So you thought only heavy duty exercise and working up a sweat were ways to burn calories? If you have a desk job that needs you to be seated for long hours, you can still sneak in ways in which you can burn calories while you remain seated, by putting in very little effort. You don’t have to feel guilty anymore about sitting on your derrieres for 8 hours a day and not really working them off. Intrigued? Read on as we tell you 10 ways to burn more calories just by sitting. And no, we are not telling you to simply rely on these techniques to remain fit. What we want you to do is to add them to your regular exercise routine for you to see maximized results.
1. Chewing Gum
Chomping a chewing gum for an hour helps you burn 11 calories. So pick up that sugarless chewing gun (we don’t want added calories from the sugar, do we? ) and start chewing right away while you click away at your desk. This is a win-win because your breath smells minty fresh and since your mouth is busy chomping the gum, you won’t feel like munching on other snacks either.
2. Drink Lots of Water
8 glasses of water a day is a requirement to be healthy and maintain optimum metabolism. Replace a few glasses of regular water with warm water, and it is much better. So during the hours when you are sitting, sip on warm water out of a flask. This will increase your metabolic rate by as much as 30%.
3. Don’t remain still
When you are sitting and staring at the monitor move your foot in circular motions under the desk, turn your wrists, tap your feet, make a fist and open it continuously to work the fingers. These are small exercises that you can do when you are sedentary that will keep you active, will prevent your limbs from falling asleep and also help you burn some calories.
4. Laugh your heart out
You read something funny or a colleague told you a joke that makes you want to laugh out loud? Don’t hold back. Laugh often and laugh loud as it increases the amount of energy that is spent by the body. And don’t worry about bothering people around you. Everybody likes a good laugh.
5. Take regular breaks
Sitting continuously at the desk is not really healthy. So once before and once after lunch, get off your chair, pace around and stop for a refuel. We encourage you to try green tea instead of coffee. It helps improve your metabolism and burns extra calories and makes your break a healthy one.
Read about health benefits of green tea here
6. Snack often
When you are sitting in front of a computer and by mistake land on a website with lots of food, it triggers your senses to crave for food. So keep your stomach satiated by snacking often on raw salads, fruit or nuts. They are packed with nutrition and are healthier than packaged processed snacks.
7. Exercise when you are seated
We told you that you could burn calories by sitting, so here are some exercises that you can do when you are seated. Lift your legs up under the desk so that they are parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a minute. Sit straight, focus on your core and hold the glutes tight for 5 seconds. Release them. Repeat 10 times at regular intervals. This helps you tone your glutes and burn upto 35 calories. Raise your hands above your head and stretch your body backwards and on the sides. This helps you become more focused and gives you a welcome break from work. Plus it burns calories too.
8. Deep Breathing
Doing deep breathing while you are seated helps you burn more calories than the regular breathing that you do. Inculcate the habit of counting till 4 when you inhale, hold you breath for two counts and count 6 when you exhale. Do this through the day and your body gets used to the rhythm and you will be able to do it without the counts.
Read more about Breathing Exercises- Pranayama here
9. Buy a small hand gripper
Squeezable hand grippers are light and small and can fit easily in your desk draw. When you are reading something at work and your hands are free, then work the hand gripper or some weights.
10. Torso Crunch
Get to the edge of the seat and grip your hands on the sides of the chair. Now bring your knees together and raise it up towards the ceiling. Do this ten times to burn excess fat from the torso.
These are simple steps you can incorporate into your 8 hours at work to lose more calories and get fitter.