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How to increase the calories you burn each day

Jessica Watson is a mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. She lives in Michigan where her life is as unpredictable as the weather. After the loss of her infant daughter in 2007, Jessica left the corporate world behind, vowe...

Up the ante to lower the scale

You're trying to burn off those extra holiday pounds and wishing you had passed on the eggnog this year. Here's a quick rundown of some of your day to day tasks and how upping your activity level just a bit can burn off what you've put on.
Woman walking down stairs

The holidays have come to an end and life is slowing down again. Unfortunately, the numbers on your scale climbed while you were sitting around the table with relatives, and now you're left with extra pounds and no new ways to burn them off.

If you're overwhelmed by starting a whole new workout routine, try changing your daily activities just a bit to increase the calories you burn in a day. You'd be surprised at what a difference you can make with a few small changes.

1

If you skip the elevator...

Do you head straight for the elevator whenever you're out and about or try to minimize your trips up and down the stairs at home? Change your thought pattern — and your walking pattern — to burn off those holiday pounds. Twenty-five minutes on the stairs burns 144 calories. That's almost a (small) piece of pie!

2

During your errands...

The holiday rush just ended, but your never-ending errands have not. Instead of searching for the closest spot, find a far spot in the parking lot and add plenty of steps to your day. A few trips to the mall, and you'll have added a whole extra mile of movement to your week. It's the perfect way to erase the extra whipped cream on your latte. At 100 calories per mile, you can pretend that extra-whip never happened.

3

At your office...

Keep your whole body in mind when you're moving throughout the day. If you're walking, swing your arms a bit. If you're sitting, try lifting your legs off and on, using your stomach muscles. Swinging your arms will up your caloric burn by five to ten percent and keeping those legs moving will forgive the 50 calories of chocolate chips you just snuck from the cupboard.

4

In one hour...

If you're folding laundry, set it all on the floor and set the basket on a table. If you're picking up around the house, resist the urge to scoop everything up in one swoop. Bending at your knees, not at your waist, will not only protect your back but will help you increase your calorie-burning potential by 100 calories per hour.

If you want to mix it up a bit, here's why walking barefoot is good for your health >>

5

In 25 minutes...

Is there a quick way to get laundry from the bedrooms in your home to your laundry room? Skip it. Take the long way or just take an extra lap around your house with the laundry basket before heading to or from the laundry room. Carrying the basket and walking can burn 50 calories in just 25 minutes!

6

Every 2,000 steps...

A pedometer is a great way to get you refocused on moving more. You can pick up one for less than $10 at almost any drug store. Take one day to monitor your steps at your current activity level, then give yourself a new goal to increase your steps in the upcoming days. Every 2,000 steps you walk are equivalent to one mile. Keep this in mind as you set new goals for yourself.

More on burning calories

27 Sneaky ways to burn 500 calories
Burn more calories: Tips for a high metabolism
Why you should burn 500 calories this week

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