By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: October 20th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Everyone knows the basic formula for losing weight: Consume less food, exercise more, and eventually the pounds should start evaporating. If only it were that easy. The big problem for many Americans is finding the time in an already jam-packed schedule to squeeze in a workout.

This never-ending time crunch has spawned the newest trend in fitness: the microworkout. Instead of hitting the gym for an hour and a half, some diet and nutrition experts are recommending making the most of your everyday activities to burn calories while going about your daily business.

For example, don’t just sit on the couch while talking on the phone… pace. Those extra steps will eventually add up. Do lunges or squats while folding laundry. Lying on the floor playing with a child? That’s a perfect time for leg lifts.

It may sound silly, but those extra bursts of movement do help burn calories. In fact, some scientists say a moderately active lifestyle is far better for weight loss than spending hours at the gym. Why? Because those intense workout sessions spur hunger.

Studies have shown that people who work out more are more likely to overeat and to reward themselves with junk food and other naughty treats. It’s all too easy to erase the calories burned during an exercise session with an extra-large helping of fries.

So put away the dumbbells, grab a bag of groceries and do a few biceps curls. Step off the treadmill and try chasing a child around the backyard. Your waistline… and your heart… may thank you for it.