Until recently, obesity was thought to be mainly caused by an unhealthy diet high in sugar and fat. Now, a new study finds that lack of exercise and physical activity in general is the top reason most Americans become overweight or obese.
The study found that although waistlines have been rising, overall caloric intake has remained steady for the most part, leading researchers to discover that lack of exercise is the culprit. In fact, the demographic that has experienced the sharpest decrease in physical activity are women between the ages of 18 and 39. The study authors speculate that the Internet and the rise of digital technology in general is contributing to the national decline in physical activity.
Looking for new ways to burn more calories? Here are four ideas that could help you get moving.
Take a walk with the phone
While taking personal phone calls that you’ll expect will be long, such as those with your family members or best friends, take the call while on the go instead of from your couch. Grab your Bluetooth earpiece or ear buds and go for a stroll around the neighborhood as you talk.
Take time to laugh at something hilarious
Laughing out loud will actually increase your lung capacity, reduce stress, work your abdominal muscles, and improve heart health. Do you have a favorite movie, comedian, or YouTube video? Expose yourself to comedy as much as possible so you can laugh out loud more often.
Exercise during everyday tasks
Add more exercise to your day by moving during otherwise mundane chores or activities. For example, dance while you clean the house, do squats when you bend down to empty the dishwasher, or do butt-kicks all the way down long hallways or across large rooms.
Go shopping — but only at a shopping mall, outlet center, or downtown where you can do some serious walking. Previous studies have found that even those who walk slowly can still burn at least 100 calories for every 30 minutes of shopping.
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