Denise Austin: Fidget more, it burns up to 500 calories throughout the day

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If you’re not familiar with Denise Austin, she’s an old school fitness instructor who used to have her own workout show on ESPN and then Lifetime, which aired in the 80s up until 2008. I’ve been doing her classes for over 30 years, my mom used to work out to her VHS tapes, and I feel like I know her. She’s very peppy which can be annoying but she’s a genuine person and brings a fun vibe to her workouts. (I sometimes do her old workouts on BeFit on YouTube and she has her own YouTube channel with more recent workous.) Denise has a new interview with People Live. Watching her is like seeing a friend from high school! She’s 62 and she looks amazing. I’ll have whatever she’s having, which is obviously a ton of exercise and a very active lifestyle. Denise was asked to give fitness tips. She said to squeeze in just ten minutes of exercise and it will make a difference, and also to fidget because it burns calories.

Any tricks or tips?
Squeeze it in 10 minutes a day. If you don’t have time today just get in ten minutes. Wake up ten minutes earlier and squeeze it in. I promise you you’ll feel better. It sets your mindset to be on the right track for the day. Positivity. You feel better. Did you know that exercise really gets your oxygen flowing and that’s why you feel good.

Move as often as you can, even if it’s in the kitchen. Do leg lifts. It adds throughout the day. You can fidget. Did you know that fidgeting, when you move a lot and you’re getting up, burns up to 500 calories in the course of a day?

Is it true that your metabolism slows down as you age?
Absolutely. Every seven years your metabolism slows down so you’ve either got to increase your activity or decrease the food intake. The key is muscles. Muscle cells are very active at rest, fat cells are sedentary. The more muscle cells you have the better.

[From People Live]

After that Denise demonstrated some at-home moves you can do. That video is below. She makes me so happy I need to do more of her workouts. Ooh and I’ve heard that advice to do leg lifts and squats in the kitchen when you have a moment. Teri Hatcher, also incredibly fit, said years ago that she does that. As for fidgeting, I’m of two minds about that. One is that I’m a natural fidgeter and this is validation. It’s very important to get up periodically and not stay seated on the couch or at the office all day. The other is that I try to meditate daily and stop fidgeting mindlessly because it can lead to increased anxiety. The way you move your body definitely affects your mood and that’s part of the reason exercise is so beneficial.


photos credit: Getty, and via Instagram

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29 Responses to “Denise Austin: Fidget more, it burns up to 500 calories throughout the day”

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  1. teehee says:

    We loved her Square Dancing workout. Thats when Boot Scootin Boogie just came out… LOL

  2. OriginalLala says:

    my mom used to do Denise’s workouts religiously so i grew up on her! It’s nice to see her still doing her thing and rocking it

  3. L84Tea says:

    She’s 62 years old?!?!?

    • schmootc says:

      She looks like she’s in her 40s. It’s completely amazing! And she doesn’t look like it’s a bunch of plastic surgery either.

  4. astrid says:

    There are fidgeters where I work and it’s so annoying

    • Jane says:

      Agreed. I get too distracted when a person fidgets too much or too aggressively. It also stresses me out in certain situations.

    • Esmom says:

      My brother in law is like that and both my husband and I are exhausted after we’ve spent more than a couple hours with him. He literally cannot sit still for more than 5-10 minutes, even in a restaurant. He just roams around our house instead of sitting and chatting with the family.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        My husband is like this to some extent,sometimes worse than others and in his case I’ve no doubt it’s genetic.Many people in his family are like this to the point of being rude.One cousin in particular is a very nice lady but when we run into her somewhere she exclaims this huge hello,a giant hug,you start to say one word and she’s like…Oh my I’m sooo busy I can’t talk,fidget,fidget, kiss,kiss run off-and she’s not busy she’s wealthy and retired.It is exhausting and insulting but we know she mostly can’t help it.I get tired even typing this about her 😉

  5. Esmom says:

    She looks amazing. I know the latest conventional wisdom frowns on this but I very much like to keep exercise and the rest of my day separate. I usually work out in the early morning and once I’m done, I’m done. I know that’s bad, to be sedentary most of the rest of the day, but just can’t get into the mindset of squeezing in exercise during my regular day. It *seems* like it should be so easy, to do some crunches while watching TV, for example, but I just can’t do it and I don’t know why.

    Other then the occasional walk to go somewhere close, I guess I prefer to be a coach potato when I’m not working out. Sigh.

    • Snowslow says:

      You already do exercise in the early morning! Why fidget and do leg work while watching a show?
      Am I right in relating this to the American culture? Reading this article induced both anxiety and exhaustion. Unless you’re an athlete, and geared towards a very active life, why force oneself like this? I wish people had this kind of commitment (as a culture, not talking about you) with reading, kindness, compassion etc. and that we, as a culture had magazines about that instead of this complete madness regarding being fit.
      I go to the gym by the way and play tennis on the week-ends but sometimes my work won’t allow it and that’s ok. I do find it important to be healthy and be active, but not to the point of it invading my life. I’m totally with you, only I’m not puzzled by it 😉

      • Esmom says:

        You’re sweet, SS. I guess I was referring to the research that’s said that even if you exercise daily, it’s harmful to be sedentary the rest of the day. That’s where incorporating all those “extra” moves in all day is supposed to be helpful.

    • Snowflake says:

      I’m the same way. Once I work out, i’m done. People who fidget make me nervous

  6. Raina says:

    So you’ll look like a skinny nervous wreck

  7. Peg says:

    My friend’s husband is fidgety, a nightmare to travel with, because he is strip searched every time they travel, plus his passport don’t help.
    Customs agents like to pull fidgety folks out of the line, usually they are first time travelers, nervous flyers, drugs mules or carrying drugs.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      This has happened to us I said above my husband is a hyperactive fidgety person.The idea of him in a security check line trying to not lose his wallet/boarding pass/passport makes me anxious to even think about.

  8. dlc says:

    Can you really train yourself to fidgit? It seems you would either be a fidgiter or not. Most people I know who are cannot control it.

  9. SJR says:

    She looks great. 🙂
    She had a set of exercises to help with range of motion, which could be done sitting in a chair.
    After major surgery, I started doing them. Easy, gentle and it did help me realize that eventually, I could regain my health.

    So, good for her. Glad to see she is still doing her thing. 🙂

  10. Veronica S says:

    Well shit, you’d think us ADHD folk would look like runway models if that’s true. I feel cheated!

  11. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    I’m a huge proponent for sneaking in exercise (it’s kinda my only exercise right now :p). I’ll do squats, lunges, stretching, whatever standing in front of the microwave, stove, oven, sink, laundry, etc. If I find myself standing and waiting for something I might as well push a muscle or two lol.

  12. CoCo says:

    I love Denise Austin and miss her terribly!!!

    I was a teen when I discovered her, as I grew into an adult I turned to her videos more to help w/ staying in shape. Always so positive and her workouts have so much variety. As a young adult I had to take care of my great grandmother to help the family and this was perfect to do in the house. I feel as though she is a friend, silly I know.

  13. lassie says:

    She looks great, and doesn’t have the bat wing arms that I have at 50. I hate her.

    Jk. She looks terrific.

  14. JRenee says:

    She looks great!

  15. Kendra says:

    My mother hates when I fidget, maybe I need to show this to her.

  16. ChillyWilly says:

    She looks fantastic! She’s a big dork in a good way and I always liked her workouts.

  17. Harryg says:

    It’s true, you only need to do a few minutes of hand weights or stuff like that a day to keep in shape (if you eat sort of right). I think exercise classes are too long, it’s not necessary to work out an hour. Unless you enjoy it.