17 Lazy Ways to Burn Calories and Still Feel Productive

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If you’re anything like me, you’re lazy when it comes to exercise.

Listen. If I never had to exercise ever again and could stay the same size forever, I’d be all over that. But I’m realistic, and I know that since I’m not my 20-year old self anymore, those days of eating Gumby’s Pokey Stix at 2am and still waking up happy as a clam and hitting the fitness center are way behind me.

I went to Florida State, so I knew how to drink, eat, and still look good. It’s a craft that I don’t have anymore.

It’s obviously easy to lose weight by running each day or playing full-court basketball, but what if you tend to avoid physical activity? Well, there’s plenty of middle ground between being a couch potato and training for the Olympics. Try these 17 lazy ways to burn calories.

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Lazy Ways to Burn More Calories While You’re Exercising


1. Play Fast Music

Trick your brain into thinking it’s having fun. Tunes with a lively tempo make you work harder, but you’ll be having so much fun you probably won’t notice.

2. Increase the Resistance

Gradually use heavier weights or raise the resistance setting on your treadmill. Bicycle uphill or lower the air pressure in your tires. You’ll expend more energy in the same amount of time.

3. Add Variety

Doing the same old exercises only give you the same old output. Switch it up so that you work different body parts and muscles. When you’re tired of running laps, go for a swim.

4. Be Social

Buddying up with a workout partner turns push-ups into playtime (or friendly competition). Bring a friend to the gym or sign up for a group class.

Lazy Ways to Burn Calories Between Workouts

Don’t just save your calorie burning for your workouts, incorporate these easy activities to increase your heart-rate.

5. Stand Up

Standing burns about 30% more calories than sitting down. Ask your boss for a standing desk or get up out of your chair for a few minutes every half hour.

6. Walk and Talk

Studies suggest that the average smartphone user is spending at least 3 hours a day on their device. Take your conversations for a walk and before you know it, you’ll have racked up a couple more hundred steps on your Fitbit.

7. Dance While You Cook

That’s right ladies, turn on some tunes while you’re making your meals and dance around the kitchen in between your stirs.

8. Watch Your Posture

Sitting up straight helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Being more mindful of this can work your muscles more, therefor burning a few extra calories.

9. Use a Stability Ball

If you need some help doing the last one – use a balance ball to help you straighten up. These core stability balls work well because you have to sit a certain way in order to balance correctly. Also, if you have a spurt of non-laziness, do some arm lifts or ab crunches to amp up the calories.

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10. Break for Commercials

When you watch TV, do pushups or leg lifts during the commercials. That way you can stay fit and still keep up with your favorite shows.

11. Exercise While You Eat

Play with your food (well, not really). Every time you take a drink or raise your fork, do a few above the head arm presses or bicep curls. Workout done!

12. Wear an Activity Monitor

Maybe you feel more engaged when you have data to analyze. Strap on a Fitbit or something similar. Seeing the numbers (or adding friends) might help you increase your performance.

13. Fidget

Frequent fidgeters burn about 300 extra calories a day. That’s about 2 shortbread cookies. Wait, what? Time to buy that fidget spinner you’ve been eying up.

14. Eat Whole Foods

Chewing and digesting food uses up energy too. Choose an orange instead of juice. As a bonus, spicy foods rev up your metabolism, so munch on some wasabi peas along with your fruit.

15. Drink Coffee

Caffeine is another metabolism booster. Most experts agree that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe, which translates into about 4 cups of coffee.

16. Manage Stress

In addition to causing chronic inflammation, stress hormones can interfere with digestion. Basically, stress can make your body go wonky. Relaxation practices like meditating daily make it easier to lose weight.

17. Sleep it up!

Less than 4 hours of sleep is proven to decrease your metabolism and adequate sleep helps you to stay trim. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule, and take a nap if you still feel drowsy.

So, while I like to kid about physical fitness, it is important to burn a sufficient amount of calories daily for weight maintenance. These activities are not meant to be a substitute for occasional exercise, but they might get you a bit more motivated to get off your butt.

What are your favorite ways to be lazy and still burn some calories?

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