There are times, however, that life, career and family obligations take precedence, which makes fitting in exercise a real challenge. But getting your daily dose of fitness doesn’t have to take a backseat to other, more pressing demands. Research indicates there are a number of everyday activities that, if done correctly, will burn 200 or more calories in 30 minutes to an hour.
1. Grocery shopping
If you’re like most people, you go to the grocery store at least once a week. If you can consolidate your shopping into less frequent trips so you can spend at least an hour shopping, you’ll burn about 260 calories. If you want to pump it up, start with the heaviest items first to make your shopping more intense as you push a cart full of cans and beverages through the store. But if you plan on purchasing heavy items, go into a deep-knee-bend squat when lifting them off the floor. When rotating and lifting, be sure to engage your core and make sure your hip flexors are strong and not overextended. Remember to breathe through your nose and keep your core engaged..
2. Bathe and feed your kids
Some of the most ordinary jobs of everyday life can be seen in a whole new light when you realize the calories you’ll burn doing them. Assuming your young ones’ routines are not out of the ordinary, you’ll burn 260 calories for every hour you spend feeding and/or bathing them. To maximize your efficiency, wear comfortable, supportive shoes if you’re standing to feed small children in a highchair. Be sure to use your core to strengthen your entire midsection and maintain a good, solid posture.
3. Play with children
Playing with your children (or young siblings, nieces, nephews or cousins) can be one of the most enjoyable and gratifying things you do. But there’s a bonus: You’ll burn almost 300 calories an hour! The next time you’re around some little ones, volunteer to be their latest tea-party guest, play hide-and-seek or teach them a new game.
4. Clean the house
Though it’s tempting to spot clean your floors on your hands and knees, bringing out that mop and bucket and giving it your best effort will burn a minimum of 330 calories per hour. With a little ingenuity and determination (and some high-intensity interval training) you can amp up this activity.
5. Strolls through the park
Walking is for good your health, but it may surprise you to learn the number of calories you’ll burn in an hour. And finding numerous opportunities to include walking in your everyday routine is fairly easy. The most obvious examples are parking your car a little further away from your destination, walking to do errands in the neighborhood or strolling through the neighborhood park. Even slow walking (about 3.5 miles per hour, or a 17-minute mile) will burn almost 300 calories in an hour. Increase your speed a few notches (racewalking) and you can burn about 480 calories in an hour.
6. Mow your lawn
Some of the most arduous chores can put quite a dent in your daily caloric burn when done correctly. Mowing the lawn with a standard push mower will burn about 334 calories per hour (sorry, you can’t do this on a riding mower, but you can use a gas or electric mower when pushing, of course). If you opt for the push-power mower, you can burn up to 410 calories per hour.
7. Take care of the garden
Basic gardening chores like weeding, pruning and watering can burn at least 334 calories! Add some of the other more difficult tasks, such as hauling clippings and transplanting large plants, and your burn will increase significantly.
8. Rake the lawn
Not thrilled about gathering up those leaves from the lawn? Think about this: An hour of this little chore will burn about 300 calories. That’s the equivalent of a small dessert or slice of pizza.
9. Wash the car
Who isn’t a big fan of automated car washes? But by simply rinsing, washing and drying your own car, you can burn 334 calories in an hour! That’s just the amount for a basic wash and dry, folks. It doesn’t include vacuuming or polishing the interior or detailing those rims and tires.
There aren’t many who actually enjoy moving. The planning, packing and moving of furniture and boxes as well as unpacking on the other end can wreak havoc on your schedule and your body. But if done with good form, you can burn a hefty amount of calories. You’ll burn 223 calories just by moving your furniture for 30 minutes. Carrying boxes and loading them into the truck (or back inside on the other end of the move) will burn 260 calories in a half hour. You’ll burn that same amount for every hour you unpack your things.
The calorie-burning potential in painting the house is extremely varied because there are so many types of house-painting tasks (baseboards, cutting in, ceilings and corners). But regardless of the job, an hour of painting the house will burn about 350 calories.
This activity can burn up to 233 calories if done for 30 minutes non-stop. Always make sure to wear comfortable shoe wear.