If your idea of being active is getting up to grab another can of soda from the fridge during commercial breaks of your favorite show, you'll probably need a way to lose weight before long. Even if you're on the lazy side and cringe at the thought of working out, it's possible to burn calories without doing anything too strenuous. Just remember that to burn calories to help you lose fat, you do have to expend some energy. There aren't any healthy shortcuts.
Walking is one of the most simple way to burn calories to help you burn fat, and it's easy to include in your day even if you're not particularly interested in working out. If the idea of a 30-minute walk each morning or evening doesn't whet your appetite, try parking your car at the far end of the supermarket parking lot, catching your bus a few stops from your home or walking to the corner store instead of driving. A person who weighs 185 pounds will burn 178 calories in 30 minutes of walking at just 3.5 miles per hour.
If you don't like the idea of straying from your living room in order to exercise, put down the bag of cookies and pick up some free weights or consider some body-weight exercises. Depending on your level of athleticism, try some biceps curls or triceps extensions with a pair of dumbbells, or give pushups, crunches or jumping jacks a try. In general weightlifting, a 185-pound person will burn 133 calories in 30 minutes. The best part about these exercises is that you can perform them while you watch TV.
Cycling and In-line Skating
Sometimes, the best way to work out is to disguise it as something pleasurable. If you enjoy the outdoors, try going for a bike ride or strapping on your in-line skates, especially if you've got friends who enjoy these activities. These exercises are effective calorie burners, but because you're not sweating through a workout inside a gym, they might be more up your alley if you're lazy. A 185-pound person who spends 30 minutes cycling at a moderate pace or in-line skating will burn 355 and 311 calories, respectively.
If you really want to burn enough calories to see a significant difference when you look in the mirror, you'll have to set aside your lazy mindset and approach exercise with the goal of getting in shape. A common method of making workouts more appealing is to visit the gym with a friend or family member; when one of you is unmotivated, the other can provide encouragement. An effective way to lose fat is to pair your workouts with healthy eating. If you consume an unhealthy, high-calorie diet, even when you work out, it can be difficult to see results. Always check with your doctor before starting a new type of workout.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.