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Tackling fat loss is quite an endeavor, and while exercise is a great way to burn fat, it can sometimes be challenging to motivate oneself to get to the gym. Fortunately, there are ways to burn fat that don’t feel like exercise.
Incorporating these smaller bouts of physical activity not only staves off the effects of a sedentary lifestyle (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more (1)), but you’ll also have fun!
Here are some fun activities you can add in your daily routine to get your heart pumping!
1. Actively Bonding With Your Pet
Playing with your pet is a great way to stay active. If you have a dog, you may already be taking them on walks regularly. Upping the daily walks to more than once a day can boost your daily caloric burn, (2) as well as make Fido happy.
An extra 30-minute walk every day can burn 100–300 calories! Aside from torching calories, walking is also a great form of movement that is relatively easy for most people to do. To increase the activity and fun, go for a jog or play a game of fetch with your dog.
2. Walking or Biking to Work
Walk to work if it is within a reasonable distance. As mentioned, walking is a great way to burn extra calories, plus you’ll save gas money and avoid traffic!
If you want to make your commute quicker (but still burn fat), hop on your bike and pedal away to work. A 30-minute ride can burn a few hundred calories or more, depending on how vigorous you ride.
Tip: Bring a change of clothes if you find yourself sweating quite a bit. Get to work early and change into your work clothes.
3. Making Work More Active
Many people work in sedentary conditions, sitting at a desk for most of the time. An easy way to add fat-burning movements is to simply make work more active:
- Instead of sitting still, fidget at your desk. It may not seem much, but tiny amounts of movement through the entire workday add up.
- Instead of emailing or calling your coworker, walk over to their desk to get some steps in.
- Every 30–45 minutes, stand up and stretch for a few minutes.
- If possible, invest in a standing desk, and switch out your chair for an exercise ball.
- Take your lunch breaks outside and go for a walk.
- Instead of having a meeting inside, see if your coworkers are interested in a walking meeting (a favorite of the late Steve Jobs).
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs. (3)
Gardening involves plenty of good-for-you movements – squatting, shoveling, stooping, lunging, and picking things up are just some of the different things you do when working in the garden.
You could burn a few hundred calories in just 30 minutes! (4) Not only do you burn calories, but you also get the added benefit of being outdoors, which has been shown to elevate mood and help with stress, anxiety, and depression. (5)
Dancing involves moving your entire body, so it’s a full-body cardiovascular workout. Besides shedding excess weight, dancing is a fun activity, too. It boosts your mood and combats stress and anxiety. (6)
If you don’t know how to dance, take up a dance class at your local gym or community center. Whatever form of dancing you choose, it will help improve your fitness level and shed those extra pounds. Try doing moderately intense 30–45-minute sessions two to three times a week to start.
Hiking is a great way to get fit without really trying, as it is a great lower body workout and improves cardiovascular health. Depending on the intensity level and duration of the hike, you could burn a few hundred to a few thousand calories. (7)
Being outside also provides sunlight exposure, which triggers vitamin D production. (8) Do a quick search to find local parks and trails near you that you can explore.
Try going for a moderately intense hike two to three times a week for about an hour, although hiking even just on the weekends will still provide benefits.
7. Tackling Household Chores and Projects
Consider your next DIY project or cleanup your “workout,” as household chores can actually be quite intense. Sure, sometimes tasks such as doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom might seem monotonous, but if you put the right effort in, you can work up quite a sweat.
Besides regular chores, tackling some DIY projects around the house can keep you in tip-top shape as well. So, the next time you’re thinking about hiring a painter or landscaper, consider completing the task yourself. Not only would you save money and burn calories, but you would build useful skills as well!
ALSO READ: Household Chores That Burn the Most Calories
8. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing – whether outdoor or indoor, free or assisted – is a great full-body workout. You use your legs, back, and arms to maneuver your way along the foot and hand holds. (9)
Before heading outside and climbing your local cliffside, it’s recommended to first find a climbing gym where you can learn how to climb properly with the safety of a padded floor and rope assistance.
The great thing about climbing is that you’re usually having so much fun that you don’t even notice how much of a workout you’re getting. Aim for two to three weekly sessions for 45 minutes to an hour.
9. Practicing Yoga
Yoga has been increasing in popularity nowadays and for good reasons. It has been shown to improve flexibility, tone the muscles, and reduce stress. (10)
Yoga can be done in a traditional gym or studio or in the comfort of your own home. All that’s needed is some open space and a yoga mat. A successful yoga session doesn’t have to be long and arduous. It can be finished in 15–30 minutes without much hassle.
This exercise has plenty of different poses and moves that work for different muscle groups, so the options are endless. Try performing a yoga session three times a week for 15–30 minutes.
Another effective physical activity is swimming, which is low impact and a great fat burner. (11) Swimming is a full-body physical activity, which means you will target pretty much all the muscle groups in your body.
In a 30-minute session, you easily burn away 100 calories, and even more if you make the activity more vigorous. Taking your movement to the pool is also great for the joints, as it’s very low impact.
11. Parking Your Car Farther
Going to the store or running errands is a perfect chance for you to get moving. Simply parking your car farther from your destination can be a great strategy to get some extra steps and burn extra calories.
This activity might not seem much, but all the small movements at the end of the week will add up to quite a lot of physical activity. Even 100 calories a day for 7 days equals 700 calories! At the end of the month, that’s nearly 1 pound lost just by walking a tiny bit more.
12. Playing Active Games With Your Kids
A fun way to stay active and youthful is to play physical games with your kids.
From hide and seek, tag, and playing catch to roughhousing, tons of games can be done together with your children. Not only will you be breaking a sweat, but you’ll also strengthen your bond.
Don’t have kids of your own? Spend time with nieces, nephews, or younger siblings.
Word of warning: Once they know you’re willing to play, you’ll be the first one they ask! Be prepared to be recruited for play at every family get-together.
Maintaining a healthy weight is imperative for the proper functioning of the body. Losing any excess fat can help improve your cardiovascular functions and metabolic activities.
While people lean toward intensive exercises for burning fat, there are various other effective ways that can help burn extra calories without feeling like a workout.