1. Keep Moving to Help Expend Energy

Remember: If you’re not moving, your metabolism is not revving! Being sedentary can be the worst thing for your internal engine. By being active in small ways throughout your day, you’re helping to keep your metabolism cranking. If you have a job that keeps you in your seat for hours during the day, be sure to get up and move around frequently. If you come home from the grocery store with several bags, try taking several trips from the car to your front door. You’ll find that when you shun the “couch potato” mentality and make the effort to be a little more active, you’re adopting a healthy habit that’s hard to break!

2. Take the Stairs Whenever You Can

Climbing stairs quickly elevates your heart rate for a metabolic jolt that burns 8 calories per minute, approximately twice as much as you’ll burn taking a brisk walk. If there are stairs where you work, take a few breaks throughout the day—5–10 minutes each—and climb as many stairs as you can. If your energy slumps after lunch, boost it—and your metabolism—by leaping up for a stair climb.

3. Park as Far Away as You Can

If your office is located in a good area for walking, take advantage of this natural way to slip in an extra 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day. Park far away whenever you are shopping at a grocery store or a mall. In fact, while in the mall, take a few spins around at a brisk pace, and you’ll rev up your heart and your metabolism.

4. Run Errands on Your Lunch Break

Lunchtime is the perfect time of day for a burst of energetic hustle. Plan your workday so you can take at least 30 minutes to run errands—and then literally run, or at least walk briskly. Every time you hustle, walk briskly, or run instead of walk, you not only burn more calories, but ensure that your metabolism stays cranked up for a longer time.

5. Take a Stretch Break

Stretching is an excellent way to reduce stress and give your metabolism a boost in the middle of a day when you can’t get away and exercise. Take 5 or 10 minutes to do basic stretches for each of the large muscle groups and make sure to breathe deeply as you do—as you would in yoga—to provide your body with extra oxygen so it can burn more fat.

6. Get Off Your Duff

If you have a sedentary job, it’s vitally important that you find ways to move your body at work. When someone in another department needs a file, jump up and dash over to deliver it. If you needed something duplicated, take it to the copier and then do a few deep-knee bends while you are waiting. The best way to combat a sedentary job and boost your metabolism is to find a multitude of ways to get off your duff and move your body. Walk briskly, toss in some toe-touches, work on some waist whittlers, or do whatever you can think of to move and stretch your muscles.

7. Work Out While Watching TV

Television time doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as you’re not sitting in front of the TV while you should be working out. Instead, do both! Fill a basket with weights, resistance bands, a yoga mat, and a jump rope and place it near your flat screen. Instead of sinking into your sofa and loafing while you watch your favorite show, use those opportunities to do mini-workouts.

8. Buy Some Workout Duds

A common thread amongst fitness success stories is that they all dress for fitness no matter what. Even after a hard day’s work, these people put on their workout gear to help get them in the mood. Being motivated is an important factor in your journey to boost your metabolism. Buy yourself some snazzy workout clothes and see if you don’t soon relish putting them on—and then do so often.

9. Ask a Friend to Join You in a Fitness Program

Once you have resolved to live a healthier lifestyle, invite a friend to be your exercise buddy. Walk during your lunch hour. Ride bikes or try in-line skating around a local park. Take a swim aerobics class. Do yoga together. The point is to make exercise a social event as much as a workout. When you are laughing and conversing, the time goes by much more quickly. Socializing stimulates the mind just as exercise increases blood flow. Both nourish you, help raise your metabolism, and should be part of a healthy lifestyle.

10. Take a Walk

One of the problems some of us have with physical activity is that it is too hard on our joints. One way to alleviate this problem is by using an elliptical trainer, but another is to engage in a low-impact sport such as walking or swimming. Although it may feel easy, walking is actually a great way to build muscular strength and endurance and improve your coordination. Long walks are best for getting the heart muscle working, but if they don’t fit into your schedule, consider taking short walks—10 or 15 minutes at a time—throughout the day.

11. Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

Many people are now trying to ensure they take at least 10,000 steps per day, which has been shown to be a marker of good health. If you walk about 3.5 miles per hour, then you probably take somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 steps in one hour, depending on your height (and, therefore, your stride length). You can walk that number of steps during a one-hour TV show just by marching in place. You’ll burn about 150 to 250 calories during that hour. That may not sound like a lot, but if you’re just watching TV without moving, you’ll only burn about 40 to 60 calories, and not get any boost to your metabolism during that time. Do that for one hour a day for a year, and you’ll burn off about 9 pounds!

12. Walk to the Local Market

If there’s a grocery store or a weekend farmers’ market in your neighborhood, gather together canvas or heavy-duty utility bags and head out for a brisk walk to do your grocery shopping. Since you’ll be carrying the bags of groceries back home afterward, you’ll want to be sure you can carry what you purchase, so buy only what will fit into a couple of bags. Walking while carrying groceries means you’ll be burning a lot more calories than you would driving your car to the store. Plus, it’s better for the environment. Now, that’s something to feel good about.

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