Exercise without going to the gym

December 29, 2010 5:23:56 PM PST
If you hate to exercise but need to, then we have some no sweat exercises for you. Things you can do at your desk so easy, it doesn't even seem like exercise. Would you believe it's actually good to stand in long lines like those airport lines this week? Standing burns 36 more calories per hour than sitting. And we found other easy ways to burn calories besides standing in line. These are all just for folks who don't like to exercise.

"The main thing you want to do is keep moving, because keep moving burns the calories," said Dr. Grant Fowler with UT Health.

So here are some ways to keep moving with no gym, no workout clothes, no sweat:

  • Chewing gum. It burns 11 calories an hour - if you can chew it an hour.
  • Desk exercises like leg lifts. Lift and hold for two seconds. Then switch legs.
  • A desk dip. Put your hands on your chair's armrests and lift your body. Then lower yourself to almost sitting, and lift again.
  • Stretch your arms above your head, and alternate reaching high.
  • Desk chair twist. Turn your head to the right and body to the left, then alternate.
  • You can even do desk pushups. Push your chair back, leaning on a strong desk and doing a little push up.

Dr. Fowler said if you do just 10 minutes of these desk exercises, he estimates you'd burn 50 calories a day.

"If you burn 50 calories a day more, you're gonna lose half a pound a month doing nothing else," he said.

Mothers and grandmothers will like this one: playing with your kids can burn calories too. Between 80 and 137 calories in 10 minutes, depending on the game.

What else burns calories? Slow dancing. And walking -- that's Dr. Fowler's top recommendation. Walking one mile burns 100 calories.

"If you walk one mile a day, that's a pound a month; that's 12 pounds a year doing nothing else. You can keep eating the same thing you're eating the whole time, but it's really moving that's the benefit," Dr. Fowler said.

Sex burns about 150 calories and even 30 minutes of housework burns 111 calories. So you don't have to go to the gym to burn calories, you just have to get going.

We have even more desk exercises for you from our Facebook friends during Wednesday morning's live chat:

Rosie Romero: Lean against the wall on your tip toes, arms straight then using onlhy arms lean towards the wall then straight your arms. It's an easy version of a push up and it's great for the arms.

Cynthia Longs: Sit in the desk chair, straight up. Put both hands on the desk then rotate the chair from the left to right to give a good core/ab work out.

Rosie Romero: One of my personal favorites is while in that wonderful swivel office echair, I straighten out my arms at shoulder level. Not moving the upper body and tucking in your belly, swivel in your chair from left to right as far as you can extend. You're not only stretching your back, you're working on your abs.


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