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Take a Break to Torch the Calories

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/20/2012 6:00 AM   :  42 comments   :  15,105 Views

Having a job that requires sitting most or all of the day doesn't mean that you can't fit in extra calorie burning activities throughout the day. For me, I work from home and am on the computer a lot of the day, however, I take breaks as often as I can to get up and walk around to stretch my legs, which also gives my eyes a rest from the computer screen. Some of my favorite exercise breaks include walking around the house at a fast pace, walking up and down the stairs, dancing around the living room  (my dogs really love this!), or taking the dogs for a quick walk around the neighborhood.  Before working from home though, I worked in a conventional office and would do everything I could to get up and move. I would walk to my co-worker's office/cubicle rather than email them,  take the stairs as much as possible and go for walks during my lunch hour. Even though I'm not in a conventional office now, I still make sure to work in ways to burn extra calories (in addition to my formal exercise) throughout the day.
 
Burning extra calories throughout your day doesn’t have to be boring or necessarily planned out as formal exercise -- it can be fun! Finding activities and exercises that you enjoy will help you continue to move and burn calories. For me, breaking up my work day with the activities mentioned above really does the trick for not only burning extra calories and resting my eyes from the computer screen, but it also breaks up my work day and helps me with mental clarity. After I get a short burst of exercise like that, I find that I am more productive because I am refreshed and sometimes come back to my computer with some new ideas for what I am working on at that time.
 
So I'd like to challenge everyone out there to add in at least one extra calorie burning activity each day for the next week, especially those of you that have a sedentary type job. It doesn't have to be a long session, but pick something that you enjoy and do it for at least 10 minutes. Remember,  every little bit really does add up! If you tend to forget about getting up and moving around, you may want to consider creating an appointment on your computer, calendar or phone that reminds you at a certain time to get up and move.
 

Are you up for the challenge? If so, how will you add extra calorie burning activities to your day?


