Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just wanting to maintain your figure, increasing your metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate. So if your metabolism is high, it is burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym. But spending hours on an exercise bike or lifting weights is not everyone’s idea of fun, so we have produced this infographic to show easier ways of burning calories.

Every 10 minutes you spend cleaning the house burns off 28 calories, and when you get tired of polishing the furntiure you can always treat yourself to some time on the computer which could shift even more calories. Hard to believe? Our figures show playing motion control computer games for half an hour will burn nearly 40 more calories than cleaning windows and is a lot more interesting! Reading uses 15 calories every 10 minutes and even sleeping burns calories, although it is doubtful your boss would appreciate you telling him you are sleeping at your desk in order to lose weight and become fitter!

A sluggish metabolism can cause you to gain weight, because you’re consuming more than your body is burning. There are various foods and drinks you can try that can increase your metabolic activity whilst exercising. The polyphenols in green tea have properties that rev up your metabolic rate. However, green tea might be a bit of an acquired taste so you may prefer to try the slightly milder oolong tea. Even coffee and water can give your rate a boost. Spicy peppers such as jalapenos, chili, cayenne, habanero, etc contain capsaicin, which is why you get a burning sensation in your mouth when you eat them. This same effect is created internally, causing a calorie burn boost of around 8%.

Don’t forget to check with your doctor before embarking on a diet or fitness regime.