If you want to burn extra calories and shed a few pounds, you could go with the tried & true strategy of “eating less and moving more.”
But where’s the fun in that?
Here are five out-of-the-box ways to burn calories without exercise.
#1) Get poked.
As if you needed another reason to give blood, it turns out donating blood can burn up to 600 calories, according to the Mayo Clinic. (1)You probably don’t burn too many calories watching your blood drain, but your body has to expend extra energy over the next few days to replace the lost blood and that’s what accounts for the 600-calorie figure.
#2) Get cold.
A University of Utah study showed that your metabolic rate increases slightly as the temperature dips. While the increase in resting metabolic rate may be minimal, there’s another benefit to keeping the thermostat low: Movement.
If the cold causes you to get up and move around in an attempt to generate heat, you’ll burn more calories. Score!(2)
#3) Get scared.
Cue up “The Shining” and you could burn 184 calories. That’s the result of study designed to document the effects of terror movies on metabolic rate and energy expenditure. Scientists recorded pulse rates and oxygen intake and found as your heart rate quickens, you burn more calories. As an added bonus, you burn even more calories if you spend the rest of the night investigating every single squeak and creak in your house. (3)
#4) Get sick.
Nobody wants to get sick, but there is one silver lining: When you’re running a fever, your body is using more calories. Clearly this is not a winning strategy for healthy weight loss, but if you wanted a winning strategy for healthy weight loss you probably wouldn’t be reading an article titled “Five Weird Ways To Burn Calories Without Exercise.” (4) Just sayin’…
#5) Get laid.
Now we’re talking! You probably already know sex burns calories. But to really get the most – ahem – bang for your buck, you’ll need to venture beyond the missionary position. Try “The Indian Handstand”, “The Ascent To Desire” or “The Wheelbarrow.” (I’ll let you use your own internet sleuthing skills to see what those positions look like. Happy hunting.) Depending on your level of athleticism, adventure and…stamina…. both partners can expect to burn around 100 calories. (5)
Note: This was just a fun article and I hope you don’t take it too seriously. If nothing else, this article shows how you can use scientific studies to “prove” almost anything in the realm of fitness. That’s why I believe scientific studies are good, but real-world experience trumps all.
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1: On an older version of the Mayo Clinics Facts About Donating Blood, they had information about the body burning 600+ calories to replace the blood you donate. That information has since been removed so I suspect the accuracy came under fire.
4: No specific reference on this. The general consensus among medical professionals is that the body tends to burn more calories during a time of fever.