This Is the Best Way to Burn Calories (Without Doing Cardio)

Kelsey Clark

Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

As millions of people working traditional desk jobs can attest to, stretching is one of the only workouts one can realistically fit in at the end of a long day. If anything, it's a small yet valiant effort to offset the detrimental effects of sitting all day, which are far too familiar.

While stretching is great for reducing muscle tension and circulating blood to all parts of the body, it's not much of a calorie-burner—unless done in a specific way. As Livestrong points out, something called dynamic stretching can actually burn around 135 to 200 calories per session. 

"Stretching can mean more than just holding a muscle in an elongated position," writes fitness coach Andrea Cespedes. "Dynamic stretching is a technique often used prior to competition or high-intensity training sessions that involves using momentum, agility and speed to stretch the muscles and connective tissue. This type of stretching is akin to calisthenics, or body-weight exercises."

Examples of dynamic stretching include arm circles, body-weight lunges, and high-knee hugs. Depending on your weight and metabolism, you can burn anywhere from 135 to 200 calories per half an hour of dynamic stretching. Considering the fact that this is likely a last-ditch effort to squeeze in an evening workout, colour us impressed. 

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