You know you can lose weight by running each day or playing full-court basketball, but what if you tend to avoid physical activity? Maybe you think it takes up too much time or you feel uncomfortable when you exercise.

Cheer up. There’s plenty of middle ground between being a couch potato and training for the Olympics. Try these 14 lazy ways to burn calories.

Lazy Ways to Burn More Calories While You’re Exercising

Exercise really does become easier once you make it a habit. While you’re discovering what works for you, use these tips to make your initial efforts less taxing.

Play Fast Music

Save the slow dance for later. Tunes with a lively tempo make you work harder, but you’ll be having so much fun you probably won’t notice.

Increase the Resistance

Gradually use heavier weights or raise the resistance setting on your treadmill.

Bicycle uphill or lower the air pressure in your tires.

You’ll expend more energy in the same amount of time.

Add Variety

You may have noticed that you tend to eat more at a buffet because additional options create greater temptation. Apply the same principle at the gym. When you’re tired of running laps, go for a swim.

Be Social

Buddying up with a workout partner turns pushups into playtime. Bring a friend to the gym or sign up for a group class.

Lazy Ways to Burn Calories Between Workouts

What you do between workouts affects your weight, too, since most of your time is spent outside of the gym. Some of these tips are so easy they’ll quickly become second nature.

Stand Up

Standing burns about 30% more calories than sitting down. Ask your boss for a standing desk or get up out of your chair for a few minutes every half hour.

Walk and Talk

Studies suggest that the average smartphone user is spending at least 3 hours a day on their device. The miles will add up quickly if you pace around during those conversations.

Related: 8 surprisingly easy ways to cut calories

Break for Commercials

When you watch TV, do pushups or jump rope during the commercials. That way you can stay fit and still keep up with your favorite shows.

Lengthen Your Stride

Since early humans couldn’t be sure about where their next meal was coming from, our bodies quickly adapt to moving as efficiently as possible. Just walking a little faster than usual can help you slim down.

Related: Simple ways to eat mindfully and keep the weight off

Wear an Activity Monitor

Maybe you feel more engaged when you have data to analyze. Strap on a bracelet or pedometer.

More Lazy Ways to Burn Calories Between Workouts


Frequent fidgeters burn about 300 extra calories a day. That’s about 2 shortbread cookies.

Eat Whole Foods

Chewing and digesting food uses up energy too. Choose an orange instead of juice. As a bonus, spicy foods rev up your metabolism, so munch on some wasabi peas along with your fruit.

Related: 91+ Tips For Moms That Want To Cook Like a Pro

Drink Coffee

Caffeine is another metabolism booster. Most experts agree that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe, which translates into about 4 cups of coffee.

Manage Stress

In addition to causing chronic inflammation, stress hormones can interfere with digestion. Relaxation practices like meditating daily make it easier to lose weight.

Take a Nap

Similarly, adequate sleep helps you to stay trim. Go to bed and rise on a consistent schedule, and take a nap if you still feel drowsy.

Burn calories the easy way!

While you’re searching for an exercise routine you can stick with, start with small steps that add up when it comes to losing weight. You may even find that you look forward to working out once you’re feeling more energetic and fit.

Related: Easy Weight Loss Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals