Staying Active

Maintain your weight less by staying active. It doesn't mean you have to join a gym. We've got some tips to help you keep fit without 'exercising'.

If you want to maintain your weight loss or continue to lose weight, you are going to have to be physically active but this doesn’t mean you have to rush out and join a gym. In fact a recent report suggests that more than 500,000 people waste about £200 million on gym membership each year. In January (full of good intentions) millions of us make promises to lose weight and get fit, but the vast majority of us do very little about it apart from parting with our hard earned cash.  

Part of the problem we face today surrounds the time pressures that most of us have to contend with. What we need is a way of incorporating physical activity into our everyday lives, which is precisely why walking is such a great option. Whether you want to walk to maintain or accelerate your weight loss or just to improve your general health and fitness, regular walking can help. You should be aiming to do at least 10,000 steps a day.

Top Ten Tips for including activity without ‘exercising’

It’s easy to get switched off when we think we have to exercise. After all, exercise sounds like hard work and conjours up humiliating memories of lycra, red faces, sweaty encounters and aching limbs! But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many sneaky ways of increasing your activity without you realising and even turning physical activity into a social event.

  1. Take a lunch break walk: it’s good for weight loss, clears your head and is a great energy boost (avoids the 2pm slump!).
  2. Take the stairs: if you use the lift you’re burning a lot less calories than you could be if you chose to walk up the stairs instead. Plus you get the added benefit of getting the blood circulating round your body, warming your muscles and stimulating your brain. A wealth of greatness from a simple choice.
  3. Walk and talk: being active will increase the amount of calories you burn. Even if you need to make a phone call, walk around! Walking for just 30 minutes a day at 2mph, you could burn between 120-180 calories. You can see how many calories you can burn here.
  4. Stand up and move while watching TV: the inner couch potato will tell you to rest and enjoy the film but he is wrong. You can enjoy the film still even if you’re standing up. Did you know you could burn an extra 50 calories per hour by standing? If you were to stand up for an extra 3 hours a day for five days (not even the whole week) you could burn around 750 calories! Over the course of a year that would add up around 30k extra calories or 8lbs of fat!
  5. Park and walk: why are you wasting fuel and time trying to get a spot closer to the entrance when you could be burning more calories? Park further away from the entrance and add a few extra steps to your day.
  6. Do housework: fortune favours the clean! Keep yourself on your toes with a good clean of the house and burn some extra calories. On average it’s possible to burn anywhere from 100-300 calories per hour doing housework, all depending on the type of activity and vigor with which you do it.
  7. Squat: find excuses to squat a little more throughout the day. When you’re brushing your teeth in the morning squeeze in 20 squats. While you’re washing your hands get in ten. While nobody is looking sneak in another five. If you do 10 minutes of squatting a day (weighing at around 180 pounds) you could burn 90 calories. Not only that but squatting burns fats and builds muscle. Building muscles will increase your natural fat burning rate (by increasing your resting metabolic rate) so you can burn more calories while resting.
  8. Play a game: find an activity that gets your heart racing. Whether you enjoy dancing, walking, running, playing badminton or even rowing, ensure you get on your feet. If you find an activity that you and your partner, friend or colleagues can enjoy, you’re more likely to stick to it and burn more calories.
  9. Pick up weights: building muscle helps you to burn more. You won’t end up looking like the Hulk, but you will build type II muscle fibers when you lift weights. These fibers improve your whole-body metabolism. Even if you pick up a tin of beans, it’s a good start!
  10. Go shopping: Thanks to the advancement in technology we can order pretty much anything online. But this means less walking, less browsing, less time spent on your feet. Go to your local supermarket, your local high street or your local shopping mall rather than ordering online.
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