Parkridge Medical Group January 12, 2015

For most people, losing weight involves committing to daily activity changes—but they don’t have to be drastic to be effective.

While you may be tempted to make big changes to your exercise routine in an effort to shed pounds, slowly implementing small changes over time—especially when accompanied by healthy changes to your diet—can put you on a more sustainable path to success.

Adding small bursts of moderate-intensity aerobic activity to your day can help you work toward a recommended goal of 150 minutes per week and is typically easier to maintain than launching into a brand-new fitness routine.

Simple, quick ways to get moving include:

  • Biking around your neighborhood or a local park
  • Dancing in your living room to your favorite music
  • Getting up from your desk instead of calling or emailing to relay a message to a coworker
  • Parking your car farther from the store entrance when you go shopping
  • Taking a 10-minute stroll after every meal
  • Standing up and pacing while talking on the phone at work or at home
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Walking in place or lifting weights during commercial breaks when watching your favorite TV shows

Keep the Chill (and Extra Pounds) Away

When it’s cold outside, the only way you may want to spend the day is curled up on the couch. To stay active despite the winter weather, consider incorporating these activities into your repertoire.

  • Break a sweat by busting dust. Housework counts as a workout, too! Vacuuming for 25 minutes can burn 100 calories. To increase calorie burn, pair it with other activities, such as taking out the trash and dusting, and enjoy a sparkling clean house afterward.
  • Schedule an indoor walk. Shopping complexes, malls and other stores offer a warm place to get in some laps. If making unnecessary purchases might be a temptation, leave your wallet at home unless you need to pick something up. 
  • Skate the day away. Skating at your local ice or roller rink can burn up to 450 calories per hour and engage your core muscles. Make a day of it and take a friend or family member for double the fun.