“I didn’t know I could burn calories doing that!”

When we think of physical activity and burning calories, most of the time things like aerobics, running, jogging, and lifting weights are the first things that come to mind.  We fail to realize that things we do in everyday life can contribute to moving us to a healthier lifestyle.  Burning calories does not mean running 5 miles a day; it could be as simple as washing the car or working in your garden.  I am a firm believer that you are more likely to stick to an exercise program if you are doing something you like.  For example, I hate running, but I prefer boot camp style exercise, therefore, I limit the amount of running that I do yet experience the same health benefits.

Before we look at how many calories you can burn performing your favorite activities, let’s clarify what a calorie is.  Simply put, calories are measured by the amount of food you eat and the amount of exercise you perform.    When eating you are consuming calories, when engaging in forms of physical activity you are burning/expending calories.  Therefore, it is important to not only monitor the amount of calories you consume, but it is also important to incorporate exercise into your daily life in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Now, let’s take a look at how many calories you burn doing some of your favorite activities.  All activities listed below are on a 60 minute basis for an average size (145 pounds) woman.  Please note that these figures may vary a little depending on the size of the adult.  Visit http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc for accurate measurements for your body size.

  • Sleeping: 47 calories (6 hours)
  • Standing still: 39 calories
  • Washing dishes: 49 calories(20 minutes)
  • Washing the car: 296 calories
  • Vacuuming- 238 calories
    • Hint: Vacuum with your favorite pair of 6 inch heels on for a little extra calf muscle workout.
  • Gardening: 357 calories
  • Mowing the yard: 287 calories
  • Rearranging furniture: 435 calories
  • Skating: 331 calories
  • Ballroom Dancing: 365 calories
  • Leisure Bicycling: 261 calories

As you can see there is not one set way to burn calories.  I stand firmly by my principle of doing what you love and what makes you happy.  So, I encourage you to apply this principle to your health and find some form of exercise that works for you and stick with it! You will experience the benefits in no time!

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  1. TK says:

    This is a great article! The next time, I’m tempted to put the dishes in the dishwasher, I’ll handwash them instead and consider it a twenty minute workout:) and the tip about wearing heals while vacuuming was excellent.

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