Structured exercise is important if you're trying to change your body or get in better condition. But, for general health, simply moving around more throughout the day is just one simple way to burn more calories over time. In fact, in a recent study experts studied the difference between self-described lean couch potatoes and overweight couch potatoes and found that the overweight folks sat an average of 164 minutes longer than the leaner subjects. The leaner subjects actually burned an extra 350 calories per day just by moving around more. Obviously that isn't the only contributor to weight gain, but it's intriguing to think that moving around can make such a difference.
Just like those extra food calories can add up to weight gain, those extra calories you burn just by getting out of the chair more often can add up to weight loss over time. How could you be more active throughout the day? This chart lists a few ideas for you to try. (Numbers are for 10 minutes of activity for a 160-lb person).
|Instead of:||Do this:|
|Sitting at your desk (24 calories)||Stand while you work (37 calories)|
|Hiring a landscaper (0 calories)||Cut your own grass with a pushmower (96 calories)|
|Sitting and reading (16 calories)||Read while doing some light stretches (40 calories)|
|Emailing a co-worker (23 calories)||Take a walk and talk to them in person (40 calories)|
|Watching TV (15 calories)||Go bowling (48 calories)|
|Walking to the closest bathroom (40 calories)||Take the stairs to one on a different floor (98 calories)|