The biggest obstacle most people face when trying to add exercise into their day is time. Many also (mistakenly) think that the only way to stay fit is to hit the gym or spend at least an hour doing aerobic exercise. While it’s true that you increase your fitness level when you increase the intensity, frequency and duration of your program, it’s possible to gain moderate fitness benefits from making small, consistent changes to your daily life.
The latest and probably one of the most common sense ways to get fit and lose excess body fat is by making painless additions of exercise to your day, combined with small diet modifications. For example, current research has shown that by consuming just 100 fewer calories per day, a woman can avoid the 1-2 pound gain most of us take on each year.
If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your daily caloric deduction by 500 calories, but you can do this by cutting 200 calories out of your daily diet and burning 300 calories more through exercise.
Add that up over a week and you’ll have nearly a pound of fat loss with very little pain or diet deprivation.
It’s the little things you do everyday that can make the difference between keeping fit or packing on additional pounds every year. Don’t underestimate the power of tiny changes: consistent, lifestyle changes are always more successful for losing and maintaining weight loss.
Here are a few tips to help you find painless ways to stay fit:
All rise! The average person burns 100 calories per hour while sitting and 140 per hour while standing. Get on your feet two hours a day while you work and you could drop 6 pounds over the course of a year. Stand while you talk on the phone and set up an area where you can work in a standing position (great for people with back pain!).
Take the stairs, not the elevator A 130-pound woman will burn nearly 20 calories each time she goes up and down the stairs. Do it all day watch how quickly those add up!
Dust while you talk on the phone.
Lose the remote. Get up to change the channel! And while you’re up grab some weights for a set of bicep curls or shoulder presses. You can work through a full strength training routine in an hour if you do a set during each commercial.
Park so you have to walk.
Walk and talk! Catch up on phone calls while your take a walk.
Be creative! Instead of thinking of all the ways you don’t have time to exercise, make it a game to see how many ways you can carve out time for little bouts of exercise. Lose your “all or nothing” mindset and look at exercise as a daily accumulation of activity.
Remember, to lose weight you still need to take a look at your diet and try to eliminate excess calories, especially those that come from “junk.” Your goal isn’t difficult – cutting 200-300 calories from your daily diet can be easy if you choose foods that you won’t miss too much. Think about switching from a can a soda every afternoon to unsweetened iced tea or a flavored sparkling water. But remember, don’t cut something that you look forward to everyday (for me cutting cream in my coffee would be a deal breaker), instead look for little changes you can make that won’t make a big difference in the foods your enjoy.