Burn 100 Extra Calories Today With Bob Greene's Strategies
You're already: Sitting while listening to music or talking on the phone (25 calories for 20 minutes).
You should also: Practice the piano. This childhood hobby that you're always pledging to pick back up can help you burn 95 calories in 30 minutes.
Bonus tip: Buy sheet music of contemporary songs you love so you can play backup to Adele and Rufus Wainwright. The more you throw yourself into "Someone Like You," the better.
Calorie counts are based on a 160-pound woman, using data from The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide from the Prevention Research Center at University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health.
You should also: Try the breaststroke (305 calories for 24 minutes). It may surprise you to hear that you can actually use up more energy while keeping your hair dry with this uncomplicated stroke. You'll only need to tack on a few more laps—or four minutes—to burn 100 extra calories in the pool.
Bonus tip: If you're really pressed for time, it may be worth learning to gracefully execute the butterfly stroke (280 calories for 20 minutes).
You should also: Plan a route that will take you headfirst into the wind for at least part of the ride, says Bob, because this force of nature can make work almost 100 percent harder. One easy way to find the resistance: If you feel the wind at your back during your ride, reverse course.
Bonus tip: Bob says that the most challenging routes involve rolling hills that take you into the wind, and these can often be found near the ocean or large lakes, or on country roads that aren't protected by lots of trees.
You should also: Multitask in front of the tube. We understand the importance of downtime, but getting up off the couch for some of it can make a huge difference. You can burn 102 calories just by doing some light stretching during the 32 minutes of commercial breaks that typically interrupt two hours of television.
Bonus tip: If you use free weights to do arm curls or overhead presses during the next set of breaks, you'll burn another 122 calories.
You should also: Use the moving handles to pump your arms, which is said to help increase the burn by up to 30 percent (174 calories for 30 minutes at a moderate pace).
Bonus tip: Bob likes to have clients do a mix of arm and ab intervals. Every few minutes, they'll grasp the central stationary handles, tighten their abs, and focus on stabilizing their core as they move their legs. He says this probably burns about the same amount of calories as using the moving handles—and it's a killer way to tone the abs. (Do enough intervals to fill 40 minutes in order to shave off 100 extra calories).
You should also: Increase the incline (351 calories for 6 mph, 1 percent grade, 25 minutes). "Never walk or run on a completely flat treadmill," says Bob, "because you need to compensate for the moving belt, which is doing some of the work for you, as well as the lack of wind resistance you'd encounter outside."
Bonus tip: Crank up the grade to be even steeper—and don't even think of using the handrails for support (365 calories for 6 mph, 5 percent grade, 20 minutes).
You should also: Bake goodies for them, or for your neighbors or coworkers. Ever wonder how the pastry chefs you see on TV stay so slim? It may have to do with the fact that they burn about 95 calories during 30 minutes of baking (it also helps that it's really hard to bake while sitting down). The trick, of course, is resisting the urge to lick the buttercream from the spoon, or to sample the cookies when they come out of the oven.
Bonus tip: The recipe for this rustic tart, which is bursting with antioxidant-rich fruit, involves lots of energetic mixing and rolling. If you pick the berries yourself, you'll burn an extra 76 calories (for 20 minutes).
You should also: Park in the furthest spot in the parking lot to squeeze in extra steps between your car and your office, the grocery store and the mall (22 calories for 7 minutes). Add a lunchtime stroll (67 calories for 15 minutes) to walk off 109 calories over the course of a day.
Bonus tip: Bob says that wearing a pedometer (discreetly, of course) can motivate you to rack up extra steps and calories.
Next: 8 ways to burn calories while giving back