Are you lazy when it comes to exercise? Like really lazy? If so, there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! We, too, struggle to find the motivation to complete our morning and end-of-day workouts… or even afternoon workouts, for that matter!
So, when we found out that we could do some super effective at-home workouts from the comfort of our own bed, we knew we had to share the secret with you…
Here are 11 calorie-burning and muscle-building moves that you can do in the most comfortable place in your home– your bed!
- Blast away that inner-thigh fat
- Do the ‘Superman’
- Get rid of that turkey neck
- Challenge yourself with bicycle crunches
- And, while you’re at it, do a full-body crunch
- Give the jack splits a try
- Tighten up your backside
- And, then march your feet out
- Take it easy with some partial pushups
- Give your arms some love
- Wrap it all up with a classic plank
- 10 Ways to Burn More Calories Just By Sitting
- Kissing: 68 calories per hour
- Making Out: 230 calories per half-hour
- Massaging: 80 calories per hour
- Having sex: 69 calories on average
- Giving Oral Sex: 100 calories per half-hour
- Using Your Hands: 100 calories per hour
- Romantic Dancing: 219 calories per hour
- I tried this new product that lets you exercise in bed (and now my abs are killing me)
- What is the BedGym?
- How the BedGym works
- How I feel about exercising in bed
- Why the BedGym is great for building your core
- Why I actually like to exercise in bed
- How this product is being used in the medical world
- How Exercising in Bed Actually Made Me Want to Work Out More
- How Many Calories Do You Burn While You’re Asleep?
- Determining how many calories you burn
- Factors that affect how many calories you burn
- The bottom line
- 15 Ways to Burn Calories in the Bedroom
- Do a Closet Slim-down
- Clean Under Your Bed
- Do Some Simple Yoga Moves
- Get Reading!
- Write a To-do List
- Practice Breathing Exercises
- Skip the Commercials
- Burn Calories During Foreplay
- And Get Creative with Your Partner!
- Stop Eating Three Hours Before Bed
- And Commit to Not Eating in the Bedroom
- Still Antsy with Cravings? Try Tea
- Do Some Chair Stretches
- Start a Nightly Stretching Routine in Bed
- Turn Down Your Thermostat
- Standing burns more calories than sitting or lying
- Health hazards of prolonged sitting
- Savers vs. spenders of energy
- Muscle mass could be a factor
Blast away that inner-thigh fat
Here’s a way to say ‘goodbye’ to that inner-thigh jelly before swimsuit season hits!
Start off by rolling onto your side and placing your hand behind your head, with your elbow resting flat on the bed. Next, line your hips up so that they are directly on top of each other. Once you’re all set, raise your top leg as far as it will go, then return to the start position. Repeat 10x on each side. For an extra effective workout, spend one rep pulsing your leg for 10 seconds as it is lifted in the air.
Do the ‘Superman’
Become a bed workout superhero with this core-strengthening move!
Start by rolling onto your stomach— now, don’t get too comfortable, this is about to get challenging. Raise your arms above your head and place your palms face-down on the bed with the tops of your toes touching the sheets. Next, lift your arms and legs off of the bed and hold for a few seconds. Repeat for a total of 5 reps.
Get rid of that turkey neck
Ready to get rid of that attractive (not!) gobbler?
If you already have a pillow under your head, remove it and gently move your neck from side-to-side to loosen it up first. Next, grab a foam roller—or just roll up a couple of pillows— and place them under your neck before putting your feet flat on the bed. From there, roll to one side so that one leg is pointing out slightly. Once you’re in position, move your head around in circular rotations. After you’ve done at least 10 on each side, come back to the center position and nod your head up and down, making sure that the roller is sitting at the base of your skull. You should feel a strengthening stretch immediately!
Challenge yourself with bicycle crunches
Bicycle crunches may not be the most fun thing in the world to do, but they are a heck of a lot easier to get through when you are performing them on a cushy bed!
Get started by rolling onto your back with your hands behind your head. Then, alternate your legs by bringing one in at a time while you are lifting your chest up to meet your knees in the center. Repeat with your opposite leg and elbow for at least 2 minutes.
And, while you’re at it, do a full-body crunch
Return to a neutral position on your back, then lift both of your legs and your upper body off the bed at the same time, making sure that your knees are tucked in towards your chest in a crunch position. Repeat at least 15x.
Give the jack splits a try
Start by lying flat on your back with your thumbs interlocked above your head. Next, engage your core and simultaneously lift your legs and your upper-half so that your clasped thumbs end up between your outstretched legs. Repeat this exercise for 10 reps.
