BPF Blog

Bonus Activity Points

If you're trying to lose weight, a good tool is simply increasing the number of calories you tend to burn throughout the day by cultivating specific habits. Small things add up, and with little effort can make a big difference. Here are some ideas:

-Whenever possible, stand rather than sit. Or walk around rather than stand still. For example, when waiting for the bus, talking on the phone, reading the paper or a book, or even watching tv (try just getting up during commercials and walking around).

-Stand and sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back and take full, deep breaths. Keep your head up and alert instead of looking down at the ground. Good posture is better for your entire body, keeps you burning more ambient calories, and as a bonus makes you appear more confident and attractive instantly.

-Alter a bad mood quickly by busting out a few jumping jacks or taking a quick walk. Research has proven that such physical resets can help alter emotional states, plus you'll be blasting calories while you're picking yourself up.

-Communicate in person. Instead of emailing or phoning at work, if the other person's desk is just in the other room, walk over and talk. You'll spend the same amount or less time than you would sending several emails back and forth answering and asking questions, and studies have shown productivity goes up when people with desk jobs get out of their chairs once an hour or so.

-Walk purposefully whenever you walk. Like good posture, this has the bonus of making you instantly look better and more confident. You'll probably get compliments, or at least comments, if you're doing this right. Walk with you head up, shoulders back, stomach pulled in, and don't just shuffle along. Stride. Take long steps and let your arms swing freely.

- Take the stairs. Walk up the escalator. Attempt to use your body rather than mechanical means as much as possible to move yourself from place to place, especially when the places are within the same building.

This stuff works. Studies have shown that slimmer people move and engage their muscles more constantly all day long than overweight people, not just when they are working out. You may not see dramatic weight loss from adopting these habits, but if nothing else they will help maintain a healthy metabolism and prevent future weight gain. The more inactive you have been in the past and the more you commit to using your body all day long, the more change you will see as a result. Good luck!