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Can You Burn Calories by Flexing?

author image April Khan
April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.
Can You Burn Calories by Flexing?
woman flexing arm muscle Photo Credit: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

You probably have heard time and time again that the most effective way to lose weight is by burning more calories than you eat. Some people do this by increasing their activity levels in addition to reducing the amount of calories they consume. Any activity, from jogging to jumping, burns calories. Surprisingly, flexing your muscles also burns calories.

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A calorie is a unit of heat energy obtained through eating and drinking. Your body uses calories in the same way that a car uses gasoline to start. There are different amounts of calories in different foods; however, fat, protein and carbohydrates all provide calories. ABC News states that fatty foods have the highest caloric count in comparison to lower fat foods. Processed meats, snack foods and junk food all contain high calorie counts.

How the Calories are Burned

Your metabolic system is responsible for converting what you eat into energy. This process takes the calories you consume and combines them with oxygen to create energy. This energy is used to help every system in the body function and to give you energy to stay alert. The amount of calories you burn is dependent on your age, sex and body size. People who are larger burn more calories. Ten percent of the calories you burn each day are burned by your body processing food for digestion and absorption. Another way people burn calories is by exercising.

What Happens When You Flex

When you flex your muscles, you cause them to tighten to create a bulky or lean appearance. Body builders usually flex their muscles in order to show off their stature and certain groups of muscles. By simply flexing the muscles, it makes them appear larger and more solid than usual.

How it Burns Calories

Although some people believe that you must workout vigorously to burn calories, a movement as small as flexing your muscles can also burn calories. This is because calories are energy, so anything that uses energy can burn calories. "Shape" magazine reports that squeezing your muscles throughout the day can considerably increase the calories you burn.

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