Tighten up your backside
Looking to tighten up your backside and your core? If so, look no further than the glute bridge!
Start with your back flat with both feet firmly placed down on the bed. Next, tighten your core while raising your backside high into the air. Make sure that you are NOT adding any extra tension to your neck or shoulder area. Repeat for a total of 20 reps.
And, then march your feet out
Bring your glute bridge to the next level by completing a set of marching hip raises.
Stay flat on your back with your feet firmly on the bed. Next, raise your hips with your feet in the air, then alternate kicking your legs up so that each knee reaches a 90-degree angle. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Take it easy with some partial pushups
Roll back onto your belly and get your arms into a pushup position, but instead of moving into a plank (you’ll be doing that one later, by the way!) place both knees on the bed, so that your toes are pointed into the air. Complete at least 20 pushups in this abridged pushup position.
Give your arms some love
Next, move into a plank position and lift one hand out in front of you so that your fingers face perpendicularly towards the front of the room. Hold for a second, then bend your elbow so that you can touch your alternate shoulder with your fingers. Repeat on each side 10x.
Wrap it all up with a classic plank
To finish it all off, simply stay in the classic plank position as long as you can. And, be sure to time yourself to track your progress. Remember, practice makes perfect—even when you’re exercising in bed!
We’d love to hear your take on this super-comfy workout routine! Have you ever exercised in bed before? If so, have you seen results? Do you have any other exercises that you would like to add to the list?
10 Ways to Burn More Calories Just By Sitting
0 of 12 No matter what you consider your daily grind — sitting behind a computer, running errands for your family, keeping up with your favorite TV shows — most of us spend way too much time on our expanding derrieres.
Studies say that too much sitting puts us at greater risk for diabetes and cancer, increased inflammation and insulin levels, and slower metabolism, among other issues. And sloths aren’t the only ones who suffer. People who hit the gym and watch their diets are also having an increasingly hard time staying trim with the longer hours we spend on our booties. We’re busier than ever, yet when our hectic schedules are over, we crave nothing more than — you guessed it — collapsing onto our backsides. What can we do when our lives revolve around sitting for work and relaxation?
Beat our sedentary lifestyle at its own game, of course. That’s why we asked experts how to boost metabolism and burn calories while seated. We don’t want you to replace exercise, eating well, and living a healthy lifestyle with these butt-blasting suggestions — just add them to your existing routine to maximize your calorie burning potential. So what are you waiting for? As you read this, you’re probably already in the starting position anyway.
Image via Imaxtree
SEE NEXT PAGE: Laugh a Lot
Raise your hand if you’ve ever wondered after a hot and sweaty session between the sheets how many calories you burned. Same. Well, it turns out, not only is this intimate time with your partner fun and pleasurable, but it’s also good for your psychological, emotional, and physical wellbeing, according to Healthline.
In addition to getting your heart rate up, you can also burn some serious calories by undressing, kissing, and everything in between during sex. Want the specifics? Based on the body weight of a 150 pound women, here are seven different ways you can burn calories during sex, along with tips from experts on how to ramp things up to burn even more calories.
Kissing: 68 calories per hour
Remember how, when you were first dating and strictly going to first base, you’d start locking lips and come up for air about 30 minutes later? Well, not only can kissing someone you love deepen social attachment between partners, but it can also help you some exercise.
“If the kissing is vigorous and involves some petting, it could be even closer to 90 calories burned in an hour,” says Jaiya Kinzbach, a Los Angeles-based sexologist and the author of Red Hot Touch.
Try her technique for turning kissing into an honest-to-goodness workout session: “Kiss in unusual positions. Have the guy on his back and do ‘plank pose’ or a push-up on top of him, coming down to kiss him and then pushing back up. Push-ups burn 171 calories in 30 minutes.”
Making Out: 230 calories per half-hour
A sizzling clothes-on make-out session with the person you love is an intense caloric blaster yet, according to LA Weekly. Why? Anticipation can get your heart rate going, according to Gilda Carle, PhD, a psychotherapist and relationship expert. “It gives way to heavy breathing, which gives way to a great calorie burn,” she explains.
But you can still maximize the workout by making it hotter and sweatier. “The hotter the room — think Bikram (a.k.a. “hot”) yoga — and the sweatier the make-out session, the more calories you burn,” Kinzbach adds. Also, try rolling around on the bed or changing your scenery. “Make it playful and erotic and you have a great combination for a pleasurable workout.”
