Yep, it sounds impossible but according to one dieting expert, you can burn up to 350 calories without even realising – thanks to everyday activities and habits.
Terri-Ann Nunns is the co-founder of the Happy Healthy Mum Plan and creator of the Terri-Ann 123 Diet Plan, and she says that there are plenty ways of getting that "workout feeling" without stepping foot into the gym.
“There are some really simple changes you can incorporate into your daily routine whilst sitting at your desk at work and when you’re at home going about day-to-day tasks, which can help to increase the number of calories you burn," Terri-Ann explained.
"There will be many things that you already do that actually burn more calories than you would ever think – meaning you don’t need to feel guilty about skipping a workout.”
So, here are ten of Terri-Ann’s top alternative "exercises" for burning fat without having to schlep it to a leisure centre:
1. Housework – 175 kcals an hour
Hoovering and cleaning might be totally tiresome tasks, but if you needed any incentive to clean up your act, this is it. You can burn a serious number of calories from doing basic household chores.
Cleaning, hoovering and tidying are all physical work and require you to be constantly on the move – similar to if you were working out. This means it’s a really effective and easy way to burn calories.
An hour of dusting burns 166 kcals, an hour of hoovering burns 175 kcals while an hour of ironing burns 157 kcals.
2. Wearing heels – up to 220 kcals an hour
Ever woken up after a night out in stilettos, with your calfs feeling on fire? That’s because wearing heels genuinely is giving a workout.
Just be careful with your posture; lots of us throw our weight forward when we’re in heels – putting a lot of pressure onto the balls of our feet, which can contribute to bunions eventually.
Walking burns anywhere between 90 and 200 calories in 30 minutes. Just make sure that you’re walking tall, shoulders back and weight evenly distributed.
3. Playing with kids – 78 kcals for 20 minutes
Kids are always full of energy and while trying to always keep up with them can be difficult, it pays off
Chasing them around the park, playing games with them and even getting them into bed can all contribute to burning calories as when they’re constantly on the move, you tend to be as well, making it a great way to burn calories without even realising it.
4. Sex – 300 kcals an hour
While you shouldn’t really be thinking about calories when you’re getting hot and sweaty between the sheets, it is a good added bonus.
You’re burning more calories whenever your heart rate is maintained at a higher than normal resting rate – and when you’re having sex, your heart rate significantly increases.
5. Taking the stairs – 102 kcals for ten minutes
You’ve heard people telling you to take the stairs over the lift for years but it’s just such a faff. No matter how fit you are, stairs are always a mission.
But burning over 100 calories in ten minutes is a pretty good deal – that’s probably the fasted calorie burn you’re going to find.
Obviously, we don’t just mean going up one flight but if you took every available staircase during the day…and ran up and down your one at home a few times, you’d get to ten minutes-worth.
6. Laughter – up to 40 kcals for 15 minutes
Laughing is good for the soul, as well as the body.
Although not by a huge amount, your heart rate does increase and that means that you’re burning calories. If anything, it’s a great excuse to get everyone together for a good laugh!
7. Daily routine – up to 200 kcals
When we get ready each day we tend to do so in one spot. We stand still when we brush our teeth and we sit down to dry our hair and apply make-up.
But what if there was an easy way to burn calories when going about our morning routine?
Walking around briskly when you’d normally stand still or squatting when you’d usually sit can be an effective way of burning calories without thinking about it.
The continuous movement means you will burn more calories than you would be sitting still.
8. Dancing – 200 kcals for 40 mins
We’re not talking about a Zumba or intense aerobics class at the gym – we’re talking about the sort of shimming you do on a night out.
Whether you’re into house, R&B or pop, upbeat, fast-paced music that you can really move to will increase your heart rate and burn calories.
So, don’t feel ashamed of your moves next time you head out – they’re a one-way path to fat-loss (as long as you’re not drinking gallons of wine at the same time…!).
Time to release your inner Beyoncé!
9. Fidgeting – 350 kcals a day
Good news if you struggle to sit still as you could be doing yourself a favour if you’re trying to burn extra calories…
Fidgeting whilst watching TV, sitting at your desk or eating dinner such as tapping your foot, shaking your leg or always getting up and down burns calories as your body is constantly moving.
Research has found that these little movements can burn hefty kcals. The more you move, the more you burn – and that it only takes small movements done very regularly to make a difference.
10.Getting a good night’s sleep
Technically this isn’t a calorie-burner but it is crucial for helping you to reap the benefits of your other activities.
When we’re tired, we’re way more likely to not put in as much effort when exercising, or even to skip a workout altogether. Ensuring you have enough sleep leads to better performance all round, including in your workouts.