Daily Activities You Didn’t Know Were Burning Serious Calories

March 27, 2013  |  
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Don’t let guilt over a missed workout consume you. And don’t be too quick to say, “I’m just too busy to exercise.” Without even knowing it, your daily activities might be burning you more calories than a gym workout does for someone who is otherwise stagnant all day. You can feel twice as good about accomplishing these tasks! (Keep in mind these numbers are based on a 150 pound person, so if you weight more your calorie burn will be higher as well.)

Gardening: 130 calories per half hour

Save money on the gardener and get out there and bond with nature yourself! Many individuals find gardening very therapeutic, but it’s also a serious calorie burner and might lead to you eating some of those veggies you’re growing.

Lawn Mowing: 165 calories per half hour

Why are you paying the teenager from next door, whose metabolism is working a million miles a minute at his age, to steal your workout from you? Learn to push around this slightly vintage machinery for a great upper body workout.

Shoveling snow: 180 calories per half hour

If you live in cold climates, don’t send the men out to dislodge the car from last night’s snowstorm. Ton your arms and abs and shovel it out yourself.

Sleeping: 19 calories per half hour

Just another reason to not feel guilty about sleeping in three extra hours on a Sunday morning: you could be burning off nearly 120 calories in doing so!

Cooking: 75 calories per half hour

Not only does cooking at home ensure a healthier meal than if you order takeout, but the actual act of cooking pre-burns off some of the calories you’re about to consume.

Giving your dog/kid a bath: 105 calories per half hour

Whether you have a pup or a child, don’t let someone else steal this adorable time from you. Who doesn’t love seeing a baby or puppy all sudsy?! And not only is “mommy” always preferred over a nanny or professional bather, but doing it yourself burns some serious calories.

Grocery shopping: 105 calories in a half hour

You already know not to grocery shop on an empty stomach because you’re bound to overbuy, but did you know you’re building up an even bigger appetite as you push that cart around?

Putting clothes away: 105 calories per half hour

Need an excuse to finally clear that growing pile of clothes in the corner of your room, from the two weeks full of nights of figuring out what to wear? Doing so could replace your evening walk as far as calorie burning goes, and reducing clutter in your room reduces stress.


Washing your car: 135 calories per half hour

Save the $10 to $20 and wash your own car. Plus you’ll get respect and attention from your cute neighbor—men love a woman who loves her car!

Playing with your kids: 150 calories per half hour

Don’t tell your restless kids you don’t have time to play with them because you need to exercise: that could be your exercise. Run around in the yard with them, play hide and seek, jump on the trampoline. You’ll get calorie burning and bonding in.

Painting your walls: 150 calories per half hour

Get the job done the way you want it, cut costs, and burn calories. Consistently moving your arms, being on two feet and climbing up and down that stepladder burns some serious calories.

Giving a massage: 120 calories per half hour

Make your partner love you more by offering him a few massages a week, or help out an over-stressed, over-worked friend with a nice back rub on girl’s night. At 240 calories burned per hour, it’s no mystery why most masseuses are in good shape!

Being on stage: 90 calories per half hour

Whether you’re acting, doing stand up comedy, or hosting an event, doing stage work is slimming! Which is great, because we all know how “the theater” demands a good figure.

Coaching: 120 calories per half hour

Trying to find a way to get more involved in your kid’s lives? Or maybe you just want a weekend activity? Coach the sports your knees or back may not let you play anymore. You’ll get a workout just like the players do.

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