The Easiest Way to Burn 600 EXTRA Calories a Week

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What if you could work off that slice of pizza without doing a single squat? Good news: You can. You can burn more than 40 calories per hour just by standing, according to a new study at the University of Chester in the U.K.

In a small study of 10 office workers, researchers asked the volunteers to stand up while working for at least three hours each day for a week. They found that standing raised their heart rates just enough that they burned an extra 0.7 calories per minute, or 42 calories per hour. It might not seem like much, but standing for three extra hours a day during the work week adds up to 630 calories burned!

So aside from hiding your chair, how can you log more standing hours? First, ask your company if they’ll allow you to buy or build a standing desk. If not, you can always try these simple tweaks to get off your butt for at least three hours every day and stand up for your health:

Stand up while watching your favorite fall show. It’s more suspenseful that way anyway, we swear.

Give up your seat on the bus or train. Good karma and good glutes.

Browse your iPad while standing up. It’s portable for a reason—get off the couch.

Grab a high-top table at a restaurant. Bonus: They usually have less of a wait, too.

Eat breakfast standing at the kitchen counter. You’re in a hurry anyway, aren’t you?

Take phone calls standing up. And at home, walk around while talking.

Chop produce at home (while standing) instead of buying pre-cut veggies. Plus, these are way cheaper than the already-cut packages.

Stand up to do mundane chores (like paying bills/answering emails/etc.). Chances are you’ll be even more efficient.  

8 Ways to Stick to Your Workout

1. Just Show Up
On low-energy days, head to the gym with the promise that you can leave after you finish your warmup. “Tell yourself you’ll just do the Dynamic Warmup,” says Rachel Cosgrove, author of The Female Body Breakthrough and creator of the Look Better Naked fitness program. “Once you get to the gym and get your blood pumping, chances are you’ll finish your full workout. Ninety percent of the time, my clients do.”

2. Play the Percentages
Have your body-fat level measured early in the program and then toward the end to gauge your fitness progress. “You’ll actually have numbers that you can shoot for, and something that you can definitely measure, as opposed to, ‘I just want my abs to look better,'” says Tim Kuebler, a certified trainer in Kansas City, Missouri. A body-fat percentage from the high teens to the mid-20s is considered healthy for most women (ranges vary by age), according to the American College of Sports Medicine. A trainer can estimate your percentage using calipers, and most gyms offer this service for a minimal charge; just have the same person do it each time, as measurement techniques can vary.

3. Book It
“You’ll never find the time you’ve got to make the time,” says Chuck Wolf, manager of sport science and human performance at the USA Triathlon National Training Center in Clermont, Florida. While that seems obvious, lack of planning continues to be the biggest reason people fail to work out, Wolf says. He suggests keeping a calendar and your scheduling workouts at least a week in advance.

Have a contingency plan, too, in case the unexpected cancels your workout. “You’re 40 percent more likely to work out if you have strategies to help you overcome the obstacles,” says Rod Dishman, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Georgia.

4. Make a Date with a Friend
Having a pal waiting for you at the gym will get you there. “If you’ve made a commitment to someone, you have a tendency to keep it,” says Tristan Gale, an Olympic gold medalist. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your best friend is also your best workout partner. Look for someone who’s on the same fitness level and has similar goals.

5. Target Your Heart
Heart disease is the number one killer of women, claiming 500,000 lives each year, according to the American Heart Association. Find out what your cholesterol levels are and what they should be. Then work toward meeting that target by exercising regularly. “You’ll decrease your risk of heart disease while providing yourself with a very important, concrete goal,” says John Thyfault, PhD, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

6. Be Defensive
Need more inspiration than trimming your waistline? On your do-anything day, consider taking a self-defense class, which will increase your confidence as well as your heart rate. Learning practical defense skills–eye strikes, heel palms, knees to the groin–will also bolster your sense of control, says Dana Schwartz, a self-defense instructor. “You get to fight every class, and every class you see improvement in yourself,” Schwartz says. “I think people are surprised by how powerful they are.”

7. Invest In a Trainer
If you don’t know what you’re doing when you get to the gym, it pays to hire someone who does. Beyond helping you plan your workout, a personal trainer will observe and correct your form to make sure you produce results and avoid injuries. “They’ll spot you through the movements, so you can really feel what muscles [are working],” says Brenda Powell, a certified trainer and general manager of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida.

8. Find a Happy Place
You hate fish, but that doesn’t mean you stop eating. The same is true for exercise. “I can recommend running,” says Ronald W. Deitrick, PhD, director of exercise science at the University of Scranton. “But if a person doesn’t like running they’re not going to do it. They don’t care what the benefit is.” The “perfect” exercise is the one you’re happiest doing, so make sure you find yourself wanting to work out.