Massaging: 80 calories per hour
Who doesn’t like a good rubdown from their partner? Well, if you’re the giver, you get an additional benefit other than making your guy happy: burned calories.
Carole Lieberman, M.D., a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets, told Everyday Health that giving a massage burns 80 calories per hour. Though giving a good massage can get your heart rate up and kick your body into calorie-burning mode, the way to ramp things up even more isn’t to speed things up.
Instead, consider going slower, recommends Kinzbach: “This may seem counterintuitive to burning calories, but going slower and deeper is not only more sensual, it works different muscles. I also recommend getting a massage table — it’s better on your body, and standing to give a massage burns more calories.”
Having sex: 69 calories on average
The number of calories you burn during sex varies widely from one session to another, as well as from person to person. Researchers at the University of Montreal asked 21 heterosexual couples between the age of 18 and 35 to have sex once per week for a period of 4 weeks, while wearing an activity tracker to monitor calories. The study published in PLOS ONE found that on average, women burned about 69 calories for a 25-minute session, while men burned around 100 calories.
According to experts, the key to high-calorie-burning sex is to make it hot and long. You can also add a little moaning and sighing, which can help you burn an extra 18 to 30 calories, Kinzbach, says.
Switching up the position can also give you a better workout, as well as keep your sex life exciting. “If you are on top, try moving your hips like a belly dancer; this feels great and will give you a workout,” Kinzbach recommends. “Also try a position where you squat on top of him and then bounce up and down. This is a great workout for your thighs and butt, and it can burn up to 207 calories in 30 minutes.”
Giving Oral Sex: 100 calories per half-hour
According to trainer Brooke Marrone, owner of Brooke Marrone Fitness in New York, going down on your partner can burn around 100 calories per hour. But if you want to blast fat, Kinzbach recommends trying it with push-ups to burn an extra 71 calories.
“Also you can do a little yoga,” Kinzbach says, which tacks on an 35 additional calories. “Try plank position into downward facing dog, and back into plank where you can lower down and do some oral stimulation.”
Using Your Hands: 100 calories per hour
Of course, the old-fashioned hand job is a calorie burner. According to a post by Alyssa Dweck, M.D. and gynecologist, “giving a hand job can burn up to 100 calories an hour depending on vigor and position.”
But you can zap an additional 50 calories per half-hour by taking things up a notch, Kinzbach says. “Get lots of stuff going at once,” she suggests. “Try really slow sensual strokes, and position yourself so that you can use your body as well.” Rocking your body against his and varying the pressure and frequency can help, too, she adds.
Romantic Dancing: 219 calories per hour
A little dancing — even with your clothes on — can be a great workout for you and your husband. According to Mayo Clinic, ballroom dancing burns 219 calories per hour.
“It has been shown in scientific studies that right after an aerobic exercise, women become aroused and lubricated more easily,” says Barbara Bartlik, M.D., a New York-based psychiatrist and sex therapist. Slow dancing is fine, but you have to rev things up to get a real workout, like kissing, nibbling the neck, and touching, Kinzbach suggests.
I tried this new product that lets you exercise in bed (and now my abs are killing me)
You know those days that you’re just too busy to actually get yourself to the gym, but have all the best intentions of doing an at-home workout via some fitness guru on YouTube? But then- before you know it- you find yourself lying in bed. Well, there’s no going back from here, is what I always think. But now, entrepreneurs (and husband and wife) Andre and Grace Lutfy have given us zero excuses to not get a workout in (even after we’ve crawled into bed) with their new product that allows us to exercise in bed.
I got the chance to try out the BedGym, from setup to cool down, and truthfully my abs have never hurt more…and I go to barre class. As Andre said, it’s the perfect way to “Netflix and chill…and workout.”
What is the BedGym?
The BedGym is a new product that uses your mattress as a tool to hold resistance bands in place, allowing you to exercise in bed. It looks like this:
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How the BedGym works
The setup was relatively easy (it took me 20 to 25 minutes). My bed is in the corner of my room, so I had to do the “putting sheets on the bed” dance in order to get the band secured around my bed. I started by wrapping the “BedBelt” around my mattress, tightened it, and then began to add the reinforcement straps. Then I attached two of the resistance bands to holes at the top of the mattress and two at the bottom.
The handles and ankle straps were all that was left, so I attached the four pieces to the resistance bands (handles at the head of the bed and straps at the foot). From there you use the handles and ankle straps to perform exercises for virtually every part of the body: from arms to legs, abs to glutes.
