Our society has made such a big deal of weight loss that all the commercials seem to have convinced us that we need medicine or a strict diet to lose extra weight. It is as we have completely forgotten the oldest trick in the book for losing excess weight: physical exercise. We are designed as a species for constant motion and nor for sitting around the entire day, lounging or standing over prolonged periods.
However, not all people can afford or have the time to hit the gym three times a week. In fact, the hectic lives today leave us with little time to dedicate for weight-loss physical exercise. That is why we are forced to hack our everyday activities in order to adjust them to help us lose extra kilos. Here is a short list of the activities that you perform every day that could help you actively lose weight without bodybuilding or taking up a sport.
Being happy with your weight, literally
Overweight and obesity are not only physical problems, as they can negatively influence your mental health as well. That is why the fight against extra pounds should start from the way you think. Before you perform any actual exercises, you need to make sure your mind is firmly set on succeeding.
In order to help you stay positive, you can increase your exposure to the sun. This might seem like a naïve advice to give but exposure to direct sunlight actually increases your level of serotonin, better known as “the happiness hormone.” Of course, if it’s the middle of summer, then restrict your exposure to direct sunlight to some 20 minutes in the morning when the sun is not that strong. You won’t lose any weight if you (over)stay for hours in the sun but you are sure to get sunburnt.
One of the things we dread the most about in our bustling cities are the stairs. They are everywhere and we are making a constant everyday choice to avoid them. However, walking up or down a flight of stairs is actually good cardio. Even if you work on the 11th floor, you can take the elevator to the 6th floor, for example, and walk the remaining 5 floors.
In general, you need to start perceiving the stairs as an excellent tool to lose weight fast instead of viewing them as a torture device for your calves. If you have free time while waiting for a meeting to start or you arrive early, you can stand at the edge of a step with the tip of your feet and do leg pull-ups. These will strengthen your legs and lower body to the point that you lose all the fat in this region.
Plan your meals
Getting a quick bite at work usually entails a trip to the hot-dog stands in front of the office building. Needless to say that a diet like that will hardly help you lose weight. Think of your diet as an important element to your effort to shed those extra pounds. A truly serious approach includes planning your meals and preparing them at home to be taken to work. This way, you will always have something healthy in your lunchbox to eat, even if it were just a snack. In general, try to take control of what you eat every day in order to rid your diet of unnecessary calories, no matter how savory they might be.
Losing weight is a walk in the park
Few of us think that a stroll through the local park counts as physical activity. However, the motion we spoke about earlier cares little about the speed, as long as you are moving. Getting in touch with nature doesn’t only help fight depression and similar illnesses, but it can help you shake off (or better to say, walk-off) those extra kilograms. The ideal time for such a stroll is after a meal such as lunch. Simply replace the lazy afternoon nap with a walk through the park or a stroll around the block. You’ll immediately feel the relief.
Cycling and commuting
Walking will, however, only get you so far. When it comes to commuting to work, unless you live 500 meters from your office, don’t even try to walk such a long distance. On the other side, you shouldn’t take the car, cab or public transport as well. The ideal means of commuting is cycling.
If you’re worried about road safety, more and bigger cities like New York are creating protected bike lanes where there are physical barriers between cyclists and drivers. This means that you are not dependent upon the rush hour. All you need now is a trustworthy bike that you can order from companies like Bikes Online who even give you a two-week trial. After you pedal to work for the first time, you will never want to leave your beloved two-wheeler behind.
Get enough sleep
If you are looking to build some muscle mass apart from merely losing weight, then you will need more than exercise. Although lifting weights stimulates your muscles to grow in size, the actual elongation takes place overnight, as you sleep, i.e. rest. If you have tried to lose weight in the past but the weight just bounced back, this is probably because you weren’t getting enough rest.
Working long hours is good for your wallet but it affects your weight-loosing efforts. The average person requires some 8 hours of sleep per day. Of course, some people sleep longer and some shorter than this period so take time to experiment how much sleep your body craves for.
Taking a dip
Summer is the ideal time of the year to lose weight. The air temperatures account for an outdoor sauna that will have you sweating in no time. However, the best summer activity that you can make up is swimming. On average, you can expect to burn as much as 500 calories during a single swimming workout.
Apart from burning calories and excess fat, swimming will build your skeletal and muscular mass. You might feel tired after a good swim but know that you have done your activity for that day. If you adopt swimming as a regular activity, be sure to boost your diet to make up for all the lost energy.
The cleaning hack
If you live in a house, then you know how hard it is to clean the whole place every week. Many homeowners hire cleaning services because of this but you can hack the cleaning spree to help you lose weight. Basically, start thinking of every activity and hand motion as an exercise, just like you did with the stairs. For instance, cleaning the windows with both hands is a great circular shoulder stretch. Mopping the floors can be used to strengthen the back muscles or you can get down on your knees and use the mop as a roller. This exercise, in particular, will get you to scrub harder than you’ve ever had before and you will lose fat around the waistline faster.
Nearly all of the activities listed here are nothing new to you and they probably form a part of your daily routine already. Slightly altering the things you do every day without thinking about them can help you lose those extra kilos without the need for a pricy gym memberships.