10 Surprising Ways You’re Working Out Every Day



1. Mowing the Lawn
It’s no surprise pushing a heavy mower around the yard is a real workout. And if you have slopes or hills in your yard, you’ll really feel the burn.

Plus, you’ll get some fresh air and Vitamin D while you’re at it — just make sure to wear your sunscreen.

Calories burned: 269

2. Snow Shoveling
Snow shoveling in the wee hours of the morning is the last thing you probably want to do after the alarm clock goes off, but to get out of the driveway, you have to do it.

“For those of us that live in winter climates, snow shoveling burns lots of calories,” says Kevil. You’ll be happy to know you can consider it your morning workout. All that lifting will tone up your arms, too.

It’s important to shovel safely, though. Try to avoid extra bending and twisting at the waist, be sure to lift with your legs and be careful that you’re not lifting more than you can handle — wet snow can be heavy. And take a break if you’re feeling dizzy or have trouble breathing.

Calories burned: 304

Related: 9 Unexpected Ways Winter Could Be Hurting Your Health

3. Mopping and Sweeping
Like snow shoveling, the constant back and forth motion of mopping and sweeping can help you burn some major calories. Not to mention, your house is going to be spick and span afterwards!

Try turning on some of your favorite tunes and dancing to the beat — the amount of calories you will burn will soar.

Calories burned: 170

4. Gardening and Yard Work
If you have a green thumb, you’re in luck. “Gardening, being outside, carrying leaves, raking, pulling weeds, shoveling, digging, or carrying mulch will all help you burn calories,” says Kevil.

Try pulling weeds as fast as you can for a few minutes; instead of moseying while you’re carrying the leaves, walk at a brisker pace, says Kevil. “Raking at a faster rate will definitely get your heart rate up and give you a better workout,” says Kevil.

Calories burned: 196

Related: 6 Exercise Moves You Need to Steal From Popular Workouts

5. Grocery Shopping
Whether you love it or hate it, grocery shopping is inevitable. Keep things interesting by making it a workout and pushing your cart more briskly. “Walking quickly through the store will increase your heart rate as well as your metabolism.”

You can also try parking the car further away from the grocery store, so you have to walk a further distance when pushing your cart, says Kevil. Make extra trips around the aisles and bag your own groceries, too.

Calories burned: 190
6. Washing Dishes
Even though washing dishes may seem like a drag, you may be burning calories while your elbows are deep in suds. “Clearing the table, washing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, and scrubbing the dishes all use muscles, and helps burn calories,” says Kevil.

Try washing the dishes while standing on one leg or while doing barre-inspired leg lifts. Doing so will burn more calories and improve your balance.

Calories burned: 88 if washing dishes and standing, 102 if washing and clearing dishes from table

7. Cooking
Who knew chopping veggies, boiling pasta and making trips back and forth to the fridge could burn calories? All that hard work pays off for your tummy (delicious meals!) and for your waistline.

Calories burned: 98

8. Fidgeting
Even though constantly tapping your leg or foot is probably a nuisance to your cubicle neighbor, doing so can burn calories.

“Tapping your foot or fingers, shifting around or twisting, twiddling your thumbs, or tightening your muscles helps you burn calories,” says Kevil.

Pump your ankles up and down while you’re waiting for an appointment or sit at your desk and squeeze your shoulder blades together holding for 10 seconds, recommends Kevil.

Calories: Up to 350 a day

9. Laundry
“Doing laundry can potentially burn quite a few calories, especially if you’re carrying baskets up and down stairs, putting clothes away, and climbing a flight or two of stairs or walking a lot between rooms,” says Kevil.

Make laundry more enjoyable (and burn more calories) by turning up your favorite tunes and dance through the house while you’re working.

Another bonus? “Every time you squat down and come up to pick up the laundry, you’re working your thigh and hip muscles, adding lean muscles mass that will help you burn more calories,” says Kevil.

Calories burned: 68 if folding or putting clothes in dryer and washer, 88 if putting clothes away and walking around

10. Sleeping
How is sleeping working out? Stick with us for a second. If you’re not getting enough sleep (and most people don’t), you’re burning fewer calories a few different ways.

A lack of sleep messes with your hormones. One shift causes you to lose muscle, and another makes you store more fat — a bad combo because muscle burns more calories than fat. Your hunger hormone, ghrelin, increases while the one that puts the brakes on your appetite, leptin, goes down. And, if you’re sluggish, you’re more likely to be less active.

Sleep soundly by sticking to a regular sleep and wake schedule, powering down electronics one hour before bed and setting your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees.

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