Most of us are quite sedentary in recent years, we work from desks for a great portion of the day which can make being active a challenge. Conscious effort to increase your activity level can go a long way to improving general fitness and health.
Some people have an easy time keeping the weight off, if you work in a physically demanding job then you're burning a decent amount of energy throughout the day. If you work from a desk however, you may have trouble. Still a job is a job, right? You need to make the most out of what you've got. In this post, I'll cover the easiest ways to burn more calories, along with the pros and cons of each approach.
#1 Quit your car and walk/cycle
This definitely works. It's no coincidence that by the time you start piling on the pounds, you likely have an office job and a car. This advice can be useless to some though, if you live a significant distance from your workplace then it's impractical at best.
If this is an option you'd like to try, you could try walking or cycling to work one day each week to start with. Allow more time and take care if you're new to cycling on the roads.
- Arrive at work refreshed
- Breaks up the day
- Saves money on fuel
- Enjoyable in nice weather
- You may arrive at work sweaty
- May take too long/make you late
- Limited on transporting items
- Horrid in bad weather
#2 Get involved in sports
This is a truly underrated approach. In a world where we're glued to our phones and teamwork is just a buzzword used for those mandatory work teambuilding events, getting out for a kickaround with the lads, or joining a local team can do a lot for building good habits and meeting likeminded people.
A quick Google search will bring up your local sports organisations, don't be intimidated, most organisations have non-competitive groups as well as their main teams. Get stuck in, enjoy yourself and burn more calories!
- Fun form of activity
- Build new skills
- Meet new people
- You feel compelled to show up
- May not be frequent enough
- Times may not work for you
#3 Park further away, take the stairs
This approach is another one that burns more calories but requires you to take more time throughout your day. This approach certainly helps. Often you can scale the stairs and beat the lift, and the small distances you travel to your car aren't a great inconvenience. Security for your vehicle can be an issue in some areas but this approach does have its merits.
- Easy habits to form
- No great loss of time
- Improves general fitness
- Small changes can add up quickly
- Security may be an issue
- You may not have other parking options
- Loss of time, albeit small
#4 Move more during work
Standing desks are becoming more common as people are becoming more aware of the consequences of sitting for long periods of time. Time lost to lower back pain (which sitting contributes to) significantly affects the economy as a whole, as well as companies large and small. The key isn't standing though, it's moving. Standing all day is not much better than sitting all day but your body will thank you for moving between standing and sitting every now and then, you'll burn a decent amount more calories too.
Start by asking yourself what tasks you need to be seated for and which you don't. More movement at work will make your back feel better and your midsection look better.
- Relieves back pain
- May improve your productivity
- Better for posture
- Burns more calories
- May attract strange looks
- Your workstation might not allow it
Used by bodybuilders for decades, structured card sessions are an excellent way to burn calories and reduce body fat. Effectively, this session makes up for the activity that we may not get in our daily lives, but all in one go. Downsides are that it does require you to take up to an hour out of your day, but in many cases this actually works better than breaking it up throughout the day.
You can start off with a thirty minute session a few times per week, low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio is often better for people starting out than high-intensity interval training(HIIT). LISS cardio is not just for beginners however, if you already hit the gym hard a few times per week, you might prefer the idea of a long stroll to an all out effort. Both work.
- Gets your activity done in one go
- Doesn't require extra though
- Can be enjoyable for some
- Listen to music or books while burning calories!
- Requires setting time aside
- May become boring
Making use of one or more of these ways to burn more calories will help you to lose weight more efficiently, or at the very least, help you avoid the needle on the scale slowly shifting the wrong way!