When you think about exercise, do you automatically imagine yourself on a treadmill in a gym? Or doing laps in a swimming pool? If so, you might be surprised to know just how many calories you can burn doing everyday activities.
Housework is one chore that everyone has to do at some point. Rather than dread it, proceed briskly through your chores and you can have an excellent workout. A 150 lb person can spend as much as 140 calories by mopping the floor for a half hour. Vacuuming for 30 minutes spends about the same number of calories. Take off another 75 calories by ironing for a half hour.
Outdoor chores also provide great opportunities to burn calories. The same 150 pound person will burn 177 calories pulling weeds for half and hour and another 120 calories mowing the lawn. Because gardening often involves stretching and bending, it offers muscular as well as cardiovascular benefits. Save 300 calories by spending an hour washing your car. Bagging leaves and grass clippings burns 136 calories in 30 minutes.
If you like to entertain, you can make up for that slice of cake by cleaning up after the party. If it takes you an hour, you’ll burn over 300 calories. If you wash the dishes as well, you’ll burn another 152 calories. If you spend an hour rearranging furniture before and after your party, that’s a whopping 450 calories. However, keep in mind that all these activities need to be performed at the same intensity level over time in order to receive the full benefits. Still, even if you only burned half the estimated calories preparing for and cleaning up after your party, that would still be 500 calories worth of cake.
Home improvement tasks can burn calories as well. An hour of indoor painting burns 204 calories. Removing and installing carpet spends calories in 30 minutes. Roofing burns a whopping 400 calories an hour, just be sure you drink a lot of water if you’re spending the day up on a hot roof.
Even something as simple as going to the grocery store can be a calorie-burner. A half hour of brisk grocery shopping will spend about 130 calories. If you walk a half hour to the store, subtract another 100 calories from your daily total. Just don’t spend all your savings on Oreos.
If all else fails, simply sleeping for 8 hours burns 50 calories.