Creative Ways to Burn More Calories Throughout the Day

When your schedule is packed full, finding the time to exercise can feel challenging or down right impossible.  Between work, family, chores, and whatever else you need to do in a given day you might be lucky to find time to relax let alone exercise.

Especially if you work in a job where you sit at a computer all day long, you may be feeling like you just can’t fit in enough activity in your day.

However, there are plenty of sneaky ways to add more physical activity into your day. 

Use these creative ways to burn more calories throughout your day.  Many of them only take a few extra minutes in your day but will add up to make a big difference in your fitness and health!

1. Make your bed in the morning

Making your bed in the morning is a great, productive habit to establish in your morning routine.

Making your bed in the morning good for your mental health and will give you a sense of accomplishment right at the start of your day.  Making your bed is also an easy way to start activating your muscles and to burn a few extra calories right at the beginning of your day.

2. Get a step counter or fitness tracker

What you measure, gets done.  If you want to burn more calories throughout the day and get more active, consider purchasing a fitness tracker or step counter. 

Just by measuring your steps, you will be more likely to want to be active.

When I first got my Fitbit, I noticed I was walking a lot more because I loved the feeling of hitting my step goal for the day. 

3. Always take the stairs

If you want to sneak in some extra calorie burning throughout your day, establish a policy of always taking the stairs instead of the elevator – as long as it’s a reasonable amount of flights.

It’s a simple, but effective way to up your physical activity.

4. Park further away

Similar to always taking the stairs, establish a personal policy of parking in the back of the parking lot. 

Doing this will only add a few extra minutes to your day but once you start doing it regularly, those calories burned will really start to add up!

5. Take meetings on the go

If you work in an office setting, you likely spend a lot of time on the phone in meetings.  Rather than sitting at your desk, take your phone on the go and walk during your meeting. 

You can also suggest taking small meetings on the go for a walking meeting to get others involved as well.

6. Walk to coworkers rather than IM

If it’s an option to do so, consider getting up and walking to another employee’s desk when you have a question rather than jumping on IM and typing out your thoughts.

Again, this only takes a couple of extra minutes, but the impact when you do this regularly will really add up!  As a bonus, it will also give you some extra personal interaction with that person than you would otherwise have.

7. Change up your workstation

Another great way to burn some extra calories throughout your day is to change up your workstation. 

Ditch your chair and substitute it for an exercise ball.  Or consider getting a standing desk so that you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout your day.

8. Walk or bike where you can

If you live in an area where it’s possible and safe to do so, consider walking or biking to places whenever you can.

Walk to work or the store when you run errands. 

I recently started walking to the grocery store a lot when I only need to pick up a few things, and I’ve found it’s a great way to add some exercise into my day without adding any extra items on my to-do list.

9. Hand wash dishes

It can be super easy to finish up dinner and throw all of the dishes into your dishwasher.  However, take a few extra minutes to wash the dishes by hand.

It will be a few extra minutes on your feet and working your muscles than you would have otherwise.

10. Do some exercises while you watch TV

If you’re like me, then you probably spend a couple of hours watching TV every night. 

Set up a yoga mat and some weight by the TV, so you’ll be motivated to do a little bit of physical activity while you watch your favorite shows.

11. Flex muscles during stationary time

Spending time waiting in line or stuck in traffic can feel like a waste of time.  Make it productive instead by flexing different muscle groups while you wait.

Engaging your muscles will strengthen your body and burn some calories during a time when you would have been sitting around anyways.

12. Clean the house

Cleaning the house is not only productive but it will also burn a good amount of calories.

Activities like laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the shower, etc. will work your muscles and add some fitness into your day while you are still knocking out your to-do list.

13. Make outings with friends more active

Social activities often center around food and drinking.  Instead, suggest your friends do something active together instead.

Try going for a walk, taking a hike, trying out a yoga class, or taking a boxing lesson.

These are all super fun activities where you can bond with your friends and stay active at the same time.  You’ll also be more motivated to be active when there are other people to hold you accountable.

14. Cook your own meals

While take out might be quick and easy, cooking your own meals instead is another sneaky way to burn some calories in your day.

You also might find that you enjoy making your own meals!

Those are the 14 creative ways to burn more calories throughout your day.

Even if you just incorporate a few of these ideas every day, they will really add up.  Each idea doesn’t add very much time in your day, but they can be really impactful on your fitness and overall health.

Comment below with your favorite creative way to add more physical activity into your schedule!

Author Bio

Erin Amborski is an avid self care enthusiast and blogger. In her blog, Self Care Seeker, Erin helps women through their self care journeys and writes about physical and mental health topics such as exercise, nutrition, skin care, anxiety, etc. To embark on your own self care journey, check out and follow Self Care Seeker on Pinterest:


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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