By CosMed Guest Blogger, Michelle Pearl

Woman exercising

Every movement counts when it comes to burning calories.  Start off small if you need to.  Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator and soon you’ll be burning off the calories you ate for breakfast before you know it!

The most important thing to keep in mind is that every single time you move you are burning calories. Brush your teeth? You have just zapped off 5.7 calories! An hour of grocery shopping can burn close to 250 calories, and even when you sleep your body will consume between forty and seventy calories during the night.

So start small if you have to. Park the car at the far end of the parking lot and walk into the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk during your lunch hour. Then don’t think of these activities as exercise; think of them as burning off the calories that you ate for breakfast!

Every time you move, it adds up. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic discovered that lean people actually spend more time getting up and moving around in general than obese people—which in turn causes them to burn about 350 calories more per day just doing everyday activities.

The University of Illinois, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, came up with the figures in this chart. They illustrate how many calories you can burn just by doing everyday activities.  Once you add a regular exercise routine to your increased movement schedule, you will really jump-start your weight loss progress.

I chose dance fitness as my daily form of cardiovascular exercise because it is fun and ever-changing. But there really are so many options!  Some people enjoy biking out on the open road, others like spinning classes, and still others enjoy working out on a stationary bicycle.

Some people like to put on their headsets and walk around the neighborhood and others enjoy going out for a run. Why not learn how to defend yourself while you get a workout in a martial arts class?  Or perhaps you would be more comfortable with the no-impact options of swimming or aqua-aerobics.

One of the biggest problems with adding exercise to most people’s lives is finding the time to do it. We are in the new millennium. Check out one of the myriad of ways that you can exercise at home. Throw on some old stretchy pants and bust a move in your own living room!

The list of potential opportunities to move your body is endless. Make sure that you check with your physician first to be certain that you are healthy enough to take on your exercise of choice, and then go for it!


About the author:

Michelle PearlMichelle Pearl, CPT, GFI, LWMC is a fitness expert and past patient of CosMed Clinic who underwent reconstructive surgery with Dr. Quiroz after losing 100 pounds.  She is an  entrepreneur, former award-winning newspaper columnist and the author of Wake Up, You Are Probably Never Going to Look Like That; How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit. For more information visit: or visit her video blog at