We burn calories all day long just by being alive: breathing, digesting and performing everyday movements all require energy for fuel.
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While intentional exercise (a.k.a, when your heart rate is elevated and your muscles are working hard), is the most effective way to burn the most calories, you can increase your daily calorie burn with small decisions throughout the day. Use the below activities to sneak in some extra calorie burn, because every little bit counts — and something is always better than nothing, right?
1. Walk Everywhere
Okay, so technically walking is an exercise, but simply choosing to walk to your destination — whether it be to work, to meet up with friends or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator — can make a huge difference in average calories burned per day. Avid walkers tend to be healthier than their car-obsessed counterparts, and for good reason; not only is walking a mindless, easy exercise, but virtually anyone can do it. It hardly feels like a workout, but a good, long walk does a body good.
2. Laugh Out Loud
According to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study, the average adult burns 1.3 calories per minute laughing. So belly laughs count as ab exercise? We’ll take it!
3. Spice Things Up
Go ahead and order Thai for lunch: Research shows that chili peppers can boost your metabolic rate, causing the body to burn around 50 more calories per day and spike metabolism by 23 percent. There’s a reason you sweat when you eat spicy foods; you’re burning up, and that includes calories.
4. Chew, Chew, Chew
Always opt for whole foods instead of juices or liquid calories; you’ll feel fuller and you’ll also end up consuming less. A medium-size apple is just 60 calories, and you’re better off eating that than you are drinking 60 calories of apple juice, because your body will burn more calories chewing and trying to digest the fibre of the whole apple. Furthermore, one serving of apple juice has more sugar and calories than a single apple ever would.
5. Go Shopping
Shopping is the easiest way to unknowingly walk for miles. A typical shopping trip burns 156 calories per hour, and that burn increases even more if you’re carrying heavy bags, so go nuts! We’ll back you up: shopping is good for your health.
6. Ice, Ice Baby
You should be drinking water anyway, but make sure you have it on the rocks, a.k.a, on ice. According to Men’s Health, drinking eight glasses of ice water a day will cause your body to burn an extra 123 calories by heating that water up to body temperature.
7. Knock Some Boots
The average sex session will burn 88 calories per hour, but you aren’t exactly average, are you? The more effort you put forth, the more calories you’ll burn, and bonus: the better you’ll look and feel naked.
8. Upgrade Your Desk Chair
Using a stability ball instead of a chair will burn 260 more calories throughout the day. That’s because the instability of sitting on a ball will cause your core muscles to be engaged all day long to hold you steady. Feel free to bounce and add even more calories to that total.
While the act of meditating isn’t very physically taxing, stressed-out people burn fewer calories than calm people do, so make time for it. Meditation, or even just concentrated breathing, helps to reduce stress and lower cortisol levels which evens out hormones and can help turn your body into a calorie-burning machine.
10. Go To Sleep
Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time will slow your metabolism, lowering the amount of calories you burn around the clock. A lack of sleep can also affect cortisol levels, which will signal your body to store fat. Experts recommend aiming for between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Who’d have thought you could lose weight by staying in bed?
*Calorie-burn calculations are based on a 150 pound woman.