Are you looking for new ways to lose weight? Sometimes it feels like we’ve tried all the old stand-bys. Here are five ways you may not have thought of:
You might not have guessed it but fidgeting has been studied by a number of scientists. It appears that those who fidget burn quite a lot of calories. Some studies even show that fidgeting while sitting down will burn more calories than standing up without moving. Some people are genetically predisposed to fidget while others might need to remind themselves to fidget if they want to add the activity to their list of “exercise”. If it’s for you, fidget away!
Run instead of walking
Even if you’ve never seen yourself as a runner, it is possible to build up to running if you do it gradually. If you already go out for regular walks, you could try adding in some running. Just try a little bit at a time so you can build up your fitness slowly and steadily. You might even try a ‘Sofa to 5k’ type program whereby you build in increments so that your walk time is slowly taken over by more and more running.
Another way to get running is to swap running for all those times in the day that you walk. For instance if you walk to work, or even from your car to your office, change all of that to running. If you can, add some distance in. So, maybe your walk to work is not very long. Instead you could run past work and then double back giving you some extra run time.
Buy a treadmill
Seriously, how many times did you use that gym membership you bought in January last year, a dozen? Half a dozen? Did you ever go? Would you feel more comfortable being able to work out in your own home? Lots of people would, especially if you are just beginning your weight loss journey and you feel a little bit self conscious. Having a treadmill right in your home means that you can roll out of bed and go for a run without so much as thinking about whether or not your running socks match. Also, if it’s freezing cold with snow on your running day, there is no need to postpone. Just jump on your treadmill. Convenience is certainly a factor in getting you motivated.
If you have a sedentary job, having a treadmill is a good way to sneak some movement into your day as well. Many people are opting to work from home these days for at least a couple of days a week if not full time and that can mean a lot of sitting. When your normal break times consist of sitting at your desk with a snack, with a treadmill they can mean getting a few calories burned off.
Sit down less
Do you have any idea about how many hours per day you sit down? You can bet that it’s more than you think. Do a little experiment where you keep a time sheet with you one day and make a mark every time you sit down at your desk or on the sofa. Once you have your total it’s time to challenge yourself. Do another time sheet and see if you can get a lower number this time. Get creative by standing up to read incoming emails or, in the evening, do a little stretching or a few jumping jacks during the TV commercials. Hopefully this exercise will give you some awareness of little changes you can make.
Start skipping rope
Jump ropes are not just for kids anymore, they are serious cardio workout gear. Along with change from a twenty dollar note, you can get a really good piece of sports equipment. It’s also completely portable. The benefits are increased strength and flexibility in your ankles, more stamina, better bone density, improved coordination, and great cardiovascular fitness.
You can jump just about anywhere you feel comfortable but clear the way of anything that might fly up and hit somebody first. A surface that has a slight give, such as grass, would be better than concrete but any surface is fine. Then, just start jumping. Don’t be alarmed if you miss a few times at first. You’ll soon get the hang of it. If you haven’t exercised in awhile you might also notice how much of a workout it is! But you will be able to go for longer soon enough so don’t let that deter you. Try watching TV while you skip or skip with a friend. Maybe you’ll even get into double Dutch. That would be great to do with your kids. You probably loved your jump rope as a kid so why wouldn’t they?
So, if you are at a plateau with your weight loss or just can’t get motivated to start, try one of these activities. The most obvious exercises and techniques are not always the most interesting. Do something new and less obvious because keeping your interest will aid motivation.