Many of us have good intentions when it comes to exercising every day. However, in reality, it’s not always possible. If you don’t have time for some daily activity and work a desk job (or a sedentary job for 8 or more hours each day), weight gain and health issues can begin gradually creeping up.
Even if you can’t get the gym daily, these eight metabolism-fueling tricks will set your calorie burning furnace for the day ahead…
1. Shrink Your Water Bottle
We should all probably drink more water. Studies from the Mayo Clinic show that if you’re not getting the recommended 3-liters of water per day for men and 2.2-liters for women (this is an average) glasses of water each day, you’re likely risking dehydration. When the body isn’t hydrated adequately, it can’t carry out normal and essential functions—such as operation of vital organ, the elimination of toxins, nutrient and energy transport to fuel cells, and much more.
Obviously, hydration is important so why am I suggesting you shrink your water bottle? Simply to cause you to get up more often throughout the day to refill it with cool, clean water. This will ensure you don’t become dangerously dehydration while keeping energy levels stable—and also encourage you to get up and more around fairly regularly. I use a glass at work and refill it every 30-minutes. You can even set a timer on your smart phone to remind you to drink.
2. Take a Seat
If you have a sedentary job (meaning you’re parked at a desk for the majority of the work day) coming home and parking it on the couch won’t help you burn calories—in fact it will in all likelihood add to weight gain. However, if you do spend some of your evening watching television, reading, or playing video games. Try sitting on the floor rather than on the couch on in a chair. Sitting on the ground not only burns more calories, it also calls on core muscles for support you, especially if you get up and sit down without using your hands for support.
Researchers from Brazil created the sit test, a type of test to per-determine longevity, to judge just how healthy a person is and how long they will live. The test, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, demands balance, motor control, flexibility, and muscle strength to simply take a seat on the floor from a standing position. But there’s a catch: you can’t use your arms, knees, or hands to help you. The study found that men and women who used their hands, arms, and knees for support were 7 times more likely to die earlier.
3. Don’t Shun Manual Labor
You might have worked very hard in order to attain a swanky corner office and a really comfy office chair. However, it’s no surprise that those who work jobs that require more physical effort burn approximately 100 more calories every day compared to those who sit all day long.
A study conducted by researchers at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge, found that office workers who found reasons to get up more often (i.e., by taking on manual tasks) were able to make up those extra calories. Study researchers recommend taking the stairs rather than the elevator, trudging to the copy machine, making coffee, filing, walking to the mail room, standing during phone calls, and watering plants as easy ways to accumulate physical activity throughout the day.
4. Rise and Rev Up that Metabolism
Busy lives with kids, commutes, lack of sleep, and pets can make it almost impossible to squeeze a decent workout in before work. However, David Jack, a Massachusetts-based fitness expert, author, and the Fitness and Wellness Director for Teamworks Centers, which develops training platforms for professional teams and athletes, says that even a quickie 15-minute sweat session can stroke your calorie-burning fires for the day.
Jack claims that by simply setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and doing a series of push-ups, crunches, squats, skipping on the spot, or doing jumping jacks is enough to trigger the calorie-burning process for the day. These calorie-blasting drills performed daily can be done and out of the way before kids, work, pets, spouse, and life get in the way.
5. Chew, Blow, Pop Those Calories
One wouldn’t necessarily link chewing gum with weight loss. However, studies conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that chewing a stick of gum (sugar free if possible) will not only curb the desire to snack mindlessly throughout the workday—it will also help you burn calories.
Study authors monitored a group of gum chewers and found that they burned roughly 8-percent more calories (and consume about 70-fewer calories) a day compared to those who didn’t chew gum. Researchers recommend chewing gum when you have the urge to snack on sugary treats, while you prepare food, while watching TV, and when you finish a meal to prevent binge eating.
6. Burn to the Beat
There’s a reason why you run a little further, sweat a little harder, and burn a few more calories when you listen to music during exercise. A study from U.K.-based Brunel University, in London, England found that runners who listened to rap music ran at faster paces and burned more calories.
Researchers found working out accompanied to music that kept time at 120 to 140 beats per minute encouraged runners to burn more calories overall. The reason—runners just naturally picked up their pace to match the beat of the music so their feet would hit the ground to match the beat. While hip hop encouraged the hardest calorie-burning pace, peppy rock or pop with fluid rhythms and even audiobooks were found to be good workout motivators.
7. Cool Things Down
You might prefer to plug in a space heater as you work away in your frigid office. However, you’re not doing yourself any favors as far as burning more calories or revving up your metabolism. In fact, lowering the heat so you’re slightly chilly, or even turning up the air conditioning sooner in the season will boost caloric burn.
Research published by the journal, Diabetes, indicates that colder temperatures that cause you to be chilly activate your body’s brown fat calorie-burning abilities. The main function of brown fat is to generate body heat, which is precisely why chilly temperatures will activate brown fat, causing it to burn calories (up to 40-percent more) in order to keep your body warm.
8. Increase Metabolism with Intervals
Getting to the gym after work is not always impossible. In fact, many of us prefer to go home and forget the workday while we binge watch Netflix. However, not all is lost. Try fitting some intervals into your TV-marathon by opting to jump rope during commercials, or do a 1-minute jump rope rotation every 20-minutes while you watch your favorite show.
Think about it; commercial breaks offer a natural cue for you to get up off the couch and push yourself. Thankfully, jumping rope (or skipping) in place can be done while you watch—and it torches approximately 10-calories for every minute you skip. That means if you skip 10 times during your favorite show you can burn 100-calories as you watch…and not miss one minute of the drama!