You might think losing weight is all about hard work at the gym and following a strict diet. Exercise is clearly good for our bodies — it helps lose weight and sleep better, it can lead to decreased risk of disease, improved endurance, it uplifts mood, energy levels and much more — but you don’t have to train like an athlete to stay fit. Sometimes, even the smallest amount of effort can deliver major pay-offs, according to The Hindustan Times.
“Burning extra calories throughout the day can be super easy. All it takes is a little planning and creativity,” says Delhi-based fitness trainer Sudhanshu Sharma.
Check out these simple ways to burn more calories and keep your body toned without hitting the gym:
1. Choose the stairs when you can. There’s a reason this tip is a classic: It works. “Whenever you have the opportunity, take stairs. If there are no stairs, walk up the escalator; don’t stand still,” says Sharma. Climbing stairs — whether it’s at your office or apartment — not only helps burn calories, but tones the legs.
2. Cool off and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool. Moving through the water even at a slow pace gives you an aerobic workout that tones your entire body, says Sharma. Swimming is a great full-body exercise and regular swimming will help maintain your weight.
3. Out of town and no gym? When possible, see the sights by walking the streets of whichever place you’re visiting, says Sharma. Or on your daily commute, get off the bus or Metro a stop early. And if you drive, park far away.
4. Instead of taking your whole lunch break to eat, try splitting your lunch break in half and squeeze in a small workout. “Instead of browsing the internet at your desk, get outside and walk. A mid-workday walk will do wonders for both your physical and mental health,” says Dr Amita Mishra, general practitioner at Max Healthcare.
5. When you’re not in the gym, stay active at home. Burn calories while making your house more beautiful with gardening. Constantly bending to reach plants is great for your gluteal muscles. “Ultimately, it’s all about moving as much as possible – even though the little things, like gardening, seem insignificant, it all adds up to a healthy, active lifestyle,” says Dr Mishra.