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Five ways to burn calories without exercising!

No we're not going to ask you to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or cycle to work instead of driving your car. It's going to be so much more easy than that. We are going to ask you to be practical and sleep well, stand right, get some sun and...

health and fitness Updated: Aug 22, 2014 13:33 IST
Dhruv Gupta
Dhruv Gupta

You heard it! Burning calories without exercising! It is possible. And no we're not going to ask you to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or cycle to work instead of driving your car. Because you know it better than anyone else, that it just won't work because in most cases it's just not practical.

Also read: 5 exercises big on hype, but totally useless

So, it's got to be ways to burn calories, which you can actually do.

1 Standing
As simple as that. When you stand, you're body uses major muscle groups to actually allow you to stand- From your legs, to your core and other supporting muscles. As compared to when you sit, you engage a lot more muscle simply by standing. When you engage more muscle, you burn more calories. So, try to do more things standing. And reduce your sitting. You already know that you use less muscle when you sit. Research is showing that sitting for extended periods of time leads to slower metabolism, and it releases hormones that negatively affect your health. So, whenever you can stand up. Do your phone calls standing, walk around if you can. If you take the metro/bus, try standing. Many people have standing desks. Basically, figure out a way to sit less.

2 Sit Tall
While we all know that sitting is not good for health, the reality is that sometimes you can't really stand. It could be in a meeting, at dinner or other places. What you can do (Rather, you should anyway be doing) is sitting tall. When you sit tall, you engage your core muscle to support your upper body. When you slouch, you put a lot of strain of your back muscles. Again, it's the same concept. The more muscle you engage the more calories you burn. So, sit up straight, tighten those stomach muscles, keep your shoulders back and keep your metabolism higher.

3 Get some sun
Research is showing a clear relationship between lower vitamin D levels and increased weight. And some estimates claim that most urban Indians are deficient in Vitamin D. Experts say that you could eat more foods like dairy that contain Vitamin D, but the best way to get Vitamin D is from sunlight. And from significant skin exposure to the sun, like 10 min of early morning sun in your swimsuit.

4 Pets & Kids
Pets and kids are a great way to help you burn calories. Take them to the park, play with them, run around with them- and burn calories at the same rate that you would in a gym. The stop-start format of running that kids play in, actually burn more calories than running at a constant speed for a while.

5 Sleep More
Sleeping is an amazingly restorative process in your body. It helps your body physically and mentally. When you sleep more, it helps you body repair, heal and grow muscle, which increases your metabolism. And sleeping itself helps your body burn calories, as it spends energy during the internal restorative processes. When you don't sleep enough, it makes your body crave more calories, slows your metabolic rate, and even affects your cognitive skills. So, get enough sleep, burn more calories & stay smart!

Also read: 5 top exercises a gym-goer must never ignore

If you're thinking that you exercise, and you don't really need to do these, you just might be wrong. Most people eat 1500-2500 calories a day. Exercise or vigorous sport for an hour can maybe burn 400-600 calories. So, to really burn calories, you need to be active through the day, and it is the calorie burn from these small activities through the day that really matters!

Dhruv Gupta is the founder of the online weight loss program Fitho, and the author of popular book on weight loss, Losing It- Making Weight Loss Simple

First Published: Aug 21, 2014 19:21 IST