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Comments

  • 42
    I set a reminder on my computer to get up and move every hour. If I don't do this then I forget and end up sitting for hours on end. I feel better afterwards. - 12/10/2013   9:34:54 AM
  • 41
    This sounds like a great challenge.
    I will add 10 minutes of walking in addition to my regular routine - 11/11/2012   9:55:59 AM
  • LOVEBIRD48
    40
    I have a peddler under my desk and I keep resistance bands handy for conference calls and other private times. Keeps my energy level up! - 9/22/2012   4:45:49 PM
  • 39
    Great blog, Denise! This applies to so many of us with desk jobs. I like your suggestions. Some of the things I try to do: (sometimes) take the stairs to use the farthest bathroom; do a little work while standing with my computer on the counter (not resting my eyes, but definitely stretching out my body; walk out to the barn to see what my hubby is up to - hehehe. - 9/22/2012   12:06:38 PM
  • 38
    Your idea is great and so easy! I'm parking as far as I can from the door of any destination I'm heading for instead of looking for that spot closest to the door!!! : ) - 9/22/2012   9:51:55 AM
  • 37
    I joined the Spark team- 5 minute challenge. I have a few health issues that flare up at times, but most of the time I can do five minutes of something. Any movement is better than no movement. - 9/22/2012   8:37:26 AM
  • 36
    I can't do exercises. - 9/21/2012   11:15:07 PM
  • 35
    The building I work in has 3 floors & a basement. I try to remember to to walk the stairwell several times each week. It's difficult for me to get away from my desk sometimes, but just that bit of exercise is energizing. I also stretch at my desk ... when nobody is looking! - 9/21/2012   3:41:08 PM
  • 34
    I get on my Gazelle for 10-15 min every morning before getting ready for work. - 9/21/2012   12:26:17 PM
  • 33
    I work from home, too, and we have a treadmill "homemade" workstation. Bascially, take two 5ft ladders and put on the sides of the treadmill. Buy a long plank from Home Depot and rest across. I put the laptop up there and often walk while working on the laptop or having customer calls. I never walk really fast...I can do about 2.5-3.0 MPH on a 3% incline and work productively. It's not a huge calorie scorcher but it keeps me moving more than sitting. - 9/21/2012   12:21:10 PM
  • 32
    I work from home too and I do what I can to move around during the day and get a quick break from that dreaded computer that I am chained to about 9+ hours a day. I have an exercise bike in the room next to my office and make a plan to do 10 minutes cycling mid-morning, we also take a break lunch time and walk to check in on mom in the nursing home, rain, shine, snow, whatever. Apart from that I try to make sure that I always walk to the bathroom furthest away from the office every time I need to go ! - 9/21/2012   10:37:55 AM
  • 31
    jumping jacks and running in place for computer breaks. - 9/21/2012   10:23:16 AM
  • TSANC01
    30
    I used to take a 15-20 minute walk around lunch time... now that the weather is cooler, I'm going to get back to it. - 9/21/2012   9:29:11 AM
  • SHAWNAN1
    29
    Last year in my job I had to sit all the time. This year, I teach 5 gym periods a week, 3 dance classes, all my yard duties are outside, and I get to play "sharks" and "crocodiles" with the kindergartens at the end of every day. What fun!.Plus a 45 minute workout everyday. - 9/21/2012   8:51:30 AM
  • SHAWNAN1
    28
    Last year in my job I had to sit all the time. This year, I teach 5 gym periods a week, 3 dance classes, all my yard duties are outside, and I get to play "sharks" and "crocodiles" with the kindergartens at the end of every day. What fun!.Plus a 45 minute workout everyday. - 9/21/2012   8:43:42 AM
  • 27
    I take several restroom breaks throughout the day making time to walk to the one farthest from my office, which usually amounts to 3 - 5 min by occasionally taking the stairs. - 9/21/2012   8:43:29 AM
  • 26
    thanks for the reminder - 9/21/2012   8:42:37 AM
  • 25
    I am retired but I always do some form of exercise when I am watching T.V.
    Hand weights, running on the spot, punches and squats just to name a few
    I also do my laundry.In ON. we now have lower rates at night for our hydro, so I run up and down the stairs in between the comercials - 9/21/2012   8:29:18 AM
  • 24
    Move your legs while sitting at the computer. Studies have shown that people who "figget" are slimmer. Remember the kid in school who couldn't "sit still?" Well, be that kid and move. LOL - 9/21/2012   8:14:40 AM
  • 23
    I teach kindergarten. When I take my students out for recess I'll walk laps around the playground. They like to walk with me and I like hearing all their little stories (" Teacher! Guess what!). Also they think it's great fun when I jump rope. - 9/21/2012   5:31:34 AM
  • CANDYS526
    22
    I try to walk or jog outside to get from my office to the offices on the other end of our building. It is refreshing to get outside for a few minutes. - 9/21/2012   4:37:34 AM
  • HALFSWEDE76
    21
    I love to dance off and on during the day I turn on music on my direct TV. and change the channel for changes in beat.Some regular exercises other than walking I can't do because of age and and a body that has a few new parts. - 9/21/2012   2:18:33 AM
  • 20
    Great Idea! I Think I'll Jump On My Mini Tramp For 10 Mins Next Week. I Do My Work From Home In Front of A Computer Too And I Do Try To Stay Active. Sometimes I'm So Engrossed That I've Went Several Hours Withoug Moving. That's Going To Change. I Do Stay Commited To My Regular Workouts Though. Thanks for The Blog! :) - 9/20/2012   6:49:35 PM
  • JULIA1154
    19
    When I worked in a conventional office I would take breaks by doing laps around the office campus. I wear a pedometer and would often get half my days steps in that way.

    Now that I telecommute, I have additional flexibility for my breaks - no one sees that I'm doing jumping jacks while re-heating my tea, for example ;) or running in place during conference calls.

