This guest post is brought to you by Lifesum.com.
For busy moms, the question of how to burn more calories can seem like an unsolvable riddle. Although you may want to get a workout in or get to the gym, there are often other tasks that can get in the way. Fortunately, it’s possible to enhance your existing workout schedule by adding a few additions to your everyday routine.
Do Things the Hard Way
If we’re being honest with ourselves, sometimes it feels like 60 percent of motherhood is just carrying things from one place to another. Kids, dishes, laundry, toys — the list goes on. Unfortunately, for your calorie-burning efforts, when you’re staring down a mile-long list of chores and errands, it’s natural to prioritize efficiency so that you can get everything done as quickly as possible. That means carrying more items at once and multitasking as much as possible.
Being a little less efficient has its perks, though. For instance, carrying in one grocery bag at a time (as opposed to all at once) extends the activity so you burn more calories. Some additional tasks like taking the stairs, delivering messages in person, standing while filing documents or folding laundry, or using a smaller water bottle so you’ll have to get up to refill more often can also increase the calories you burn throughout the day. If your goal is to burn more calories, resist the urge to streamline your to-do list.
Allow Some Discomfort
Just as prioritizing efficiency often means burning fewer calories, so does prioritizing comfort. As comfortable as couches and recliners are, they do most of the work for you — and it’s easy to sit on them for hours at a time while watching TV, working on your computer, or looking at your phone. You can boost your calorie burning by sitting on the floor instead, where your muscles have to work harder both to support you and to stand back up afterward.
A second idea is to turn down your thermostat. When you keep your home a little chillier than you find comfortable, your body will burn more calories in its efforts to stay warm.
Schedule and Track Your Meals
Before becoming a parent, you probably would have laughed at the idea of needing a reminder to eat. As a mom, though, it can be easy to get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that you forget to feed yourself — until your stomach complains at the most inconvenient time. Even if you don’t entirely skip meals, you might find yourself reaching for pre-packaged, calorie-dense convenience foods with little or no nutritional value.
If you have to set an alarm on your phone, do it. Breakfast is especially important, but skipping any meal can have negative effects, such as sapping your energy and leading you to overindulge later in the day. You may also want to invest in a wearable fitness tracker and use the Lifesum app to keep track of calories throughout the day. You’ll be more aware of what you’re eating and when — and more likely to build healthy habits and meet your fitness goals.
These are just a few simple ways to supplement your workout routine and burn more calories throughout the day. When longer or more frequent workouts aren’t in the cards, simple changes like those mentioned above can help tip the scales in your favor.