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Melting Away: Easy Ways to Lose Weight with Everyday Activities

Updated on January 7, 2012
Climbing stairs is an easy way to lose weight with an everyday activity.
Climbing stairs is an easy way to lose weight with an everyday activity. | Source

Easy Ways to Lose Weight with Everyday Activities

Everyday activities can provide easy ways to lose weight because you don’t have to schedule time in your day to perform them. And since you do them constantly, you’ll increase the calories you use up and eventually lose more pounds. The general principle to remember is to increase movement and make things harder to do. So, instead of riding, you run or walk. Instead of sitting, you stand. And instead of setting things down or rolling them along, you carry them.

Using a push mower is an easy way to lose weight at home.
Using a push mower is an easy way to lose weight at home. | Source

Easy Ways to Lose Weight at Home

Do as many of your sit-down chores as possible standing up. For example, paying bills, schoolwork, painting your nails, sewing and building models. Do the same for recreational activities such as reading, playing computer games or watching TV. You may need to get a stand-up desk to facilitate such activities. A standup desk, or waist-high counter or shelf can make this more convenient.

When you’re watching TV and a commercial comes on, jump rope, do sit ups, run in place or do other calisthenics.

Do your gardening with manual rather than automatic equipment. Use a push mower instead of a gasoline-powered mower. Use a rake and a broom, instead of a blower to push around leaves. You’ll not only be using up more calories, you’ll be reducing noise pollution and minimizing energy use.

Pay yourself to exercise. For every 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity that you do, put an amount of money in a jar. If you happen to miss an activity session, remove money from the jar. See how much you have at the end of the month and buy yourself a reward with it.

Easy Ways to Lose Weight at the Office

Skip the elevators and take the stairs up to your office and then back down again when you leave for lunch, errands or to go home. To use extra calories when you first arrive, climb to the top of the building before going back down to your office. Do the same when you finally leave. Stair climbing is one of the most effective weight loss activities, though it is not necessarily one of the easy ways to lose weight. This effort uses up about seven calories a minute. If it takes you 5 minutes each way, that’s a total of 140 calories per day, 700 calories per five-day workweek, or 2,800 per four-week month.

If you have a lunch hour, spend as little time as you can eating. Then you can use the rest of the time walking or running around your building, or climbing stairs. A slow walk is an easy way to lose weight since it burns about 150 calories in 30 minutes. Jogging for the same amount of time increases the calorie use to 220.

Conduct meetings at work standing up. Not only will this increase calorie use for you and your co-workers, it will make the meetings go faster. Attendees will find ways to use their time efficiently, so they can end the meeting quickly and avoid having to stand.

Easy Ways to Lose Weight Outside the Home

When taking public transportation or waiting at a doctor’s office, stand rather than sit.

Park your car at a spot that is furthest from the entrance of your destination. This is an easy way to lose weight because it forces you to walk a longer distance and use up more calories. As a bonus, you’ll avoid the time- and gas-wasting activity of circling nearby parking spaces to find a spot. Spots far away are typically the last to get filled and are usually empty.

Rather than push a shopping cart around at the grocery store, carry one or two baskets and fill them with your purchases. Carrying around that extra weight uses up more calories as well as builds strength and muscular endurance. If the burden becomes too heavy, put your purchases in a cart, which you can park in a safe corner of the store. Then go find your items. When you pick up something to buy, walk to your cart and drop it off there. Do not move the cart until you’re ready to check out.

In a public park or other recreational area, race the kids or your significant other instead of just walking. You can increase the stakes by having the winner do the other person’s chores. Also, rather than telling the kids to slow down when playing or running around, join them in whatever game they’re playing. They’ll enjoy having mom or dad as a playmate, and you’ll have found a fun and easy way to lose weight.


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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love that reward idea, Peggy W. Anything to keep you motivated is good.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      These are all good ideas for incorporating ideas of how to burn more calories doing everyday things. Your idea of rewarding yourself for exercise by putting money in a jar for each 20 minutes of vigorous exercise...or removing it, if pretty clever. Voted up and useful.

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Alocsin, instead of getting up and doing multiple tasks, I make sure that I find a reason to leave my office and go to the copier or file bins or mailboxes so that I am constantly moving.

      Voted up and useful.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      if you will call for a meeting, i will bring a chair. or i will loose my concentration. just kidding! these are very practical tips. i did the laundry today. so i have to so i may have burned a lot of calories. and thanks for reminding me, i need to get those waist-high tables / desk.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 6 years ago from USA

      Good suggestions. I even pictured myself standing at my desk churning out hubs!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Very true, Brett. I think one of the reasons we gain weight as we get older is that we move less -- we try to find the easiest ways to do things.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Good advice for all, voted up and useful. Just putting more energy into what you do can make a big difference, like walking or playing that little bit harder, over time makes a big dent into the calories you are trying to burn off.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Nancy and Moira. This article seems to be striking quite a chord with a number of people.

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      A lot for very useful advice and tips Alocsin. For a number of people, going to the gym is such a grueling and difficult task. Incorporating weight loss activities into your daily routines is a very effective course of action. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 6 years ago from USA

      Great advice and informative. Even if a person doesn't need to loose weight, this is great information on maintaining health and well being. Voted Up and Useful.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I do the stair climbing and parking lot quite a bit out of habit. And I'm sure that's partially responsible for keeping the weight down. (I also exercise a lot, but that's a different thing, lol.)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      I like the office tips. Keeping mobile is key. Stair climbing does burn calories best. Will have to try the two baskets next time I shop.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Visualizations work because they give you a visual goal, and encourage behaviors that achieve that goal.

    • lynmarsh profile image

      lynmarsh 6 years ago from Rosebud Indian Reservation

      These are all great tips! I also believe that if you visualize yourself thin you will drive yourself in that direction.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Tammy. At the gym today, one guy gained 17 pounds in the three weeks he took off from working out for the holidays.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh no.. it is THAT time of the year.. lol. These are great tips for those of us who sit at a computer all day. Awesome!