Don’t feel guilty if you skip a day at the gym. The good news is, you are probably getting a bit of a workout from the little things you do throughout the day.
Here is how you might be burning off those extra calories without even knowing it!
1) Carrying a purse
Assuming that we carry pretty much everything we own in our purses, it might as well count as weightlifting! If you are one of those who carries a laptop, a tablet, a water bottle, and a pair of gym shoes around, you are definitely working out on the go.
The trick is not to carry your purse on one shoulder. Carry it in your hand at waist-height and switch hands every few minutes to work your shoulders and biceps.
2) Standing in line
Starbucks line out of control? Cheer up, because standing up actually burns more calories than sitting down!
Waiting in line could be a great opportunity to squeeze in a little leg exercise — do heel lifts by standing on the balls of your feet and repeat as many times as possible.
3) Taking a hot bath
Dipping in a hot bath does more than relax every inch of your body. According to Cosmopolitan.com, it can also increase your calorie burn by up to 5 percent! The heat makes your body work to keep its temperature down.
Add more hot water as the water starts to cool down, to boost the calorie-burning power of your bath. Try adding epsom salt to your bath water. According to the Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt can help ease muscle pain and soothe bruises.
4) Unloading the dishwasher
Here is how you can really work your butt. Instead of curving your spine, squat or bend from the hips as you pick up each dish with two hands and stack them on high shelves. You will feel the burn if you do enough repetitions!
5) Grocery shopping
Make the most of your grocery store trips and turn them into mini-workouts by using a basket instead of a cart. Don’t let it touch the side of your legs or hips, and hold it as far from your body as possible. Heavier loads make a more intense exercise.
Certified personal trainer Larry Twohig was quoted on Cosmopolitan.com as saying that the greater the challenge, the more work you’ll do for your shoulders, obliques and arms. If you’re only picking up a few items, Twohig recommends holding the basket in front of you with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, and holding it by the handle with palms facing up.
According to The New York Times, laughing is fundamentally a physical action! When you laugh like you mean it, you forcefully exhale the breath from the lungs and your diaphragm muscles work very hard — hence the term “belly-laughing.” Talk about strengthening that core!
20 ways you are secretly getting a workout without knowing it. Cosmopolitan.com. Retrieved September 18, 2105.
Laughter as a form of exercise. The New York Times Well Blog. Retrieved September 18, 2015. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/laughter-as-a-form-of-exercise/?_r=0
Soaking. Epsom Salt Council. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
Reviewed September 21, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN