Burn kilojoules and tone up with fitness expert Laura Williams’s moves for home, work or in-between!
You don’t need a gym membership to burn kilojoules. It’s all about being mindful of what you do and working extra activities into your daily routine. Even just a few minutes of exercise at a time all adds up, and will afford you that extra treat or glass of wine.
Here are 20 ways to burn kilojoules and feel great
Try a morning circuit
Rise and shine with a mini morning circuit. Skip on the spot for one minute, hit the floor for 30 crunches, followed by 15 half push-ups (knees on floor, with feet crossed at ankles). Then quickly march on the spot for one minute, touch your toes and repeat the whole circuit twice more.
A US study found laughing 100 times a day to be the kilojoule-burning equivalent of 10 minutes of rowing, or 15 minutes on an exercise bike, as it increases heart rate and works a multitude of muscles.
Count your steps
Every little bit helps. Aim to walk as many steps as possible when talking on the phone. Pacing throughout a 10-minute call burns one square of chocolate.
Try couch exercises
Watching TV? Try the couch bridge to blitz your bottom during the ad break. Lie face up on the floor with knees bent and feet on the edge of the couch. Raise hips so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower your back and bottom down, then push back up. Do two sets of 25 reps.
Do mini-moves at work
Try this workplace waist cruncher. Sit up straight in your chair; clasp your arms behind your head with your elbows back. Tighten your abs as you lift your opposite knee up to opposite elbow. Do 20 reps, then switch sides.
Try core moves in bed
Boost blood flow and tackle your tum with core crunches in bed. Lie face up with legs straight, feet together. Extend arms overhead, one hand crossing the other. Lift head, shoulders and legs about 5cm in the air, then lower back to starting position. Do 12 reps.
Practice couch squats
Stand in front of the couch to try the couch-squat-touch to work your bum and thighs. With feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until your bottom touches the couch edge. Repeat 30 times.
Can’t sit still? Great! Fidgeting burns about 1 460 extra kilojoules per day.
Try the wall-sit while waiting for the kettle to boil. Rest against a wall and slide down until knees are at 90-degree angles. Hold, keep abs contracted, and push through heels, for 30 seconds.
Tone your calves
Try the photocopier calf-toner at work. Stand on tiptoes for 10 seconds, relax back down.
Squeeze your abs
Practise the silent ab squeeze. Sitting or standing, pull belly button back towards your spine and hold for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Follow the four-flights rule
If your destination is less than four floors away, take the stairs. You burn almost a kilojoule per step, expending seven times more energy than taking the lift.
Try the 3-way toner
Use standing-time to do the three-way toner. Clench buttocks, pull stomach in, and stand on tiptoes. Keeping your balance will make your core work overtime.
Work your upper body
Cooking dinner? Try the kitchen push-up. Stand an arm’s length from your work surface, ensuring back is straight. Bend elbows and lower chest down before pushing back up. Do two sets of 20 reps.
Tone your thighs
Use a cushion to try the discreet desk thigh toner. Place a cushion between knees; squeeze for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat. Do 10 reps.
Move around more
Replace your desk chair at the office with a large exercise ball to work core muscles while you’re busy or invest in a sit-stand desk to allow you to change positions throughout the day. You won’t believe how this simple movement helps to burn excess kilojoules.
A study found you burn almost 180 kilojoules more an hour when standing, so offer your seat to someone!
Inspired by Strictly Come Dancing? Sashay around the lounge with your partner. On average, you burn almost 1 700 kilojoules doing one hour of ballroom dancing!
Work on your balance
Standing on one leg to brush your teeth will work your core and legs.
Tighten your muscles
Make the most of standing, such as when you’re in a supermarket queue, to first clench your left buttock and then your right, while holding for a count of three. Do sets of 20 at a time.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!