    I've also been known to take a 10-minute break to clean a single window, run up and down the stairs a few times or take a lap or two up and down our street. Finally, Spark's 10-minute video workouts are great for re-booting the brain as well as the body. I often do one mid-afternoon to pull through a slump. - 9/20/2012   4:40:59 PM
  • 18
    I am lucky and have an office with a door - so I bought a second rebounder (mini trampoline) and brought it into work. I have a timer on my computer and I try to get up and bounce on it every hour. Sometimes I bounce for 15 minutes, sometimes just for a minute. It makes me happy and gets the blood pumping. - 9/20/2012   4:31:55 PM
  • 17
    I have an alarm on my phone AND on my computer to stand every 30 minutes. I usually do something but occasionally it is just standing. - 9/20/2012   3:51:48 PM
  • 16
    I recently started working from home too....thank you for the ideas.
    I have scaped to my home gym and have done 10 minutes stationary bike or a quick treadmill walk.
    - 9/20/2012   1:54:31 PM
  • SELLESTAD2
    15
    I also just bounce my leg or extend them out and in while I sit at my computer. Thanks for your tips - 9/20/2012   1:15:24 PM
  • 14
    I'm teaching myself this crazy "Gangam Style" dance craze for a wedding! I know I've torched a ton of calories with all these do overs. - 9/20/2012   1:01:48 PM
  • BULGEBATTLER
    13
    Spend a lot of time on computer bit take a break every hour to go upstairs for a drink of water. The timer sounds like a good idea as I do forget, especially if If very involved - 9/20/2012   12:42:07 PM
  • 12
    i work at a small senior living place they have a exercise room and during down time ill use them. - 9/20/2012   12:17:51 PM
  • 11
    fortunately I work at a physical therapy office, I have begun taking advantage of the availability of treadmill, exercise bike, and other equipment during my break time. It has made a big difference. - 9/20/2012   12:09:37 PM
  • 10
    I took a brisk walk around the grounds here at work a few minutes ago. I try to do it twice a day if possible for ten or fifteen minutes. I keep deodorant and disposable wipes in my desk for days I get a little sweaty. The scale has finally started to move since I started doing this in addition to my regular workouts. - 9/20/2012   12:03:15 PM
  • FURBY7207
    9
    great idea. we have a big parking lot at work,i just recieved the step tracker,good way to put it to use throughout the day,not only the evenings. thanks for the idea - 9/20/2012   12:02:02 PM
  • 8
    No room or space for a break, as much of my job has reception duties and I don't really get "official" break time. (Not anymore.)

    However, there is a solution:

    I Googled "office chair exercises pictures" and the first 3 pages were a treasure trove.

    though I need to accompany it with streamed audio/earphones for better results ...

    - 9/20/2012   11:59:04 AM
  • 7
    Even though I do interval walking during lunch, I think I will hit the stairs during some of those stressed parts of the days!! It is bound to help!! - 9/20/2012   11:19:54 AM
  • 6
    I love the idea of setting a reminder on the computer. Doing it right now! - 9/20/2012   10:22:40 AM
  • JPEARL127
    5
    Even those of us who are at home can get bogged down in sitting--thanks for the reminder to create some calorie-burning bursts, like during commercial breaks or while the clock is chiming the hours! - 9/20/2012   10:03:39 AM
  • UILSKUIKEN
    4
    This is really easy to do when I work from home, unfortunately not in the office, can't get all sweaty there. - 9/20/2012   9:55:43 AM
  • MANTHA1121
    3
    I love the jumping jacks idea! Easily done anywhere. :) - 9/20/2012   9:35:52 AM
  • 2
    When I take out my dog to do his duty... I will walk around my circle drive-way, do jumping jacks (improvised), squats, ect., to keep moving and burn a few extra calories. - 9/20/2012   9:05:27 AM
  • JGRAY76
    1
    This is a great idea and I agree that a short break makes you more productive. - 9/20/2012   7:09:13 AM

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