How I feel about exercising in bed
Some may think that exercising in bed is a bit odd, but it actually felt pretty similar to using an exercise mat on the floor. What I found really useful is that you can do virtually any exercise that requires resistance bands because there are holes in the BedBelt all around the bed.
Additionally, the BedGym isn’t just for working muscles, but stretching them, too. The resistance bands give you an amazing leg stretch. that you really just can’t get otherwise.
I found the exercise guide super helpful because working out with resistance bands was a bit foreign to me. In addition to the exercise guide, there are also sample exercise routine videos available for you to follow.
Why the BedGym is great for building your core
Core exercises are tough- there’s no denying this. But what I never realized was how much more tough they become once you switch from a hard gym floor to an unstable surface- like your bed. When I started the ab exercises on the BedGym I felt a burn in core muscles that I never knew I had.
As it turns out, this wasn’t just me being a baby but science at work. The instability of your mattress, Grace told me, helps trigger core muscles to work even harder. As an aspiring yogi, this excited me. I can see this product being super useful in building the core strength I’ve always dreamed of.
Why I actually like to exercise in bed
While I didn’t run out and cancel my gym membership directly after hopping out of bed after my workout, I foresee the BedGym becoming extremely useful on days where I don’t have time to make it to the gym. Even if I don’t have time to get dressed and drive over to my gym, I should have 10 minutes each day to exercise in bed.
The great part about this product is that it barely takes up any space at all. You can leave each part attached or remove the resistance bands and store them away. If you’re looking to cover the Bed Gym, all you need to do is throw your comforter on your bed. When the bed is made, there’s no way to tell it’s there at all. Having a small room, the lack of clunky equipment is major. In small city apartments or dorm rooms, there’s no spare space for big weights, exercise balls, or treadmills.
How this product is being used in the medical world
In addition to being extremely handy for those in the fitness world, Andre told me that the product is also being embraced by those in the medical community. Bed-ridden or low-mobility patients may not get exercise, which is dangerous to their health. Patients that require exercise are often stretched or worked out in bed, which actually makes this product extremely useful.
According to Lufty, doctors at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management have started using the product with patients and the United Spinal Association has featured the BedGym on its website. Allowing patients to exercise from bed gives bed-ridden patients a whole new way to stay in shape and move their muscles. Those recovering from surgery can also use the equipment to start exercising again in a safe and low-risk environment.
How Exercising in Bed Actually Made Me Want to Work Out More
I’m never more ambitious than I am the night before I plan to work out. I dust off my sneakers; Google “how to put a sports bra on”; set my alarm for 6 a.m.; and fall asleep to visions of myself doing deadlifts, joyfully running outside, and casually popping into a CrossFit box to teach a class. NBD.
But I’m never less ambitious than when my alarm goes off the next morning. I go from thinking, If I wake up every day at 4 a.m. and train really hard, I could totally pull off a triathlon, to Has it always been this hard to lean down and put socks on my feet?
And suddenly all my bold plans go out the window, and I instead lie in bed convincing myself that tomorrow’s actually a much better day to workout. Yes, tomorrow. Because it’ll be one degree cooler, or Mercury won’t be in retrograde, or that it’s much better for my aura to lie still for an hour and scroll through my frenemies’ Insta-stories because I’ve had a long week.
“If only I could exercise in bed,” I’d frequently say to my ceiling fan, “I’d be the fittest person in the world.”
Well, a few weeks ago, “if only…” turned into a reality when I learned about Wakeout—an app that felt like it was designed just for me. (Yet, according to its website, that is not the case.) Each day, it runs you through a short series of three easy exercises that you can do from your bed and in your pajamas. And by short, I mean you perform each move (AMRAP or as many reps as possible) for less than a minute.
I downloaded it right away and committed to doing it for at least 10 days to see what would happen. I’m no mathematician, but I assumed that 10 days multiplied by 3-minute workouts would give me the kind of bod that makes people say, “There’s a person who didn’t spend her summer weekends binge-watching a show she’s already seen before.”
The night before the first day, I set the in-app alarm to go off at 6:57 a.m. on weekdays—giving me exactly enough time to fit in this new routine and still get to work on time. Then I prepared myself emotionally for my She’s All That transformation.
The following morning, I was jerked awake by blaring music coming out of my phone. I’m talking a poppy, video-game-esque soundtrack that made me feel like I was about to start a race on my N64 circa 1998. I felt both excited and intimidated, and also instantly awake.
Would I be able to keep up with the moves to match these tunes? Would I have to buckle my seat belt?
