You might be surprised to know that you do not need to go to the gym or bundle up for a winter power walk to stay fit. Daily activities burn calories and can add up to a personal fitness routine.
Clean up, burn calories
Hate going to the gym? You can burn calories when you do chores around the house or in the yard. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT, includes energy you burn doing anything except sleeping, eating, or exercise. House work can boost your metabolism and help manage your weight.
Vacuum carpets and floors
Pushing your vacuum cleaner around every room in the house requires some serious calories. Vacuuming for 30 minutes zaps 99 calories if you are 120 pounds, 124 calories if you are 150 pounds, and 166 calories if you are 200 pounds. Do dance moves or lunges while you push to pump up the burn.
Make and change the beds
If you have several bedrooms in your house, do not let them stay messy. Changing the linens takes some energy. Stripping and remaking beds for 30 minutes torches 187 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and a whopping 300 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.
Play with your children
A fun family workout is good for your body and spirit. Even if you only do a little work, 30 minutes of play time burns 120 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 178 calories if you weigh 200 pounds. Ramp up to serious horseplay, and you will zap 30 or more extra calories per outing.
Clean up after a meal
Everyone loves eating a home-cooked meal, but if you hit the sofa once it is time to do the dishes, you will miss a great workout. 30 minutes of washing dishes by hand and cleaning up the kitchen with moderate intensity gets rid of 187 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 300 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.
Get into the garden
Just 30 minutes of pulling weeds cuts 139 calories for a 125-pound person and 205 calories for a 200-pound person. Plant some new trees for even more exercise: It burns 135 calories if you are 125 pounds and 200 calories if you are 200 pounds. Gardening is also a great way to strengthen and build muscles.
Pump up the pace
How do you know if your chores are really giving you a workout? Burn more calories by doing any activity at a pace quick enough to get your heart pumping and make you breathe harder. Do your activity for at least 10 minutes straight as well. Play upbeat music to raise your pace and stamina while you clean up or do yard work.
Stand up, add movement
Even standing more instead of sitting all day will increase your NEAT levels. Walk short distances whenever you can to add steps to your daily count and burn a few calories. If you take the bus, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Little movements can add up to more NEAT overall.