Exercise and Fitness Guide

10 Small Ways To Burn Calories

Sara Suchy Feb 26th, 2013 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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Make the whole day a workout
Make the whole day a workout

Formal, organized workouts are always a good idea, but more and more research shows that the healthiest people are those who are active throughout the whole day, not just when they are at the gym.  Here are 10 ways to squeeze more activity into your already busy life. 

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Start your day right
Start your day right

As soon as you roll out of bed, do 20 sit ups, or 20 push ups, or maybe even a few yoga poses.  Anything to get your blood moving. This will wake you up quickly and start your day on an active note. 

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Transform your morning routine
Transform your morning routine

Who says you can’t do lunges as you’re brushing your teeth? You can make any idle time an opportunity to squeeze out more calories. Do wall sits while you’re on the phone, crunches when you’re watching a movie, squats when you’re cooking dinner (if you can)!

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Take the stairs
Take the stairs

This one is easy. If you’re accustomed to taking the elevator to your office, try taking the stairs instead. It still gets you where you need to go, and stair laps are always a great way to burn calories. 

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Stand at work
Stand at work

Innumerable studies have told us the same thing: sitting all day is really bad for your health. So, stand up at work. If it is possible in your office, get a standing desk and spend your work day on your feet. 

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Exercise Ball as Chair
Exercise Ball as Chair

If a standing desk is not possible where you work, consider using an exercise ball as a chair instead. It will strengthen your core muscles and encourage good posture throughout the workday. 

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Take a walking break
Take a walking break

If neither the standing desk or an exercise ball will work in your office, make an effort to get up and go for a short walk several times each day. This will keep your body happy and your mind sharper throughout the day. 

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Walk where you can
Walk where you can

Give the car a break. Whenever it is possible, try to walk to appointments or run errands on your feet. This can be as simple as walking to the bank or a hair cut, riding your bike to the grocery store or even incorporating a run into your quick trip to the post office. 

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Park far away
Park far away

If it’s not possible to walk to an appointment or an errand, try parking at the far end of the parking lot to add a few extra steps to your errand. If you have several destinations, try to park in one place and walk from store to store. 

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Use a basket
Use a basket

Try using a basket instead of a cart when grocery shopping. It can turn into a decent upper body work out and might motivate you to only buy the healthy foods that you need instead of junk food that will just clutter your (already heavy) basket. 

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End your day right
End your day right

Go for a walk after dinner to burn a few extra calories before you wind down for the night. End your day with some gentle yoga poses. They won’t burn a ton of calories, but they will help you sleep better so you’re ready to start the day with a burst of energy.