9 New Year’s weight-loss tips

You don’t have to be a fitness expert to know that losing weight and getting in shape rank pretty high among most people’s New Year’s resolutions. But guess what? You don’t have to be a fitness expert to accomplish those goals either. Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds, tone up, fit into those jeans collecting dust in your closet or simply get in better shape, here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.

  • Take the stairs. When you have the option of climbing stairs or taking an elevator or escalator, opt for the former. Same goes for moving walkways. According to Livestrong.com, a person could burn up to seven times more calories by taking the stairs over the elevator.
  • Park on the outskirts of the parking lot. Again, force yourself to walk a little further and a burn a few more calories. (Bonus: The likelihood of your car getting dinged goes down because most people prefer to park closer.)
  • Eat more celery. It’s true, eating celery actually burns calories. As verified by myth-buster Snopes.com, celery has negative calories because it takes more calories to eat it (through chewing and digestion), then celery has in it.
  • Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball. Also called a balance ball or stability ball, these giant rubber balls make great desk chairs in your office. Maintaining your balance on the wheel-less chair keeps your muscles, especially your core (abdominal) muscles, constantly contracted. Studies have shown other positive results: improved spine alignment, balance, blood circulation and energy.
  • Turn down the thermostat. Or exercise in the cold. Your body actually burns more calories when you’re cold because it’s working hard to keep you warm. In fact, according to a study by the University of Utah, your metabolic rate (the calories you burn simply by existing and not exerting any energy) increases noticeably if you get so cold that you begin to shiver, which is actually quite a bit of work for your body.
  • Pass on the breadbasket. We all love that complementary bread that comes before the meal, but it ends up being a lot of unnecessary calories. Not only is bread high on the glycemic index (read: high carb count), but people also tend to overeat when they snack on bread and then eat their meals.
  • Ditch your maid. Sure, there’s probably a reason you hired a maid (e.g. you don’t have time to clean or just don’t like to). But if you do the cleaning yourself you’ll not only save money, but also burn tons of calories in the process. Think about all the cardio, stretching and lifting you do when vacuuming, knocking down cobwebs and carrying laundry to and from the laundry room.
  • Join a sports league. Rec leagues ­– and increasingly social sport leagues – can be found in almost any city. From softball and basketball to ultimate frisbee and kickball, these leagues get you swinging, sprinting or kicking at least once a week.
  • Join a boot camp. Another fitness offering that can be found nationwide, boot camps are a great way to get motivated and get fit. Although every program is different, boot camps like those at HYPE Performance offer classes in fun outdoor locations and social group settings and with a different workout every day. Contact us for schedules and rates, including our New Year’s Special.

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