Squeezing in gym time with ample responsibilities already on your plate might seem like an impossible task. Luckily, some of those tasks on your to-do list may actually burn a significant number of calories. Here are 10 chores that can help you maintain your dress size while keeping everything in line at home.
1. Walking the dog—or the kid or the groceries ...
This might seem like a given, since walking has long been known to be a great way to burn a moderate amount of calories without placing a lot of impact on the joints. But rather than the obvious chore of dog walking, think about other things you can do on foot. Walking your children to and from school, trekking to the grocery store or even taking a stroll to your favorite cafe or restaurant can help you squeeze in exercise during an otherwise routine day.
2. Cleaning the house
Make your least-favorite responsibility fun and energizing by putting on some fast-paced music and going into it with the intention of breaking a sweat. While mopping, scrubbing, lifting and wiping, try to be mindful of your core and other muscles, as simply engaging these groups while doing simple tasks can help tone and strengthen.
3. Yard work
Shoveling snow, raking leaves and getting dirty on your hands and knees aren't just major calorie-burners—they'll give you something to be proud of at the end of the day. This is particularly true if you're building a vegetable garden from which you'll be able to harvest fresh and healthy produce for the family.
4. Be a kid again
Instead of simply keeping an eye on the kids while they play outside, join in the fun! This can burn hundreds of calories per hour, not to mention that you'll gain invaluable bonding time with your little ones.
5. Shop 'til you drop—a pant size
Walking up and down aisles while pushing or carrying your groceries for an hour may result in a 200-calorie burn—nothing to sneeze at. So whether you need to stock the pantry or are heading to the farmer's market for your weekly produce, this is one task you should feel good about for more than one reason.
6. Rearrange your furniture
If you're feeling like the arrangement in your living room or bedroom is getting a little tired, don't hesitate to change things up. You'll end up with a fresh new look, as well as biceps that are just a bit more toned after doing some heavy lifting.
7. Clean your set of wheels
When the weather is warm outside, grab a bucket, some mild soap and a shammy to make your car sparkle. In addition to getting a nice workout and enjoying the weather, you'll get rid of all that winter salt and residue.
8. Maintaining your home
Don't just stop at your car—your house likely needs some love too. As spring approaches, remove storm windows, put in screens, clean the gutters and hose down siding. In the fall, you can put the storm windows back in place and clean the gutters and siding once again. These and many other house maintenance chores are great calorie-burning activities that will help you be proud of your abode.
9. Cooking dinner
Believe it or not, you can burn more than a hundred calories if you spend an hour moving around the kitchen, slicing and dicing. This is another great time to put on some music and have fun with the activity—just don't try any fancy dance moves around the knives.
10. Clean up the neighborhood
If you've noticed a lot of litter and debris around your neighborhood, recruit the kids, your partner and maybe even the people next door to walk around with bags and plastic gloves to clean things up. Bending over and doing several laps around the 'hood isn't just good for the environment, but your body as well.