How to Burn Calories by Sitting Less and Moving More

Set of StairsYou’ve probably heard it more than once, “for better health, exercise!”  But who has the time?   You wish you could fit in the recommended 30 minutes or even one hour of exercise a day, but between family and work there isn’t enough time in the day.  It turns out you are not alone.  According to the CDC, 40% of Americans don’t exercise at all and only 11% of Americans are currently exercising at the minimum recommendation.

What can you do to be more active? Think small.  Instead of focusing on the 30 minutes to one hour of exercise a day, think smaller, shorter bouts of exercise.  Studies have found that two-fifteen minute sessions of exercise or even three-ten minute sessions of exercise a day have similar health benefits to working out one continuous 30 minute session.

In addition, Dr. James Levine, an obesity researcher of the Mayo Clinic, has been studying the effects of non-exercise type of activities.  Non-exercise activities are any type of activities that are not planned exercise, such as pacing while talking on the phone, standing instead of walking and so on.   He discovered that just by increasing your movements throughout the day, you burn a significant amount of calories when tallied up.

How can you move more throughout the day?


10 Tips to Help You Get Out of Your Chair:

1. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier three days a week, such as Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and take a 10-15 minute brisk walk before you start your day.

2. Park your car furthest away from the entrance of your job, the supermarket, post office, or movie theater.

3. Anytime you talk on the phone, stand up and pace the duration of the call.

4. Plan a 10-15 minute brisk walk during your lunch break.

5. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.

6. If you sit at a desk or computer all day, get up at least every half hour and stretch.

7. If you take public transit, get off the bus or subway one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.

8. If you take your child to sports practice, instead of sitting on the side lines, take a walk around the field.

9. Schedule a 10-15 minute walk right after work, either at your job or in your neighborhood-before you start dinner or start running errands.

10. Take a short walk after dinner with your family or friends.







References: Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Long versus Short bouts of Exercise on fitness and Weight Loss in Overweight Females. Schmidt et al. 2001. Accessed on July 26, 2011.

Grady, Denise. May 25, 2005. New Weight-Loss Focus: The Lean and the Restless. New York Times. Accessed on July 29, 2011.


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