Both answers quickly became clear as the workout quashed my fears. Yes, I would be able to keep up (and no, seat belts weren’t required). The moves were simple—think: basic bodyweight squats, chest presses using your pillow, or arm circles—all with clever names like “Mom I Can’t Sleep” and “Rise and Shine.” I then realized these exercises weren’t meant to get you in shape, but rather, they were literally meant to get you moving.
This isn’t working, I thought as I followed along with the man in the app in my pajamas, my head still on my pillow. I’m not even close to a one-pack, let alone a six-pack. And before I could feel the burn, a burn, really any burn at all, the routine was over in less than three minutes.
But then, mere seconds later, I started to feel something else. And not the usual “Are my organs giving out?” feeling I typically get when I do anything physical for more than a few minutes. But rather, I actually felt motivated.
I’d gone from being half-asleep to being wide awake, and I suddenly felt compelled to do more. Never in the history of my body has that ever happened. Usually, I force myself to work out for 30 minutes every Wednesday, and the second that stopwatch hits 30:00, I stop whatever I’m doing and promise my body I won’t put it through that torture again until the following week.
However, after this three-minute session, I got out of bed and planked in my living room. Just for one minute, mind you. But still, I did it because I wanted to.
I felt so excited by the sheer fact that I was motivated to do more that I started doing push-ups. I’m sorry, that’s a lie—I did one push-up, singular. Then I stopped. One plank and one push-up felt like more than enough optional activity for one day.
But I continued to use the app for 10 days. Each morning, I jolted up to the blaring music (it started to become kind of exciting), did three easy exercises in less than three minutes, and was rewarded with a motivational quote—all of which pushed me to do a little more. I found that I’d finally broken my “excuse curse.” I couldn’t say no to three morning exercises since I literally could stay in bed and do them. And then I couldn’t say no to working out more because I was already in exercise mode.
Now, mind you, I did not go from bed-ercises to my CrossFit-guest-trainer fantasy. But I did go from bed-ercises to planks (and maybe a few jumping jacks or burpees).If you’re someone who enjoys moving your body enough that you go to a gym several times a week, this probably feels wildly insignificant. However, for someone like me—someone who just started working out last year for the first time ever—wanting to do more than the original routine I agreed to do is a huge deal. Huge.
Who knows what’s next? Maybe two push-ups! Maybe being brave enough to make eye contact with myself in the mirror while I’m doing my bed routine. Maybe signing up for a morning exercise class! (Ha, OK, probably not that.)
Or maybe—and hopefully—a continued desire to actually work out for longer than a few minutes every day. Since starting to exercise last year, I’ve made baby steps in the right direction, and this feels like one more that’s pushing me toward a routine I might actually not hate.
And for someone who was told at the age of 29 that she had the core strength of a baby, that’s kinda a big deal.
For more great fitness tips, healthy recipes, and inspiration, check out our friends at Greatist.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While You’re Asleep?
Have you ever wondered how many calories you burn while sleeping? While you may think the answer would be “not many,” you might be surprised to learn that your body is at work using energy even when you’re at rest.
How many calories you burn has to do with various factors, including your weight, your metabolism, and how much sleep you get each night.
Determining how many calories you burn
A person who weighs 125 pounds burns approximately 38 calories per hour sleeping. That doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot. But multiply that by the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep experts say you should get each night, and that’s a total potential of 266 to 342 calories for snoozing.
The amount of calories burned increases according to body weight. So, a person who weighs 150 pounds might burn 46 calories an hour or between 322 and 414 calories a night. And a person who weighs 185 pounds might burn around 56 calories or between 392 and 504 calories for a full night of sleep.
How are these numbers calculated exactly? It’s all about your individual metabolism. Metabolism is a process by which the body converts food into energy for use in daily activities. Even keeping your organs running, breathing, and circulating blood costs your body calories. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), on the other hand, represents the number of calories you individually burn a day at rest, or while you’re sedentary. This includes sleeping and sitting.
To calculate your BMR, you use an equation that factors in your sex, weight, and age using inches for height and pounds for weight.
- 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age) = BMR for men
- 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age) = BMR for women
For example: A 35-year-old man who weighs 175 pounds and is 5 feet 11 inches tall would be:
- 66 + (6.2 x 175) + (12.7 x 71) – (6.76 x 35) = 1,816 calories.
A 35-year-old woman who weighs 135 pounds and is 5 feet, 5 inches tall would be:
- 655.1 + (4.35 x 135) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 35) = 1,383 calories.
The more mass your body has, the more calories you’ll burn while resting, sleeping, and doing other activities. Men tend to burn more calories at rest than women of the same weight because men typically have higher muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does.
