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How to Burn Calories While Lying in Bed

author image Nicole Carlin
Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.
How to Burn Calories While Lying in Bed
A woman writing in bed. Photo Credit: ferlistockphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Burning calories while lying in bed may seem like a dream come true, but you may not realize that your body is constantly burning calories during homeostasis -- the process of keeping your organs and body systems functioning. When you crunch the numbers, you'll realize that your body efficiently burns quite a lot of calories throughout the day, even during periods of inactivity.

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Step 1

Find out your basal metabolic rate. This is the number of calories your body burns daily if you were to stay in bed all day. To figure out your basal metabolic rate, use the formula below provided by You'll need to know your weight in pounds and height in inches. Divide your basal metabolic rate by 24 to find out how many calories you burn every hour you lie in bed. The formula:

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years). Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in year).

For example, a 28-year-old woman who is 70 inches tall and weighs 160 lbs. has a basal metabolic rate of 1,548.4 calories and burns 64.5 calories per hour. The math:

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x 160) + (4.7 x 70) - (4.7 x 28) = 1, 548.4 calories BMR/hr = 1,548.4 / 24 = 64.5

Step 2

Perform light activities in bed to burn more calories. According to USA Today, you can burn from 70 to 100 calories per hour reading. Writing in bed clocks in at 100 to 140 calories per hour and watching TV burns 55 to 75 calories per hour.

Step 3

Perform progressive muscle relaxation while lying down to burn a few more calories. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Starting at your toes, tense and relax the muscles at each body part. For example, squeeze the muscles of the toes and relax them before moving on to the feet. Progressively move through the body up to the head, engaging as many muscles as possible. An additional perk of progressive muscle relaxation is an increased sense of calm and less difficulty falling asleep.

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