Back on track: 20 ways to burn 20 calories

Joanna Hall

burncalories1 300x225 Back on track: 20 ways to burn 20 caloriesMy experience in working with people who want to feel healthier but are unsure where or how to start, means that the New Year can often bring in an influx of people who want to snap back into shape quickly.

Although a lasting benefit is a long-term lifestyle change, there are some small choices and changes that everyone can make to get onto the fitness ladder.

For everyone who wants to get more active in 2013 and stay in shape, I devised 20 easy, fun but importantly everyday activities that burn 20 calories, which I developed for the makers of Ribena to launch Ribena Light:

1. Hop up a flight of stairs.
2. Play the air guitar while in the shower.
3. Dance the Macarena while waiting for your toast to pop.
4. Play hopscotch as your tea bag brews.
5. Climb the stairs two at a time.
6. Hula hoop as your emails download.
7. Toss 10 pancakes.
8. Do the can-can while watching your favourite YouTube clip.
9. Play cats cradle as you wait for your bath to fill.
10. Blow 50 bubbles with bubble gum as you shave your legs.
11. Do the arm actions to Village People’s YMCA while reading your emails.
12. Play paper, scissors, stone while boiling an egg.
13. Do ten bicep curls using a bottle of juice/water.
14. Brush your teeth while hopping on one leg.
15. Sing the Hokey Kokey while changing your baby’s nappy.
16. Play a game of thumb war while the kettle boils.
17. Act out Queen’s “I want to break free” while hoovering your living room.
18. Stand on your head for 10 seconds.
19. Give someone a passionate kiss.
20. Chew a mouthful of food for a full 60 seconds.

There are also other, simple things that you can do to stay in shape in the New Year, to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. Perfect Posture:

We all want to get back on track and in shape quickly after Christmas, but you can give your body an instant overall by looking at your posture. Comfy evenings on the sofa watching movies or being slumped over a computer can take their toll on your posture – combine that with rather miserable chilly weather when our shoulders creep up to our ears, and before we know it our posture is seriously compromised, potentially contributing to longer term problems with back, knee or shoulder ache. Start your day with a daily stretch routine – it only needs to take 3 – 5 minutes but can help you connect with your body straight away at the start of the day. See my workout on YouTube titled “Joanna’s instant Body Booster” to kick start your body and posture.

2. Help build consistency in smaller daily healthy goals

Not only will this create a strong foundation to your New Year healthy actions, but can also build your confidence in your ability to sustain your efforts. Note three simple health actions that you can complete for seven days – tick them off each day as you complete them. After one week if you feel confident with this, add another three. Make sure you do log your efforts as studies show recording and logging your progress is important to your success.

3. Getting a better balance into a busy life

Balance in every sense of the word both personally, professionally and physically can be a great resolution. Balance is a crucial part of total body fitness and often overlooked, but becomes increasingly important as we get older and become more prone to falls and injury. Practice standing on one leg for 10 seconds building up to 60 – if you find this easy, try doing it with your eyes shut or challenge yourself by changing your leg position.

4. Optimise your timings

This is a simple resolution that may not need much effort! It’s well known that probiotics in yoghurt increase good bacteria in your gut, but when you eat it can make a difference to their effectiveness – it has been shown to be more effective eaten on an empty stomach. So have it as a starter or snack rather than a dessert at the end of a meal and see how your gut likes you.

5. Be kinder to yourself

Try to negate your inner critic and self-doubt which research has shown has the capacity to erode your self-compassion, critical to your happiness. Try to do this by keeping cheerful company or re-visiting times of success and happiness.

On average. Activities are based on a 10 7 lb stone (68 kg) woman, aged 20-44. Weight has a direct effect upon the number of calories your body expends to achieve the movement.

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  • Cole Davis

    Yes, funny, but do remember that falls lead indirectly to fatalities (e.g. a friend of mine broke his ankle in a fall and died shortly afterwards of a clot on his lung). Suggesting something as dubious as hopping on stairs is irresponsible.

  • David McAvoy

    It’s sad to hear about your friend.

    My grandmother died in her sleep, anyone recommending sleeping is being irresponsible as sleep is clearly a killer.

  • Cole Davis

    That’s a retread of Mark Twain’s comments about people tending to die in train crashes; lots of people die in bed, therefore it’s safer to sleep on the train. This is often used when discussing drugs (seen as safe) compared to alcohol. These conflate frequency with actual potency. Try jumping off a really tall building, Mr McAvoy: not many people do it so according to your theory you’ll be all right. In fact I reckon you’ll be all right most of the way.

  • David McAvoy

    Thank you for your recommendation, I have often thought of BASE jumping but by my understanding is that it’s irresponsible and is illegal (as should hopping up stairs).

    But back to a serious point, you criticise the journalist for suggesting to hop up a flight of stairs yet openly suggest to a complete stranger that they jump off a building. If they’re irresponsible then you at the very least are also.

  • Cole Davis

    This is hardly a serious point. I thought given your witticism about your grandmother, that you would have read my retort as being in the same vein, an exemplary gag, but a gag nevertheless. (I suppose you’re going to jump off now so you can sue me for something or other.)

  • David McAvoy

    I took it exactly as a gag.

    I’m not one for suing, in fact I abhor the process and the American legal system for polluting our culture with the fast buck mentality.

    My point was simply trying to put your original comment into perspective, that suggesting hopping up stairs is nowhere near irresponsible. Neither do I see suggesting to a stranger to jump off a building via a witty retort to a witty retort as irresponsible!!

    All this effort we’ve both extended on an article which I’m sure we can agree on is absolute tripe, responsibility notwithstanding!

  • Cole Davis

    Hang on: there is a difference between a daft exercise that somebody is likely to actually perform, e.g. this stair-hopping, and my building jumping… But as you say, we’ ve gone on and on, it’s almost as long as the gd article.

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