Factors that affect how many calories you burn
Want to maximize your calorie torching in the overnight hours? A recent study uncovered that if you skip an entire night of sleep, you may actually burn an extra 135 calories over that period of time. Some participants burned as many as an extra 160 calories. But before you toss your pillow, understand that skipping sleep isn’t a great way to lose weight.
Sleep loss over time may contribute to weight gain and obesity. It elevates certain hormone levels in the body, like cortisol. This hormone makes you hold onto extra fat. Not only that, but it may also increase your appetite and lead to a slower metabolism.
What may help you burn more calories during sleep is taking measures to elevate your metabolism. Boosting your metabolism will help you burn more calories throughout your waking hours as well.
What you should know:
Eating late doesn’t slow your metabolism
Eating before bed may cause a temporary increase in your metabolism through what’s called thermogenesis. And don’t worry about eating after 8 pm. Foods consumed after this time don’t magically make your gain more weight — it’s the mindless snacking that does. That said, eating large meals right before bedtime may make it harder to sleep.
Exercise daily, incorporating strength training
Having more muscle mass in general helps you burn more calories, even while you’re sleeping. So get in some exercise daily, especially strength training. If you have trouble settling down at night, try getting in your exercise several hours before bed.
Losing weight may help
Losing weight may help boost your metabolism as well. Fat burns fewer calories than muscle when at rest. If you’re overweight, consider making an appointment with your doctor or dietitian to discuss a healthy goal and a plan for how to get there.
Caffeine may create a short-term boost
Caffeine may increase metabolism slightly. At the same time, it has not been shown to help with long-term weight loss. And drinking caffeinated beverages before bed may make it hard to get a good night’s rest.
Use supplements with caution
Supplements that claim to boost metabolism should be used with caution or not at all. Some may contain unsafe ingredients. Even worse, they may not work. Always discuss any supplements you plan to take with your doctor.
Certain health conditions may slow your metabolism
Certain medical conditions, like Cushing syndrome and hypothyroidism, may slow your metabolism. This means you’ll experience less calorie burn at all hours and may even hold onto or gain weight. You doctor can perform simple tests, like a blood test, to rule out certain conditions. Then they can work with you to manage your condition and weight.
Your body is at work at all hours of the day and night. While you do burn calories while sleeping, it’s not a solid weight loss strategy. Exercising regularly and eating well can help.
Experts recommend getting in 75 minutes of vigorous activity, like running, or 150 minutes of moderate activity, like walking, each week. And try shopping the perimeter of the grocery store to stick to whole foods that don’t contain empty calories, like added sugars.
Try your best to get in the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble winding down, give these tips a try:
- Create a routine where you go to the bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each day. You may also want to do some relaxing activities, like taking a bath or doing some gentle yoga before tucking yourself in.
- Use white noise, ear plugs, blackout curtains, and other tools to block distractions in your sleeping space. Keeping the temperature of your room cool may also help you nod off faster.
- Avoid stimulants like nicotine and caffeine in the hours before bed. They may take a while to wear off and make it hard to relax. While alcohol may make you sleepy, it may also disrupt your sleep throughout the night.
- Turn off cell phones, computers, televisions, and other electronics well before heading to bed. The light these devices emit may disrupt your body’s natural sleeping rhythm.
- Limit naps to just 30 minutes. Getting more shut-eye in the daytime hours may make it harder to sleep at night.
15 Ways to Burn Calories in the Bedroom
Sometimes your bedroom can seem like little more than a cozy cradle for movie streaming and counting sheep. But you can transform your bedroom into a calorie-blasting, fun zone that’s worthy of #fitlife credit without even trying. We tapped top nutritionists for their top tips to sneak more activity (and not just of the horizontal kind) into the bedroom to give your weight-loss efforts a serious boost. If you were looking for a more Cosmo-like list, check out 20 Foods to Supercharge Your Sex Drive (and then jump to tip 8!)
Do a Closet Slim-down
As in, get moving and organizing your closet and dresser drawers. “All movement burns calories—and standing and moving in any way is always a win when compared to sitting,” say The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. “Do it for 35 minutes and you can burn up to 100 calories!”
Clean Under Your Bed
If you haven’t caught the fever of Spring Cleaning Season yet, here’s another good suggestion that’s in the same vein as the above idea. By getting down and dirty under your bed, you’ll burn calories while also dealing with the dust bunnies that could be hindering your easy breathing while sleeping. Check out these 12 Ways Your Home is Making You Fat, which also has tips on torching calories while doing chores!
