21 July 20163 Fun Ways to Move More & Burn Calories
For those of you who don’t like to exercise in any shape or form but need to move more for health, then it is time to figure out how to make your “fun” more physical. Here are just three ways you can focus on fun and as a side benefit, move more and burn calories.
Outdoor Games Using Apps & Devices
Despite years of public health messaging about the importance of moving more, it is hard to see change in this area. But within days of the Pokemon Go app launch, the Washington Post reported on 7/15/16 that multiple fitness devices and smartphone apps detected a significant uptick in steps and activity. Wonder why this is happening? It’s because people are having fun and incidentally, moving more to do the game. This game has you going to different locations in cities to find virtual Pokemon creatures. Don’t judge it until you try it. Just be sensible and don’t get so caught up in the game that you get yourself hurt.
This game has been around for a while and geocaching.com defines it as: “a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” This game gets you outside and going to locations to find treasures. Come on, who doesn’t want to find hidden treasures?
Video Games – Exergaming
Exergames are those designed to get you moving while still providing the video game experience: fun, socializing, choice, and engaging video technology. They are not just for kids – adults enjoy them too. Games that require moderate to high intensity do best for burning calories. There are even games for swimming (SwimTrain). Wii, Xbox Kinect, and Playstation Move are three popular products that offer exergames. Go for games that keep you moving and really do the movements full out when you play – this will help you burn the more calories (and win competitions).
Remember those? Think sightseeing, birdwatching, gardening, social dancing, fishing, camping, and the like. Hobbies that require movement to get from one place to the next are best if you are trying to burn calories. But hobbies that require physical strength are also good for supporting muscle mass.
- Social dancing (any form of partner dancing such as ballroom, swing, salsa, tango, etc.) is a great way to socialize and burn calories. Most dance styles will burn at least 3 calories per minute – similar to brisk walking.
- Sightseeing and tourism in locations that require you to walk or use public transportation are great for calories burning and racking up steps. Wear walking shoes or sneakers.
- You might quibble with birdwatching, but consider that you typically need to walk to and from locations to view birds. That counts as walking! Gardening – if you have never tended a garden nor put one in, then you have no idea how physical this hobby can be.
Focus on having fun and see what can happen with your activity level over time. You might just find that having more fun has the great side effect of increased number of steps and calories burned. And when you are engaged in a fun activity, you might eat less since you are not as likely to eat out of boredom or loneliness.
Tip: most modern smartphones (iPhone 5s or higher and newer Android phones that use similar low-power movement sensors) track steps. You can look at your total daily step count and track change over time. Do you move more when you have more fun?
More ResourcesACE-Sponsored Research: Exergaming—Not Just for Kids Anymore!
American College of Sports Medicine: Exergaming
Exergaming Research Center
WebMD: Exercise, Lose Weight with ‘Exergaming’
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