Weight training is one of the proven methods to losing weight. You have to make time to hit the gym and utilize gym equipment in order to do this. But sometimes, it’s just too difficult to squeeze your busy schedules into allowing you that much needed gym time or you simply aren’t partial to lifting those weights.
There are a number of activities you can do that will allow you to burn as much calories as weight lifting that won’t necessarily require you to go to the gym.
1. Do aerobics
To lose weight, you need to get that heart rate up and running for you to burn calories. An aerobic exercise is a physical activity that gets your heart rate up and your muscles generating energy.
Aerobic exercises performed at moderate to high intensity while maintaining increased heart rate over a period of time results in considerable weight loss. The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen”. Oxygen is used to burn fats and sugar in your system.
A 30-minute session daily allows you to lose up to 260 calories or easily 500 calories for a full hour session of high impact aerobic exercise. The good thing is, you don’t have to go to the gym to do aerobic activities. Any activity that increases your heart rate will achieve the same result whether at the gym or not.
Running is the ultimate aerobic exercise. To make it more interesting, try to find a good track or route that will allow you to “re-energize” yourself. A nature trail would be ideal as it allows you to breathe in the positive energy of nature while oxygenating your system and increasing your heart rate. Add in some motivating music that will cheer you on to keep going.
In instances where a nature track would be impossible, the reliable treadmill is just as effective though the benefits of fresh air and positive energy might not be. The challenge is to try and keep it up for at least 30 minutes a day or about 5 miles to chop off at least 500 calories.
3. Play with your kids
Become a kid again by playing with your children. Remember how kids can’t seem to run out of energy? Try to get up to their level of activity by jumping, getting on the floor, climbing trees, rolling around, playing tag, etc. Participate in the games children play.
Lifting weights may not be your cup of tea but lifting your toddler or infant while going about your day counts as an upper body workout too. Not only will you lose weight, you’ll end up spending quality time with them as well. Who knew child care could help you lose weight?
Depending on the amount of activity you engage with your children, you could lose as much as 300 to 600 calories a day. Child care is serious business.
4. Take up a Martial Arts practice
Choose the martial arts practice that could be right for you. Karate, kickboxing, muay thai, taekwondo, or MMA – whatever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed to lose weight. From their endorphin-boosting warm-ups to their endurance-building drills and strength training, the benefits to losing weight are endless.
Aside from losing weight, practicing martial arts gives you more. You learn to develop discipline as well which will help you in sustaining your weight loss programs. Expect to burn anywhere from 500 to 2,000 calories per session depending on the intensity of your training programs.
5. Go for a hike up the mountains
If you take regular walks around the neighborhood to lose weight after a heavy dinner at home, you might want to consider going for a hike as well. Hiking allows you to burn more calories than walking will.
The chances of you burning up to 1,000 calories for a 2 hour hike up the mountains is not impossible to achieve with the added difficulty of the terrain. Walking on a flat terrain for about the same time may help you lose about 500 calories but hiking definitely will up your game.
Plan a long hike for at least twice a month. It will not only help you lose the weight, it will also give you a chance to do some re-energizing by absorbing the energy of nature around you.
6. Go cycling
When walking or running to lose weight becomes boring, try going cycling. Cycling could be an alternative weight loss activity for people who can’t do high impact sports like running because of the pressure it brings to their joints.
Cycling increases strength and endurance while exercising the major muscles in the legs that include your hamstrings, calves, glutes and quadriceps. Apart from that, cycling also does wonders to your heart and lung health.
If you could bike your way to work or school, that would be a huge chunk off your workout itinerary. Even more challenging would be going mountain biking. A 30 minute bike ride may allow you to lose anywhere from 300 to 500 calories depending on the difficulty of the terrain.
Try joining a bike club where you can go cycling with buddies who can motivate you to push yourself forward and gain new like-minded friends.
7. Mow your lawn
A nice and pretty-looking garden has never been so health-friendly as it is when you take care of it. The simple act of mowing your own lawn may seem tedious but the benefits it brings to your health shouldn’t be disregarded. It not only works your cardiovascular system but it also works up the muscles in your legs, back, shoulders and arms.
Be sure to maintain good posture while mowing your lawn to prevent you from hurting your back. Bad mowing posture isn’t an efficient way to burn calories. Mowing your lawn helps you burn anywhere from 250 to 350 calories.
If you want to go a step further, try doing a lawn makeover by moving rocks, hauling dirt and doing landscaping. Expect to lose about 400 to 600 calories per hour for that.
8. Shovel snow
Shoveling snow takes on a new light for people who want to burn calories and lose the weight. It may seem a tedious task but the opportunity to lose weight while doing it is something that cannot be ignored.
It can be considered as a cardiovascular and strength exercise with all the pushing, moving and lifting you need to do to get that snow off your front yard. The workout your legs, your upper body and your lower back gets is definitely well worth the task.
Shoveling snow burns about 400 to 600 calories an hour. While you’re at it, be a friendly neighbor and try offering to do it for them as well. You not only foster good relations, but you also achieve your weight loss goals faster.
9. Climb stairs
Don’t take the elevator or escalator. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, climb the stairs. Stairs are everywhere – at home, in your office, at the mall, etc. An average weighted person can lose up to 220 calories for 30 minutes of climbing up and down the stairs.
Climbing stairs is considered an aerobic activity that benefits your heart and lung health as well. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other major illnesses.
10. Take a hot bath
After you’ve gone through shoveling the snow in your front yard, your daily hiking, cycling, playing with your kids or mowing your lawn, end your day by soaking in a hot tub for about an hour or so.
A study on 14 men was conducted regarding the effects of taking hot baths on burning calories. Half of the men were asked to exercise on a bike for an hour and the other half were asked to soak in a 40 degree bath. Calories burned were measured and blood sugar levels monitored.
Both groups burned calories and the men who soaked in the tub lost about 140 calories per hour. It was also discovered that soaking in a hot tub lowered their blood sugar by about 10% more than those that exercised on the bike.
Going to the gym may not always be the best way to ensure that you maintain the proper amount of weight. There are many other activities that you can do consciously or unconsciously to lose weight. The key is movement. Keep on moving for better health.
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