up and get moving, especially when going to the gym is not an option. Or alternatively, committing to one off the many, free online workouts even for 20-30 minutes each day will burn upwards of 100-150 calories per session.
Talk on the phone moving
Work days inevitably mean meetings, and while some may need to be done at the computer, telephone meetings are a good excuse to move and walking around while taking a phone call, at home or around the block is an easy way to burn a lot more calories than you would sitting down.
For every 20 minutes you walk as opposed to sit, you will burn an extra 20-30 calories.
Do your own housework
If you are a fan of having your own cleaner, this suggestion may not be overly appealing, but the reality is that cleaning is a great way to burn calories and also one of the many reasons generations of old had far fewer weight issues than we deal with in modern life.
While we are at home a little more, breaking up your cleaning schedule to include a cleaning job or two throughout the day – such as vacuuming or scrubbing a shower will give you an easy 50-80 extra calorie burn, plus a sparkling house to boot!
Susie Burrell holds two honours degrees in Nutrition & Dietetics and Psychology. She is especially known for her practical, easy to understand approach to diet, nutrition and wellbeing.