Tips for exercising

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The decline in ‘incidental’ activity in modern western life has significantly reduced daily energy expenditure. While a return to the pre-industrial revolution days is unlikely, the addition of certain activities as part of daily living can help to compensate for the decline in overall energy expenditure. Remember, all movement burns energy and energy burned results in a decrease in body fat.

Here are some ways of doing this:

• Don’t sit when you can stand: standing requires you to carry your own body weight and any activity where the body weight is not supported helps burn energy.

• Don’t drive or ride when you can walk: while the motorcar is one of the 20th century’s greatest inventions, it is also one of the most fattening. Even a short walk can help.

• Minimize remote control use: technology has now made these available for TV’s, stereos, garage doors and any number of household appliances. Add up the energy saved and you can add up the fat gained.

• Do it yourself. Don’t ask someone else: instead of asking the kids, a spouse or staff member to get something for you that might be handier to them, get it yourself and add to your fat loss.

• Use technology sparingly: emails and telephones are two of the most fattening tools of modern society. Where possible, take the message by hand or by foot.

• Use household machinery sparingly: instead of always using the latest household appliance, mow the lawn and wash the dishes by hand – at least sometimes.

• Carry your bags, don’t use a trolley: carrying a weight in the arms increases energy use and helps to burn fat. Walking with a trolley helps, but carrying the bags is even better.

• Walk up and down the stairs, don’t use a lift or escalator: walking up stairs is an economical way of increasing energy use. Even walking down stairs is better than walking on the flat ground, in terms of energy used.

• Park away from your destination and walk: don’t fret about missing that parking spot right outside the door, use the walk to another spot as a spot for exercise.

• Hang out the clothes, don’t use the clothes drier: it might not sound like much but doing it this way, you burn energy and the environment saves it.