Active Lifestyles: how to sneak a little extra calorie burn into your day

Katy Mueller

I like to have a set workout almost every day. Running and yoga are my favorites and I feel quite accomplished after I finish them. But it feels even better when throughout the day, I add in little workouts here and there, too. It’s kind of like I am doing a bonus workout or something. Like, I already finished what I had to do, so everything else I do after that is just extra. It’s kind of fun to challenge myself to do these little things that help me tone up even more without having to go all the way to the gym to do it. 

1. Do toe raises while you are standing around


These are really effective to do while brushing your teeth or stirring something on the stove. I like to do them while I am standing around at work. Toe raises tone up your butt as well as your calves and the burn is easy to feel after only a few seconds.

2. Ride your bike to class


Riding your bike to school instead of driving can add some major extra exercise. I live a couple miles away, so riding roughly four miles per day on my bike equals an extra couple-hundred calories burned without that much effort. Sometimes, I even get to class faster when I ride my bike because of the horrendous parking situation that Colorado State University commuters have to deal with.

3. Squat when you use the restroom


This one seems a little weird, but sometimes when I am desperate for some extra working out I like to do a couple of squats while I am in the bathroom stall. I just do, like, five to 10 quick squats and then do my business and leave. It’s not much, but no ones sees me do it and 10 squats are better than no squats, so whatevs.

4. Lunge to the kitchen

When you are just chilling in your house and have to move from wherever you are to somewhere else, challenge yourself to lunge there. I will lunge from my bedroom to get a snack from the kitchen and then lunge back. Boom — a mini leg workout and it barely took you any extra time.

5. Do sit-ups while you watch TV



There used to be the advice to do little exercises during commercial breaks, but now that Netflix is No. 1 bae, there are no commercials. So now what I do is just every five to 10 minutes of watching my show, I will get down on the floor and do 20 pushups. Wait another five to 10 minutes and then do 20 crunches. Repeat that with all of your favorite little exercises and it actually will start to add up. The best part about this one is that you can do it while watching your favorite show.

Incorporating extra movement into your day not only adds calorie burn but it also will help you with mental clarity, alertness and mood-lifting. Calorie burn is important with trying to lose weight, but it is not the most important thing in a person’s health. Add sneaky ways of exercising into your day and not only will you be more toned up, but you will feel better in the other aspects, too.

Collegian Active Lifestyles Blogger Katy Mueller can be reached at or on Twitter @katymueller.