I’VE LOGGED COUNTLESS HOURS treading through the gym with my ear buds snugly in place, disconnected from everyone and going nowhere. Inevitably, I get bored and my resolve to improve my fitness wanes. So I set out to find better ways to stay active and have more to show for it, or at least have more fun working out.
Here, we’ve estimated the amount of exercise you from everyday, non-sports activities. All caloric burn rates in this article are calculated for a male with a body weight of 185 pounds. To approximate how many calories you would burn with these activities, use the Weight Watchers calorie calculator or this Healthstatus.com activity calculator.
1. Take it to the bedroom.
Twenty minutes of vigorous sex can burn 118 calories. Having safe sex also promotes good cardiovascular health, improves sleep, and has been linked to lower risk of prostate cancer in men.
2. Take it to the office.
To break some of your unhealthiest workplace habits, take a brisk 10-minute walk twice a day. Breaking up your day by going for a walk around the office helps keep you alert and can increase your productivity. Some employers have invested in treadmill workstations that allow employees to walk while answering emails and holding conference calls.
Climbing stairs for 12 minutes instead of taking the elevator burns around 107 calories. It’s also a good way to work out on business trips, since some hotels don’t offer gyms.
3. Clean house
Twenty minutes of light housework such as dusting, vacuuming, and ironing can burn 110 calories. You can burn another 111 calories by spending half an hour putting away groceries.
In the winter, setting aside the snowblower and shoveling snow by hand for 20 minutes burns 178 calories. In the fall, 20 minutes of raking leaves burns 118 calories. Springtime gardening can burn 133 calories in just 20 minutes.
Instead of buying pre-chopped wood, consider chopping it yourself. Chopping wood burns 178 calories in 20 minutes and reduces stress. Don’t forget the gloves.
Become a Little League Coach and you’ll burn an average of 111 calories in 20 minutes. There are plenty of other active ways to volunteer: As a 4-H leader, I assist students in growing plants and raising animals for local livestock shows.
Dancing around the house while completing household chores can burn 107 calories in 25 minutes. Turning up the tempo to a fast-paced rumba burns 195 calories in that same amount of time. A single night out dancing, around four hours, burns 1,864 calories.
What other activities make you sweat? Let us know in the comments.