Hate the idea of going to the gym or lifting weights? Then consider the chores you do every day. Do enough vacuuming, dishwashing, and gardening among other chores, and you can burn serious calories. But first, take a look at the numbers to get an idea of just how much activity you need to lose weight.
Women should consume between 1,600-2,200 calories per day, while men should aim for 2,000-2,800 calories per day, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
But as we all know, most of us eat way more than that: The average person consumes 3,800 calories per day.
To lose just one pound of fat, you need to burn off 3,500 calories, according the American Council on Exercise. (Basically you need to burn at least 500 extra calories a day to lose some weight.)
Walking 10,000 steps a day can burn 300-500 calories. Do that with the chores listed, and you can start to see some progress.
Note: As always, before you start an exercise plan, even if it’s doing extra chores, talk to your doctor first.
1. Tidying the house
Calories burned in an hour: 238
Doing one hour of reaching into cabinets, bending to pick up things on the floor, and tidying the house can definitely get you into shape. An hour of tidying will burn off the equivalent of a small container of McDonald’s French fries (230 calories).
Calories burned in an hour: 272
Gardening is a fitness powerhouse, and weeding is even better, clocking in at 306 calories burned per hour. Garden for two hours and wash away that 2-scoop hot fudge sundae with whipped cream (550 calories)you ate after dinner.
Calories burned in a half-hour: 119
Mopping can strengthen your arms and work your legs. And though you probably won’t mop for a full hour (238 calories), a half-hour can work off those pretzel sticks you ate as you were watching TV (110 calories).
Calories burned in an hour: 238
Get out the vacuum and instead of doing just one highly-trafficked room, maybe do your whole house. An hour of vacuuming will burn off a slice of chocolate cake (235 calories).
5. Mowing the lawn
Calories burned in an hour: 170 riding a power mower
Mow the lawn riding a power mower and you burn 170 calories, mow it by walking with a power mower and you burn even more — 374 calories. But for the best workout of all, mow it by walking with a hand mower and you’ll burn 408 calories, enough to take care of the quarter of a big bag of potato chips you couldn’t stop yourself from eating (425 calories).
Calories burned in an hour: 204
If taking care of your kids or grandkids involves helping them take a bath, getting them dressed, and playing, then you’re burning a pretty good amount of calories at the same time. One hour of babysitting for them takes care of 204 calories, the equivalent of a slice of pepperoni pizza (180 calories). And think how much you’re burning if you’re caring for them all day!
7. Shoveling snow
Calories burned in an hour: 476
Shoveling snow is hard work, but it’s also the MVP of chores, burning a whopping 476 calories, enough to erase that slice of apple pie (411 calories) from your waistline.
8. Washing the dishes
Calories burned in a half hour: 85
Well, you’re not going to lose serious weight washing dishes, but you do burn some calories — enough to say goodbye to the calories from one homemade chocolate chip cookie (80 calories).
9. Doing the laundry
Calories burned in an hour: 68
Like washing dishes, doing the laundry isn’t the most strenuous activity, however, you can burn enough calories to get rid of 3 chocolate Hershey kisses (66 calories).
10. Painting a room
Calories burned in a hour: 306
If you’re a DIY person when it comes to fixing up your home, you’re burning a good amount of calories, too! Painting a room for an hour in your house will get rid of 306 calories, as will laying a carpet or refinishing furniture. That’s enough to say “adios” to two slices of garlic bread (300 calories).