Creative Ways to Burn Calories
Try these 10 surprisingly simple ways to burn calories every day.
Not everyone likes the gym or has the time to go. However, there are other, surprising ways to burn calories, some of which don’t even require you to leave the house—though we do suggest getting out once in a while! Based on a 130 lb. woman, we calculated creative ways to burn calories throughout your busy day.
Click through the slideshow to learn creative ways to burn calories.
Laugh a Lot: 10-40 Calories
Maybe laughter is the best medicine. “Ten to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day, which could translate into about four pounds a year,” according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study. This doesn’t excuse gargantuan serving sizes or hot fudge sundaes every night. But it does provide insight into the human body and how it uses calories. And that’s no joke.
Walk at Work: 40-50 Calories
Stuck at your desk for most of the day? On a sunny day, take a stroll around the block; when the rains set in, stroll around the office for a few minutes to stretch your legs. When the day is done, squeeze in another walk around the block. Sneak in extra steps by parking your car in a faraway spot or walking to a different subway or bus station instead of using the closest one.
Calories Burned: 40 calories for 10 minutes at a slow pace. A brisk walk, for an extra five minutes, burns about 10 more calories.
Clean the House: 60-70 Calories
Though chores may seem like a bore, 20 to 25 minutes of vacuuming does a world of good; not only are you cleaning your home, you’re also working your upper body.
Calories Burned: 70 calories for 20 minutes of vacuuming
Sweeping, dusting, cleaning the bathroom tub—they all burn calories. All that twisting and turning and scrubbing leads to a leaner body.
Calories Burned: 80 calories for 20 minutes of sweeping
Do Outdoor Work: 80-200 Calories
Work your yard and your body. Raking leaves, gardening, mowing the lawn (with a push mower, of course) are all great ways of tidying your outdoor space while strengthening your muscles. Your toned shoulders and biceps will thank you.
Raking - Calories Burned: 80 for 20 minutes
Gardening - Calories Burned: 80 for 20 minutes
Mowing - Calories Burned: 200 for 45 minutes
Stroller Time: 75 Calories
If you’re a new mom, it may be challenging to fit in exercise. But who said you had to skip the morning stroll? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, during and after pregnancy.” Grab the stroller, and walk towards a leaner you.
Calories Burned: A brisk 30-minute walk behind the stroller burns about 77 calories.
Dance: 90-100 Calories
Clear the living room furniture, and crank up the music. Dance or swing a hula hoop. Practicing your favorite moves, even for 20 minutes, can get your heart pumping and provide you with some much-needed cardio. If you’re a parent, incorporate the dance workout with your kids for a night of family fitness.
CaloriesBurned: Depending on the type and intensity of dance, this can vary, but 20 minutes generally burns about 90-100 calories. That’s about 300 calories per hour!
Laundry Loads: 100 Calories
Maybe your washer and dryer are in the basement down three flights of stairs or in a laundromat a couple blocks down the street. Use these opportunities to carry several loads of clothes, either up and down the stairs or several paces away.
Calories Burned: Roughly 50 calories per hour.
Lunch Break: 85 Calories
Though lunch may seem like the perfect time to decompress and loll beneath a shady tree, try to use this time to take a 20 to 30 minute stroll. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or search for a lunch option that’s a few blocks away, allowing you to walk there and back and total up some cardio time.
Calories Burned: 85 calories for 25 minutes of walking at a moderate pace. Speed up the pace and burn 98 calories!
Walk to the Store/School: 75 Calories
Ditch the bus and walk to the local farmer’s market or grocery store. Besides walking, you’ll end up carrying your groceries and getting additional arm and shoulder strengthening. Teach your children the benefits of cardio by walking them to school. A 2010 study from the University of Buffalo reported reduced stress and blood pressure in children who walked to school in the morning.
Calories Burned: 75 calories for 15 minutes at a leisurely pace.
You Are What You Eat
While exercise is part of the equation, there are three components to your metabolism: physical activity, nutrition, and hydration. Skipping meals messes with metabolism, causing harm in the long run. To keep your metabolism on track, eat balanced meals on a regular schedule and drink plenty of water. A 2010 study from The American Chemical Society (ACS) found that “two 8-ounce glasses of water, taken before meals, enables people to shed pounds.”
More Tips & Resources
Although we live in a fast-paced world, there are ways to incorporate everyday routines into your fitness regimen. To make exercise a part of your daily routine, it's important to stay committed, get plenty of sleep, and eat a balanced diet.