Saturday, 4 January 2014

5 Ways To Burn Calories Without Breaking Into (Too Much Of) A Sweat

Christmas has been and gone. People around the world are waking from the food coma.  As they haul themselves out of the sofa, biscuit packs drop to the floor around their bloated feet. Looking down to see if there is one last bourbon cream left they realise their view is obscured. A great mound is rising from where once there was an ironed flat naval. I am of course talking about one of the world’s greatest first world afflictions: the Christmas bloat.

I for one am a victim of this. What with me and the family going on a springtime UK Break to Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, I have become pretty damn good at shedding the pounds. The best way to do this I have always found is to incorporate it into my daily routine where possible. These five ideas will help you burn calories and lose weight.

1.     Yoga – OK so you will struggle to find a practical, everyday usage for Yoga. But it is something I swear by. I have been a yogi for about a year now. That is someone who is proficient at yoga. OK I can just about contort myself into some positions, and not without a little help from my instructor. Obviously there are different levels, so beginners will feel less of a burn than more advanced yogis. Beginner, less intense workouts will roughly burn off 100 calories an hour while more intense workouts can burn off as much as 450 calories an hour.

2.     Walking – Quite an easy one to work into your day. Commute to work? Then maybe ditch the car for a few weeks and get the train. Walking to and from the station or bus stop is a great way to work off the Christmas carbs. You can also feel super-smug on the walk as you are saving yourself a shed-load of cash and lowering your carbon emission. In fact as a way of burning carbs this is probably the best thing you can do. You will burn about 100 calories every mile you walk.

3.     Dancing – Another fairly simple act to include into part of your day. You can choose to do this seriously or behind closed doors, arms flailing and Bryan Adams blasting out the speakers. That is the great joy of dancing it can be whatever you want it to be. In unison with a troupe of dancers or on your own dancing is an expression of joy and happiness. The harder, more active dances can obviously burn off more calories than just a foot-tap. Hip-hop dancing (whatever that may be) burns around 370 calories an hour where the physically strenuous ballet can burn up to 450 calories per hour.

4.     Wash The Car – So you’ve left it parked up for the last few weeks as you walk to work. You notice the sun doesn’t shimmer off of it like it used to. Washing the car is a surprisingly strenuous activity, what with the bucket of water, the scrubbing the bodywork and then chamois leathering it dry at the end. This is a surprisingly good workout actually working out at bout 240 calories an hour.

5.     Gardening – This will come as no great surprise to my green-fingered friends. There is a lot of strenuous activity that goes into making the garden look great, weeding, mowing, raking and sawing are just a few of the activities in any gardener’s repertoire. Gardening can be a strenuous workout that exercises a lot of muscles and can burn up to 290 calories an hour.

All of these little lifestyle changes can go a long way to getting you back in shape for the spring and summer. If you plan on going on holiday shortly after Christmas then it may be a good idea to give some of these no-hassle workouts a go. Are there any other workouts that you practice? Let me know

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