Spontaneous Physical Activities like singing in the shower and taking the stairs are surprisingly effective calorie burners.
There’s a new type of SPA that will have you burning calories, shed ding pounds and toning up and it won’t cost you a penny. We’re talking Spontaneous Physical Activity! We all know we should be moving more, but studies show we’ve never been more inclined to sit down. Half of all adults do absolutely no exercise, and one in seven of us goes a whole month without taking even a short walk. Things are just as bleak at work, with office workers sitting at their desks for eight-and-a-half hours a day, which increases the risk of a huge 35 diseases -from Type 2 diabetes to cancer.
“But forget exercise, and think about increasing your Spontaneous Physical Activity time,” says world-leading exercise and Type 2 diabetes expert Dr Sheri Colberg. “This includes taking more steps, standing for longer, fidgeting and moving in any way possible. “Physical activity is about getting active rather than exercising, so that everything you do counts.
Ask yourself, `where can I start to fit little bits of exercise into my day, so it becomes a way of life?’ Studies show that people who interrupt their sedentary time by standing up -for as little as 60 seconds -have a smaller waist circumference and lower bloodglucose levels.” Dr Mike Loosemore, consultant physician in sport and exercise medicine, agrees. “We need to get people into the mindset that every small movement will help -even if it’s just standing up or walking a few extra steps.They’re small changes and won’t disrupt your life, but if you spread them out over a year, the gains are huge.”
Here are 10 ways to get SPA-ing.
SING IN THE SHOWER
A 20-minute hearty warble can burn 42 calories -and provide a strenuous workout, says personal trainer Rebecca Fredericks. “Singing utilises different muscle groups, from the diaphragm in your abdomen to the tiny muscles in your larynx, which is why singing is tiring and can leave you breathless.”
SEE AN AD, MOVE OFF THE COUCH
“Get up, stretch, carry empty mugs to the kitchen … anything, as long as you don’t stay sitting down,” says Dr Colberg.””Only sit back down when your show restarts.”
Take one step on the upwards escalator, advises Dr Loosemore. “Patients find it so easy that they’re likely to take another step as well. Then it’s three steps, five steps… soon they’re walking halfway up or even the whole way.”
PARK FURTHER AWAY
Don’t circle car parks looking for a close space -head straight for the emptier slots. “You’ll get a better space and push ing a heavy trolley back will work off more calories,” says Dr Loosemore.
STAND ON ONE LEG
Do this while brushing teeth -swapping legs halfway through, says James Trevorrow, fitness manager. Not only will you improve your balancing skills, but you’ll strengthen your back muscles.
Half an hour of energetic sex burns off around 85 cals. Studies show those who have sex regularly have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes -and lead a happier life.
DITCH THE LIFT
Try using the stairs rather than the lift, says Dr Loosemore. Do you struggle to walk up the stairs? Or do you work on a really high floor? Start out by taking the lift to the floor above the one you need, then walk down to it. Next time, to make it harder, get off at the floor below, and walk up.LAUGH! Research published in the International Journal of Obesity found that 15 minutes of laughter will burn up to 40 calories.
WALK AND TALK
Be mobile on your mobile. Walk around as you talk, and if you can, use a hands free and swing your arms and legs and stretch.
Over a day you could burn up to 300 calories.
Watch a scary film. A study by the University of Westminster found these movies cause heart rates to soar and pulses to race -releasing adrenalin and burning calories.
This article was first published in the Times of India