Exercise and Alcohol: Running on Empty Bottles

TWO RUNNERS WALK INTO A BAR…
No, this isn’t the beginning of a tired joke, it’s an increasingly common real-life occurrence. And research shows that, once inside, those avid runners—and other frequent exercisers—tend to accrue bigger tabs than the average bar patron. Picture the Cheers gang clad in head-to-toe sweat-wicking spandex.
A 2009 study from the University of Miami found that the more people exercise, the more they drink—with the most active women consuming the highest amounts every month. It’s a peculiar phenomenon that has had scientists scratching their heads since 1990, when research first pinpointed the alcohol-exercise connection. But they expected that, at some point, the script would be flipped—that the biggest boozers would exercise less. Never happened.
Instead, this landmark 2009 analysis of more than 230,000 men and women revealed that, on average, drinkers of both genders and all ages (not just wild twentysomethings) were 10 percent more likely to engage in vigorous exercise like running. Heavy drinkers exercised 10 minutes more each week than moderate drinkers and 20 minutes more than abstainers. An extra bender actually increased the number of minutes of total and vigorous exercise the men and women did that week.
“There’s this misconception that heavy drinkers are exercise-averse couch potatoes,” explains study author Michael T. French, Ph.D., a professor of health economics at the University of Miami. “That may be true in some cases, but that’s certainly not what we’ve found.”
This trend seems particularly pronounced in women—especially active, educated women, who, according to recent research from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, are drinking more than ever. In part, progress may be the root of this evil: With growing numbers of women in the workplace and other male-dominated arenas, it has become increasingly socially acceptable for women to go out and belly up to the bar alongside their male counterparts—and to overdo it.
Working Out to Work It Off
One simple theory scientists have to support the drinking-exercise connection is the morning-after phenomenon. In this case, the party girl who downs a few appletinis (and maybe some mozzarella sticks) feels the need to repent for those calories by banging out five or six miles the next morning.

“Women who consume alcohol could simply be exercising more to burn it off and avoid weight gain,” says French. “Likewise, they may drink more simply because they can, as they know they’re burning calories, so they’re less worried about the weight gain.”
But exercising to atone for the sins of the night before doesn’t explain why someone would chase an indoor cycling class with a round of drinks, which also happens with staggering frequency. This, researchers say, could be the product of a “work hard, play hard” personality type. “There are people who are sensation seekers,” says Ana M. Abrantes, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. “They engage in activities that produce intense sensations and can be quickly bored by things that don’t produce those feelings.”
For others, it might be a matter of blowing off stress. Which may be why some women offset their tension with a boot-camp class, or by getting loaded, or both. “Exercising stimulates the release of serotonin, which is your natural antidepressant, as well as dopamine, which is the primary neurotransmitter in your brain’s reward center. It makes us feel good,” says brain chemistry researcher J. David Glass, Ph.D., a professor at Kent State University. Alcohol has a similar effect—hence, the buzz you get soothes your worries (if only temporarily).

Published: January 19, 2012  |  By Selene Yeager
Women’s Health Magazine

More People Are Exercising—Here’s How You Can, Too

Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie interview isn’t the only thing going viral right now.Exercise is trending across the U.S., according to new research published in the journal Population Health Metrics.

For the study, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) tracked the exercise habits of 3.7 million adults across the country for more than 10 years. Researchers found that the number of women who met the recommended exercise guidelines (150 minutes per week) rose by four percent nationwide—compared to the one percent increase for men.

The West, Midwest, and South—which had low exercise rates early in the experiment—showed the most improvement. The results suggest that public health initiatives effectively encouraged more people to exercise in these areas, says lead study author Christopher Murray, MD, director of IHME.

Ready for the bad news? Despite the fact that many counties reported higher exercise rates by the end of the study, Murray says obesity rates didn’t drop by much. In Routt, Colorado, for example, 74 percent of women reported more physical activity, but the county only experienced a .5 percent decrease in obesity.

Murray says this might be because people are burning fewer calories than they consume. (You still have to watch what you eat to keep your weight in check, even if you’re active.)

That said, exercise is an important part of weight maintenance—not to mention good health. If you want to start working out, try one of these beginner-friendly routines:

Start Running: The Beginner Running Plan

Your Total-Body Swim Workout

Abs Workout for Beginners

Gym Workouts: Simple Cardio and Weight-Lifting Plans

Beginning-Level Yoga Poses

photo: Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock

Published on July 11th, 2013
Women’s Health Magazine


FAT FIGHTING TRICKS

Use these secrets to peel off pounds!

  1. Fire up your metabolism with intervals, one study found that doing 10 four minute speed bursts with two minutes of slow walking or cycling after each (60 minutes total) three times a week upped the body’s ability to use fat as fuel during exercise by 25% after six weeks.  “Shoot for an eight or nine on an intensity scale of one to ten, when ten is an all out sprint” says lead researcher Christopher Perry Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph in Canada.
  2. Jot down meals and moves.  People who used an online weight control program were more likely to lose pounds when they regularly recorded their weight loss, calories consumed and activity.  
  3. Sleep off the flab, getting between six and eight hours of shut-eye a night helped dieters shed more weight in a recent study from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.  “Plus consistently increasing your sleep, even if only by 30 minutes at night, and sticking to a regular bed-and wake times can provide you a burst of alertness and help prepare you for your workout” says Cheri D. Mah, sleep expert at the Standford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory.
  4. Bypass the fat burning zone, forget this sweet spot, when you go slow in order to sizzle a higher percentage of calories from fat:  Burning more total calories at the highest intensity that you can sustain means you will also burn more overall fat.
  5. Crack an egg for breakfast, go for a little extra protein first thing in the day and your brain will stave off the munchies later on, according to findings from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Former breakfast skippers who ate a morning meal with a side of yogurt showed fewer feed-me brain impulses and felt fuller.

Fitness Magazine September 2011