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5 Good Habits for a Better You

Robert Odell, Jr is the assistant director of a Memphis finishing academy which offers premier instruction in diet, nutrition, and exercise.

You can burn calories and reap the health benefits without setting aside large chunks of time for exercise.

You can burn calories and reap the health benefits without setting aside large chunks of time for exercise.

Good Habits Mean Better Health

Exercising is an excellent way to burn calories and maintain good health. However, here is good news for those who have difficulty squeezing in a good exercise routine.

You can burn calories and reap the health benefits without reserving large chunks of time for exercise.

Here are five calorie-burning habits that can improve your health and change your life for the better.

  1. Make your bed.
  2. Take a hot shower with a towel pat-down.
  3. Just park and walk.
  4. Take the stairs.
  5. Stand up.

You can burn calories and reap the health benefits without reserving large chunks of time for exercise.

Why Is It Good to Burn Calories?

A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear something contains 100 calories, it describes how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it.

Your body needs calories for energy; however, eating too many calories can lead to weight gain. Calories need to be burned up through activity to avoid excess weight gain.

The rate at which your body burns calories is called the "Metabolic Rate." Having a reasonable "Metabolic Rate" (burning calories) helps to maintain a proper body mass index (BMI).

What is a Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) measures body fat based on height and weight. A BMI can indicate whether a man or woman is underweight, average, overweight, or obese. Burning calories helps prevent weight gain and maintain a good body mass index.

The more active you are, the more calories you burn. It stands to reason that a body that consumes 2500 calories daily and burns 2500 calories daily will stay at the same weight. Developing good calorie-burning habits is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health.

Developing good calorie-burning habits is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health.

Habit 1. Make Up Your Bed

According to FitDay.com, if you are a 145-pound, 5'6", 30-year-old female, you can burn an average of 61 calories per hour just by making up your bed.

By taking a few minutes to make your bed, you form a calorie-burning habit that can lead to other things that burn calories. Making your bed might encourage you to pick up clothes you may typically leave lying around.

Forming the habit of putting away those clothes instead of leaving them lying around can average out to 88 calories burned per hour.

Making your bed not only burns calories but also can lead to other good, calorie-burning habits.

Making your bed not only burns calories but also can lead to other good, calorie-burning habits.

You can burn an average of 61 calories per hour just by making up your bed.

Leaving an unmade bed may cost you good calorie-burning habits.

Leaving an unmade bed may cost you good calorie-burning habits.

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Make Your Bed and Then Stretch

Once you have made your bed, take a few moments to get in a good stretch. It may seem more spontaneous and natural for you to stretch before you make your bed or even before and after you make your bed. According to SparkPeople.com, a simple stretch burns up to 5 calories.

Stretching Can Lead to Pushups

If you are venturous, you may want to incorporate a few minutes of push-ups after making your bed. Your calorie burn rate depends on your weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, just taking 5 minutes to do moderate or vigorous push-ups after making your bed can burn 28 to 48 calories.

After making your bed, make a habit of doing something you probably do every day anyway.

Habit 2. Take a Good Shower

Hot showers typically have water temperatures from 96 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. They feel good and also have health benefits. Five to 10 minutes in a hot shower can work wonders for your body, muscles, and joints; and even put you in a pleasant mood. When you get out of bed, muscles can be stiff. A good hot shower can get the blood flowing and loosen things up a bit.

A hot shower ending with a towel pat-down makes an excellent calorie-burning habit.

A hot shower ending with a towel pat-down makes an excellent calorie-burning habit.

You Can Burn Calories When You Shower

According to FitDay, a 135-pound, 5'5" 35-year-old woman can burn an average of 173 calories per hour when taking a shower, followed by a standing towel pat-down.

If you plan to stay in a hot shower for more than ten minutes, you may want to moisturize your skin with a good body lotion or cream to avoid dryness.

You can burn an average of 173 calories per hour when taking a shower, followed by a standing towel pat-down.

Shower Poll

Habit 3. Just Park and Walk

We sometimes drive around for five minutes or more, looking for the closest place to park when arriving at the store, office, or other establishments. We can enter the building more quickly and reap good calorie-burning benefits by parking and walking across the parking lot.

"Just Parking and Walking" across the parking lot into an establishment can have many health benefits.

"Just Parking and Walking" across the parking lot into an establishment can have many health benefits.

You Burn Calories When You Walk

Walking across the parking lot from your car into the store or office can burn an average of 102 calories an hour. If you carry bags while walking, you will burn even more calories.

Walking across the parking lot from your car into the store or office can burn an average of 102 calories an hour.

Walking Is Good for Your Health

The habit of "just parking and walking" might also lead to you becoming a "mall walker." Missy Kane of the Dr. Bob Show stated that walking could significantly improve blood pressure. Many get one or two "walking partners" and walk around the mall or parking lot for exercise.

"Mall Walking" can be fun, but always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense safety precautions. Avoid being the only car in a parking area that seems solitary or isolated. The whole idea is not to fret over finding the closest parking space. Walking a few extra steps and carrying one or two bags may produce significant health benefits.

Habit 4. Take the Stairs

Many of us wait on the elevator because we feel it is quicker. Surveys show that the stairs get you to your floor almost three times as fast as the elevator. Also, the health benefits of taking the stairs are fantastic.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a calorie burning habit that improves the whole body.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a calorie burning habit that improves the whole body.

Walking the stairs:

  • builds muscle mass
  • burns calories
  • lowers bad cholesterol and
  • lowers blood pressure.

