7 Simple Ways to Trick Yourself Into Burning More Calories


January begins one of the busiest times of year for gyms. If you're planning on making a resolution to get in shape for 2014, it can be a hard habit to begin. If you're having trouble getting motivated to start a new fitness routine, you can get started by taking small steps to turn exercise into a long term habit. Here are some tips on ways to trick yourself into exercising. (See also: Fitness for People Who Hate Exercising)

1. Take the Long Way

Walking is one of the easiest ways to burn calories by doing things you'd have to do anyhow. Leisurely paces can burn around 238 calories/hour (depending on your weight), so getting off a stop early on the bus or parking at the end of the lot and walking to your building in the mornings can help add cardio activity to your day. Remember, even a little cardio is better than none!

2. Shop Local Instead of Online

Another way to add easy cardio to your routine is by hitting the shops around town. Keeping a brisk pace while shopping the latest sales can help increase your heart rate to help you burn 150 calories an hour. Plus, hauling those heavy bags will help add strength workouts to your regimen. Look at you, helping your body and the economy!

3. Make an Upbeat Playlist

Create a playlist of upbeat or fast tempo music and add it to your phone, tablet, iPod, or any other device you keep close at hand. Get a few sets of earbuds, too, and leave a set at home and a set at work so that you've never got an excuse not to listen. Listening to music has been shown to increase physical output, and it can make you want to move your body, increasing calorie output. (See also: 50 Ways to Make Exercise Fun)

4. Have a Dance Party

Chalene Johnson is a nutrition and health mogul who is known for her high intensity (but fun) workouts. During most workouts, she incorporates a quick break that is essentially just her and her team shaking it. She's often said that dancing is one of the passions that brought her to a career in exercise — and with good reason! Dancing has been shown to help to reduce stress and alleviate depression. So on tough days, have a quick dance party...don't worry, no one's watching! You'll relieve stress, and you'll also add some cardio to your day.

5. Learn to Cook

If most of your eating habits involve quick snacks or takeout, it's time to step away from the prepackaged food and learn to cook. In addition to learning about ingredients in your meals, which can help both your body and your budget, the continual motions of mixing, lifting, moving back and forth, and preparing can account for burning around 136 calories an hour (depending on your weight), which can add up and help a decrease on the scale. (See also: 20 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies)

6. Start "Spring Cleaning" Now

If your house has begun to look like a dusty bunny warzone during the winter, the time has come to clean! If you're like me, this is the very definition of "chore," but the added benefits of cleaning your home can help your sinuses and your waistline. Light cleaning can add up to 160 calories an hour while more heavy duty cleaning can add up to burning over 200 calories an hour. (See also: How to Clean Your House in a Day)

7. Set Goals

Once you've begun to add all of those calories together doing little things like cleaning and shopping, you might begin to want to take a more active approach to your exercise regimen. To keep it going, create a rewards system that motivates you to stick to your goals and gives you a sense of accomplishment at each milestone. Figure what increments work best for your ultimate goal and promise yourself not to get the awards until you've actually earned them. Maybe 15 pounds lost means a new pair of jeans, while 25 pounds means you'll need probably need to update your hairstyle to show off those cheekbones. When you reach the final weight you want to be at, the reward should be as big as the accomplishment, like a new wardrobe (you're going to need it!). Good luck, and go get ‘em.

How do you trick yourself into exercising more?

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