Do Some Simple Yoga Moves
“Yoga and stretching on your bed can be cozy and your bedroom floor may offer even more options,” advises Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. “Use the bed railing to deepen stretches or as leverage to stretch harder-to-reach muscles, like your upper back rhomboids and trapezius muscle.” And in case you need more convincing to hop aboard the yoga train, find out the 7 surprising reasons you should be doing yoga now!
Cozying up with a book isn’t just for vacation or commutes. “Using your brain requires energy and reading burns almost twice as many calories as sleeping!” adds Hever. Besides, our book the The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse is filled with so many good weight loss secrets, we promise you’ll be glad you curled up with it in the sack.
Write a To-do List
Before bed, write down your to-do list for the next day, as well as any of your concerns. “This will help to ease your mind so you can sleep better at night,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Ultimately, this takes away some anxiety and creates room for a less stressed, better-rested body—one that is less susceptible to sugar cravings and stress eating.”
Practice Breathing Exercises
Follow The Nutrition Twins’ lead and try this every night before bed: “Breathe in through your nose slowly for eight counts, then hold the air in your lungs for eight counts, and slowly breathe out for eight counts. Repeat 10 times.” Beyond simple? You betchya. And you really have no excuse to skip it. Why? “This will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings on relaxation, reducing stress and helping you to fall asleep. This will also reduce your stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with belly fat, sugar cravings and decreased lean muscle tissue; this is really important because the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So, if you are losing lean muscle when your cortisol levels are high, it’s really bad news. And since this will help you to sleep better and your body repairs its tissues and muscles while you sleep, it’s a win-win for your metabolism because you’ll help to make sure your muscles are getting a chance to repair and rebuild themselves.” Whew. Got all that? Fire up the speed of your metabolism with these 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism, too.
Skip the Commercials
“If you watch TV in bed, those late night pizza commercials can make you want to head into the kitchen to snack, even if you aren’t hungry,” says says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “If you can, DVR your favorite shows so you can skip through the commercials and avoid temptation. Better yet, take the TV out of the bedroom all together to improve sleep quality and quantity (which also can help to boost metabolism and fight cravings).” Can’t sleep? Avoid these 17 Foods That Keep You Up at Night.
Burn Calories During Foreplay
You don’t have to tell us twice. “Spend a little extra time during foreplay wrestling around,” suggest The Nutrition Twins. “It’s very intimate to pin your partner to the bed and then have to resist being pinned. It will strengthen your muscles and depend on how long you wrestle for, you can burn as much as 70-80 calories every 10 minutes.” And while you’re at it, get familiar with these 50 Best Foods for Your Penis!
And Get Creative with Your Partner!
Now that you instituted that whole no-cell-phones-in-bed thing, you’ve really freed up more time to chill with your other S.O. “Be creative by finding more ways to get physical with your partner. Swapping massages, making out (!), and even stretching together in bed is the sexiest way to burn calories,” shares Hever.
Stop Eating Three Hours Before Bed
“Don’t eat food within at least three hours before you go to bed,” says Hever. Make it your go-to policy. No excuses. Besides not waking up feeling bloated and filled with late-night-pizza regrets, your body will truly benefit: “This will prolong your fasting state, enabling your body to repair, recover, and rejuvenate more fully while you sleep. Sticking to this will help your overall metabolism.” Avoid these 50 Little Things Making You Fatter and Fatter for more ways to reverse the needle on the scale.
And Commit to Not Eating in the Bedroom
“When most people eat in their room, they lie back on their bed and watch TV while they mindlessly munch away,” comment The Nutrition Twins. “As registered dietitians, we’ve witnessed with clients that this act contributes to weight gain—people become engrossed with the TV and don’t pay attention to what they’re eating. When we’ve had new clients drop this habit, they prevent hundreds of excess calories from being consumed and they drop inches from their waistlines.”
Still Antsy with Cravings? Try Tea
We know how loud the chiming from the Bedtime Hunger Pangs Chorus can get. So if you feel like you’re gonna cave and give into ’em, try this trick: “If you really want to enjoy the flavor of something at night, reach for a decaf herbal tea. Not only will the taste calm your cravings, but the warm fluid will help to fill you up to squash nighttime hunger,” advises Palinski-Wade. We’re huge fans of tea at Eat This, Not That!—and you will be too, once you check out these 20 Teas That Melt Belly Fat—Fast!.