Start Slow Then Aim for the Top

Taking the stairs is a great way to sneak in a little workout. You may want to start by walking a few flights and taking the elevator the rest of the way. You will gain many benefits, and you can eventually work your way up to taking more flights.

A 150-pound man walking up and down stairs for 10 minutes can burn 91 calories. Carrying a five or 10-pound briefcase with him can cause him to burn 100 calories or more.

Walking the stairs burns calories, builds muscle mass, lowers blood pressure, and lowers bad cholesterol.

Habit 5. Stand Up

Sitting has been called "The New Smoking." In today's world of computers and television, we spend many hours sitting on our bottoms, all to the detriment of our posture and internal organs.

We can burn an average of 50 calories an hour by standing up. That adds up to around 750 calories burnt if you stand up for three hours a day, five days a week. In a year, you would burn about 30,000 extra calories.

By standing up, we can burn an average of 50 calories an hour.

By standing up, we can burn an average of 50 calories an hour.

As Little as Three Hours a Day

How would you feel if you lost eight pounds of fat? Well, that is what you could lose simply by standing up a mere three hours a day. In a BBC News Magazine article, Dr. John Buckley says, "If you want to put that into activity levels, then that would be the equivalent of running about ten marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work."

Standing just three hours a day can reap tremendous health benefits.

Standing just three hours a day can reap tremendous health benefits.

By standing up, we can burn an average of 50 calories an hour.

Standing Can Extend Your Life

What about that important call on your cell phone? Can you step away somewhere and stand up and take the call? We can find many opportunities to stand up during the day if we look for them. What about waiting for that extra-long download or for that email to finally come? You can stand up and move around a bit while waiting. Do you have to sit through every meeting? See if you can stand up sometimes.

Studies suggest that those who sit all day live around two years less than those who are more active.

There is mounting evidence that exercise may not even undo the damage done by prolonged sitting. Prolonged sitting has been linked to problems with blood glucose control and increases the risk of heart disease.

Small Changes Cause Good Results

Researchers believe that even minor adjustments like:

  • standing while talking on the phone
  • going over to speak to a colleague rather than sending an email or
  • simply taking the stairs

will reap many health benefits.

You Can Form Good Habits

It isn't always easy to squeeze a good exercise routine into our day. However, with some creativity, you can form good habits that can burn excess calories and keep you healthy.

Please use the links given in this article to find out the exact calories burned for your sex, height, and weight.

HABITCALORIES BURNED / Per Hour

Making Up Your Bed

61

Shower and Towel Pat Down

173

Parking & Walking

102

Taking The Stairs

540

Standing

50

You Can Make a Better You

Just by doing things like:

  1. Making your bed
  2. Taking a hot shower with a towel pat down
  3. Parking and walking
  4. Taking the stars and
  5. Standing up more often

can cause you to have a healthier and happier quality of life and make you a better you.

Sources

1. BBC. (n.d.). Trust me, I'm a doctor, series 1 - the big standing up experiment. BBC Two. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/31TVF5dHY342pN9pPgJ30rg/the-big-standing-up-experiment

2. Calories Burned - Push-Ups - vigorous. SparkPeople. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calories_burned.asp?exercise=1266

3. Calories burned for yoga (general stretching). SparkPeople. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calories_burned.asp?exercise=622&type=1

4. Calorie calculators. Captain Calculator. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/

5. Coughlan, S. (2013, January 9). Stand up at Office to lose weight, says exercise scientist. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/education-20947605

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8. Fiorenzi, R. (2022, May 15). Sitting is the new smoking. Start Standing. Retrieved from https://www.startstanding.org/sitting-new-smoking/#para18

9. Guardian News and Media. (2018, August 6). Standing desks could increase life expectancy, study finds. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/06/standing-desks-could-increase-life-expectancy-study-finds

10. Habtesellasie, M. (2020, April 30). How many calories do you burn doing household chores? and how to make them part of your fitness routine. Woman and Home Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.womanandhome.com/us/health-and-wellbeing/how-many-calories-do-you-burn-doing-household-chores-90775/

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12. How many calories do you burn during making bed? FitDay.com - Free Online Weight Loss Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fitday.com/webfit/burned/calories_burned_Making_bed.html

13. How many calories do you burn during showering, Toweling off (standing)? FitDay.com - Free Online Weight Loss Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fitday.com/webfit/burned/calories_burned_Showering_toweling_off_standing_.html

14. How many calories do you burn during standing-packing/unpacking boxes, occasional lifting of household items, light moderate effort? FitDay.com - Free Online Weight Loss Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fitday.com/webfit/burned/calories_burned_Standing_packing_unpacking_boxes_occasional_lifting_of_household_items_light_moderate_effort.html#:~:text=Calories%20Burned%3A%20144%20calories%20per,how%20many%20calories%20you%20burn.

15. Kane, M. (2011, July 19). Mall Walking Workout Tips. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/vJFolhUfQjc

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17. Laskowski, E. R. (2020, August 21). Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005#:~:text=Research%20has%20linked%20sitting%20for,that%20make%20up%20metabolic%20syndrome.

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25. Williford, T. (2019, May 4). Is climbing the stairs every day actually a good workout? Apartment Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/is-climbing-the-stairs-every-day-actually-a-good-workout-227727

26. Would walking around in a mall burn calories? I don't like walking outside. Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Would-walking-around-in-a-mall-burn-calories-I-dont-like-walking-outside

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Robert Odell Jr

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