I’m a PT – here’s how to burn 1,000 extra calories a day without even noticing

DESPERATE to lose the pounds but finding your current exercise regime just isn’t quite cutting it?

Turns out, we burn more calories from day-to-day movement rather than the walks, runs, cycles and other scheduled physical activities that we factor into our day.

GettyTreat hoovering like a workout – it can really burn those calories[/caption]

It’s a concept known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – or put simply, NEAT.

“This is essentially the energy we use/calories we burn when doing ordinary activities in our day-to-day life. 

“This doesn’t include the calories we burn when doing exercise, sleeping, or eating,” says Jess King, Personal Trainer at F45 Mill Hill.

That infamous calorie equation is the underlying factor behind weight loss and weight gain; eat more calories than you burn and the weight will creep up. 

Eat fewer calories than you burn, and the weight will drop.

“On average, a person will burn twice the amount of calories outside of the gym/physical activity simply by doing things like taking the stairs instead of the lift, or standing on the tube rather than sitting,” says Jess.

Boosting your NEAT can be a great way to get a little closer to your weight loss goal

“It’s an easy way of burning calories for free.

“It doesn’t cost you anything to do it and it can be really beneficial for your health,” says Jess, who adds that those who sit for much of the day, will have a much lower NEAT count. 

If you’re time poor, and find that heading to the gym or getting outside for exercise simply can’t factor into your day, then these mini (but mighty!) movements could be the secret to shedding unwanted pounds.  

Plus, as Jess explains, increasing your daily movement will significantly help reduce the risk of developing health problems too.

Every bit of movement we do burns calories, whether that is an intense gym session, or typing on a laptop.

The amount of calories burned will vary depending on the person’s weight, however below are some of the calories burned by someone weighing around 160lbs or 11st 4lbs…

At work 

Sitting at a desk – 114 calories per hour

“Even while sitting at a desk, your body is burning calories,” says Jess.

Good posture allows your body to work more efficiently, which can ultimately aid in weight loss. 

“Also, those who fidget when sitting at a desk are going to burn more calories than those who sit still. 

“Any movement of the body, however big or small, will burn more calories than doing nothing – so fidget away!”

Standing at a desk – 154 calories per hour 

Boost your calorie burn with a sit-stand desk; you can torch around 50 more calories in the same amount of time, just by standing. 

Research has even found that those who stood more while working actually felt more engaged with what they were doing. 

An increase in calorie burn and improved productivity means standing wins hands down!

Sitting on an exercise ball – 144 calories per hour 

OK, so the calorie burn may not be much different to just sitting on a regular chair, but Jess explains using an exercise ball as your seat at work, can be a useful way to improve your stability and core strength

She says: “However, this should only be used in short intervals as using it for prolonged periods can be damaging to the lower back.”

At home 

Washing the car – up to 100 calories per hour

Get a sweat on and give your car a good clean.

“Washing the car mainly works your upper body muscles,” says Jess.

“When scrubbing the car, you are using your back and shoulder muscles, and to a degree your biceps and triceps as well. 

“You would also be using your abdominal muscles when carrying heavy buckets of water and to keep yourself balanced when leaning across the car.”

Cooking – 152 calories per hour

Being on your feet, moving around and picking up various items, does burn calories.

So crank up your favourite cooking playlist, pick a meal that you and the family love, and relish the fact that you’re burning calories at the same time! 

Vacuuming – 160 calories per hour 

“Vacuuming the house predominantly works the back muscles but is also an easy way to get extra steps in around the house,” says Jess.

“You also naturally end up working the upper body as you lift heavy objects out of the way to vacuum underneath.

“It could be useful to swap hands during, so you have worked both sides of the body when working your way round.”

Sitting on the couch – 107 calories per hour

“Sitting on the sofa for prolonged periods is not great for your posture or muscles, so it is important to stand up and move around frequently,” explains Jess.

“However, there are plenty of ‘sofa-based’ exercises you can do to remain active while on the sofa. 

“This can include standing and sitting (like a squat) which will work the quads and glute muscles, or lifting your feet off the floor and holding, which will work the core muscles.”

Heavy cleaning (such as scrubbing floors and cleaning windows) – 320 calories per hour

As a good example of aerobic exercise, this can really get your heart rate up and the more effort you put into cleaning, the more calories you are going to burn. 

“The swiping motion you perform when cleaning will work your back, and your biceps and triceps,” says Jess. 

Mowing the lawn – 290 calories

“As you push the lawn mower you are using the glutes and hamstrings in your legs, as well as your chest and back when you are pushing and pulling,” reveals Jess. 

Plus, every step you take across the lawn will also add up to your daily step count!

Light chores (think folding the washing, making the bed and wiping surfaces) – 140 calories 

Again, moving, pulling, pushing and picking items up off the ground works the full body and as you move around the home, you’re racking up those steps again.

Out and about 

Walking the dog – 220 calories per hour

Not only are you actively walking, which in itself burns calories, but you’re also tugging on to a dog lead. 

Ramp up the calorie burn by upping the pace of your walk. Your pooch will get a workout too!

Carrying shopping – 130 calories

“Carrying heavy shopping bags home or from the shop to the car is a fantastic full body exercise and works most of the upper body, including the biceps, triceps, back and shoulders,” says Jess.

“Your core muscles are also strengthened as you keep your body stable while you’re walking.”

Take the stairs instead of the lift – up to 600 calories per hour

We don’t need to tell you that taking the stairs is naturally going to burn more calories than choosing the easy option of hopping into a lift. 

Your lower body and core feel it most when you’re climbing stairs. 

Plus, the more you do it, the easier it becomes as you get fitter.

Other ways to bump up your calorie burn…

“If you drive around a lot, try, and park your car a little bit further away. 

“The average person burns 300 to 400 calories in 10,000 steps, so walking that little bit extra is one of the easiest ways to burn calories,” says Jess.

“If you are commuting to work, take the stairs or walk up/down the escalator; don’t just stand there. 

“Plus, if you are working from home and making calls, walk around while you’re on the phone.”

“When you’re at the office, set an alarm to get up and walk around every hour, or between meetings. 

“Go out to grab a coffee, or simply walk over to a colleague’s desk rather than emailing.”

“It’s also wise to simply walk as much as possible. 

“If your favourite takeaway spot is within walking distance, then rather than opting for a delivery, walk and pick it up instead. 

“In fact, if anything is within walking distance, ditch the car or bus and use the most reliable form of transport; your legs!”