December 16, 2015

5 Ways to Burn Calories When You Are Not Exercising

Do you know someone who stays toned and trim even though they don't seem to exercise much? They must know the secret to burning calories even when they are not exercising! There are small things that you can do to achieve this too.

Here are 5 ways you can shed extra calories even when you are not exercising:

1. Posture: Good posture strengthens your core muscles and maintaining the correct posture when sitting or standing takes energy and burns calories. Practice perfect posture by sucking your abdomen in, pushing your shoulders back, keeping your spine in proper alignment (the spine is naturally S-shaped and that is how it needs to be maintained), and looking straight ahead. 

If you feel a tightness behind your shoulders, it means that your muscles are used to slouching. The more you practice good posture, the easier it gets!

2. Breathe: When you take a breath, most of the time you don't use the full capacity of your lungs. Deep abdominal breathing takes conscious effort, and extra calories. Inhaling and exhaling deeply tightens the muscles of our chest and abdomen and forces us to use our diaphragm. 

Breathing exercises done for 2-5 minutes a day can give you that extra energy in the middle of an afternoon slump by increasing the uptake of oxygen and revving up your metabolism.

3. Drink more water: Up to 70% of your body is made up of water. Your cells need water to produce energy. Dehydration slows down your metabolism. 

Lethargy or tiredness, headaches, dry eyes, sleepiness, low urine output, dizziness are often the first signs of dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty and reach for a cup of water, you are already dehydrated. Everyone has different requirements on how much water they need; but if you drink coffee, tea, or sodas (caffeinated), then you need more water than usual because caffeine is a diuretic. 

Sometimes you think you are hungry but your body actually needs water. So instead of grabbing a snack, try drinking some water. You will not only save yourself from consuming extra calories, but also lose calories just by drinking water!

4. Sleep: Getting fewer hours of sleep over a longer period of time also slows down your metabolism. Lack of sleep also turns into cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, which pack on the pounds. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. 

5. Laugh: We all have heard that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make us eat extra. Laughing for 10-15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories.

The routinely suggested healthy balanced diet of whole foods, regular exercise, and avoiding habit-forming stimulants play the most important part in maintaining our health. When you also follow these 5 ways described above, no one can stop you from being on the road to optimum health!