Do Some Chair Stretches
“Unlike cardiovascular exercise, this won’t stimulate you so much that you won’t be able to fall asleep,” suggest the Nutrition Twins. “Seated stretches work well, as well as stretches where you lie on your back and gently stretch your back and your legs.” You may even want to buy some cheap yoga balls to hold under your neck and run along your back between you and the chair as you unwind.
Start a Nightly Stretching Routine in Bed
Whatever works for you is ideal because the more you like it, the more the odds are you’ll stick with it. “Stretch on your bed before going to sleep. Light stretches will relax the muscles and burn a few extra calories,” say The Nutrition Twins. Touch your toes (or as low as you can comfortably go) three times and hold for at least seven seconds. Move your feet into a “V” shape and reach over to each side three times, again, repeating for seven seconds each.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
Talk about an easy way to crank up the weight loss nozzle. “Turn down the thermostat at night to the low 60s. Not only will this save you on heating costs, but the cooler temperature helps you to burn more calories as your body uses more energy to keep you warm,” suggests Palinski-Wade. The better you snooze, the more you will lose, so don’t miss these 7 Habits of Highly-Rested People!
Get the New Book!
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
Standing burns more calories than sitting or lying
New research supports the idea that spending more time standing during waking hours can help to counteract some of the negative consequences of sedentary lifestyles.
Share on PinterestNew research finds that standing expends more energy than sitting or lying down and makes up for sedentarism.
Compared with sitting or lying down for the same amount of time, standing uses more energy. This could help to burn calories that would otherwise end up in fat storage.
These are among the findings and conclusions of a recent PLOS One study from the University of Granada (UGR), in Spain.
Many scientists believe that lying, sitting, and standing use up different amounts of energy.
However, until the recent study, no one had quantified the energy differences between the three behaviors.
In the new investigation, corresponding study author Francisco J. Amaro-Gahete and colleagues calculated that the body expends 45 more kilocalories per 6-hour period when standing, compared with lying down or sitting.
The team found little significant difference in energy expenditure between lying and sitting.
Health hazards of prolonged sitting
“We Spaniards spend between 8 and 10 hours sitting or lying down each day, not counting the hours we are asleep,” says Amaro-Gahete, who is studying for a Ph.D. in biomedicine at UGR.
Prolonged sitting is also common in the United States. A 2018 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that around 25% of people in the U.S. spend more than 8 hours per day sitting.
The new findings follow numerous studies on the health hazards of prolonged sitting and the benefits of reducing it.
A study that spanned 45 years concluded that being physically inactive is second only to smoking as a risk factor for early death.
Even short bouts of activity can reduce the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, according to other research that reviewed dozens of studies.
Another study of adults in middle age and older also found that prolonged sitting can harm the brain. Even high levels of physical activity appear to make no difference.
“Therefore, if we take steps to combat a sedentary lifestyle by making small lifestyle changes,” Amaro-Gahete suggests, “such as spending more time standing, this could reduce the risk of developing diseases such as obesity or type 2 diabetes.”
Savers vs. spenders of energy
For the new study, the researchers measured energy expended during time spent sitting, lying, and standing in 55 healthy adults. The average age of the volunteers was 21.7 and 69% of them were female.
The team used a noninvasive method called indirect calorimetry to measure energy expenditure in each of the three positions: sitting, standing, and lying down.
Indirect calorimetry is one of the most accurate and sensitive ways of measuring a person’s energy use noninvasively.
The method measures energy expenditure from the amount of oxygen that the body uses and the amount of carbon dioxide that it releases.
As well as demonstrating that, in general, standing uses more energy than sitting and lying, the study found that the participants fell into two types of energy users: savers and spenders.
It seems that spenders use more energy when they switch from lying or sitting to standing.
“Savers consume very little energy in their activities and, therefore, the difference between sitting lying or standing is practically nil for them,” Amaro-Gahete explains.
Spenders, on the other hand, burn around 10% more energy when they switch to standing from lying or sitting, he adds.
Muscle mass could be a factor
Researchers are still trying to figure out why some people are energy savers and others are energy spenders.
The answer to that question could help explain why some people lose weight with great difficulty while others do so with ease.
In conclusion, the researchers suggest that people with sedentary occupations, such as office workers, should spend more time standing up.
While the findings appear to support the use of desks that people can adjust to allow them to work standing up, there are other ways to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.
The important thing is to change position, says senior study author Jonatan R. Ruiz, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Faculty of Sport Sciences at UGR.
“If a person were to get up, take 10 steps, and sit down again, it appears that the effects of a sedentary lifestyle would be greatly reduced.”
Jonatan R. Ruiz, Ph.D.