How Many Calories Do I Burn Doing Nothing?

For those of you that simply cannot find the time to make it to the gym or even squeeze a workout in while you are at home, you may be curious if your body is still working to your advantage. When you are doing nothing, is your body still burning calories? 

To find how many calories you burn doing nothing, for women implement the equation 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years). For men, implement the equation 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).  

Of course, there is an average amount of calories that people burn while doing nothing, but this number can vary so greatly from person to person that it is simply best to input your own information to see just exactly how many you are burning. Continue reading to see, on average, how many calories are burned while resting, how to calculate your calories burned while resting, and ways you can burn calories when a work out isn’t possible. 

How Many Calories Do I Burn Resting? 

Rest is such an essential aspect of health. Being able to sit on the couch on a rainy day and recuperate from a hectic need is not only good for your body, but for your mind as well. Many people may see a day of resting around the house as one that is a day wasted when it comes to your overall health, however, even in these moments of relative inactivity, your body is still hard at work which in turn, burns calories without you even working for it. 

When you are in a state of rest (not sleep, but lounging around with minimal physical activity) your body still has a very big job to do: to keep everything running smoothly. This is called the basal metabolic rate and it is composed of how much energy your body uses in order to keep everything running smoothly without you having to think twice about its efforts. Due to the work that your body is putting in, you are able to burn calories even when you are resting. 

When it comes to just how many calories you burn while resting, what exactly does the number look like? In general, when you are really resting, such as sitting on the couch watching TV or situated in a nook reading a book, you will burn around 75 calories per hour. This number may seem rather large to some, but you have to keep in mind just how much work your body must do to keep in good working order. 

Burning 75 calories may seem great for those who are wanting to get out of a workout, but this amount of calories burned is a very general estimate. When it comes to how much each individual burns, the numbers can be very different for every single person. This is why it is important to calculate your own calories burned by using an equation that inputs your personal numbers, which results in a more accurate number for calories burned while resting. 

How To Calculate Your Calories Burned While Resting 

The average calories burned for individuals while resting is about 75 calories per hour. This may be fine for some to accept and move on with, but for others, a more accurate number is needed to get a better idea of exactly how many calories they are burning while lounging on their couch. You will then need to incorporate the basal metabolic rate for both men and women to figure out exactly how many calories you are burning. 

For women, the basal metabolic rate or BMR = 655. You will then take this number and add it to the following equation: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years). Through this equation, you are able to tailor your specific weight, your exact height, and your age and input it a way that will give you exactly what you need to know concerning how many calories you burn when at rest. 

For men, the equation looks a bit different, but the concept is exactly the same. For men, the basal metabolic rate is 66. Therefore, you will take the BMR and add it to a similar equation which looks like this: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years). Just the same as women, men are able to tailor results by adding the exact weight, height, and age that they are to get how many calories they burn at rest. 

Ways to Burn Calories Without Working Out 

Your body is able to burn a good amount of calories when at rest, which may have some of you wondering if there are other ways you can burn calories while keeping your workouts to a minimum. It is very important to understand that vigorous is a necessary component to a healthy body, but if you are planning to have a rest day, find yourself at your desk often, or need a new way to burn a few more calories while lounging, find a few tips below. 

Try To Fidget 

Although many of you have likely heard from your mother over the years to “Stop fidgeting,” this is actually something that can come in handy when it comes to burning calories while you are trying to rest at home, are stuck at a desk, are in the middle of a long flight, or are simply too comfortable to leave your bed just yet. This doesn’t mean that you need to send your body into convulsions to increase your calories burned though. 

To implement fidgeting really does not have to be an obvious motion at all. If you are sitting at a desk, by simply shaking your leg you are able to burn more calories than if you were to stand still. If you are in bed, turn over from side to side occasionally to get your body in motion even when you are lying down. If you are stuck on a plane and have no room to stretch your legs or move about, even twirling a pen between your fingers can add to your burned calories. 

Be Mindful of the Food You Eat 

This is a topic that could be discussed at length on its own, but it is important to note that your food consumption is a key player when it comes to how your body burns calories. This does not mean that you need to stick to a strict diet or starve yourself of the things you love most, but it does mean that you should be mindful of what you are eating, especially on days when your physical activity is at a minimum. 

The thing to remember here is that you should not eat more calories than your body is burning throughout the day. Therefore, if you are going to have a day of rest, although you may be inclined to reach for the ice cream, try to fill your body with foods that are going to be low in calories and don’t require your body to work extra hard to burn them. At the end of the day, instead of burning those big calories away, your body will store them as unwanted fat. 

On those days that you know you are going to be less active, try substituting some salted celery for the bag of chips you are dying to gorge on. If you find you need something sweet, look towards a nice crisp apple with a bit of honey or even gobble up a few ripe figs. The important thing is not to deprive yourself, but to balance what you consume with the state your body is in so that you can reward yourself with a treat on those highly active days.  

Be Intentional With How You Move Your Body 

There are so many ways to burn a few extra calories without ever stepping foot into a gym. Once you start to think of all the opportunities around you, finding ways to be intentional with how you move your body can actually become more of a game than a burden. This means looking for ways that you can increase your physical expenditure without having to step on a treadmill or lift a weight that is bigger than your head circumference. 

For example, one of the most effective methods of extending calories mindlessly is by taking the stairs rather than the elevator. If you are in a parking lot, park further away from the door to get a few extra steps in. Rather than turn your TV on with the remote, get up and manually turn it on. Rather than sitting at your desk, stand and work for a few hours a day. If you are sitting down, stand up and do a few calf raises before getting back to business. 

Really, the possibilities here are endless, but the intent of being intentional with how you move is a way to not only burn calories, but aid in the health of your heart. When you look for ways to keep yourself active, it begins to become very easy to find different avenues to “lazily” go about things. Remember, resting is essential to the body and should be incorporated, just be sure that your body in rest is not the only state you ever keep it in!

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