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12 Everyday Ways to Burn Calories Without Exercising


While more intense exercise like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is essential for losing fat, there are plenty of everyday activities that burn calories! Even better? They also count towards the CDC-recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

Moderate-intensity activities get you moving strenuously enough to burn off three to six times as much energy per minute as you do when sitting quietly.

Even though moderate-intensity, everyday activities might not seem like exercise, there are still great health benefits, including:

Increased energy

Reduced blood pressure

Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and cancer

Lessened arthritis pain

Lowered risk of osteoporosis

Decreased  symptoms of anxiety and depression

So, if you don’t have time to squeeze in a workout, we’ve rounded up 12 daily activities that burn more calories than you might realize.

(Note: All of the calorie estimates are based on data for a person weighing around 150 lbs. You may burn more or less, depending on your weight.)

1. Gardening

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Calories Burned: 324 calories per hour

Gardening is the perfect way to get some sunshine and vitamin D. It’s also an excuse to spend an entire day outside!

Digging in the dirt and planting fresh flowers or veggies is hard work, especially when pulling weeds and clearing out dead leaves or sticks left over from winter, and you can burn over 300 calories per hour doing it.

2. Raking the Lawn

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Calories Burned: 288 calories per hour

Rake up that dry, brown grass and uncover the green beauty beneath it. Raking your lawn and bagging the dead brush can burn close to 300 calories per hour.

But that’s not where it ends! Think about the upper body workout you get while you are raking. Your biceps, shoulders, and upper back will be sore but strong! Just remember to avoid blisters by wearing good gloves.

3. Shopping

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Calories Burned: 500-600 calories in 3 hours

It’s fun to head out for a day of shopping to find something fresh and new! A 150-pound person can burn up to 200 calories per hour walking at about 2 mph. And let’s face it—no one shops for just an hour!

4. Cleaning

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Calories Burned: 324 calories per hour

Maybe cleaning isn’t under the category of things you enjoy. (Or maybe it is!) In either case, it’s a very active way to spend your day and quickly burn calories!

Doing some heavy cleaning, whether it’s mopping, shining the windows, or washing the car by hand, is a great way to be productive while getting in a decent workout.

5. Painting the House

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Calories Burned: 352 calories per hour

There’s something refreshing about painting a room, isn’t there? It brightens the entire space and gives it a calm, clean feel.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars hiring a painter for your next painting job, save the money and do it yourself. Paint is relatively cheap, and you’ll burn tons of calories in the process.

6. Grocery Shopping

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Calories Burned: 212 calories per hour

You have to do it anyway, right? Instead of ordering groceries online and having them delivered, burn some calories by doing it yourself!

Pushing a cart up and down the grocery store aisles for an hour will burn around 200 calories. Bonus if you bag your own groceries!

7. Playing with the Kids

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Calories Burned: Around 282 calories per hour

Whether they’re your kids or your grandkids, getting some one-on-one play time can be incredibly beneficial! Play hopscotch, dance, help them ride a bike, play tag, or get moving in another way that everyone enjoys.

8. Outdoor Clean-Up

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Calories Burned: Around 1800 calories in four hours

If you’re into volunteering, cleaning up a beach or other outdoor area is great exercise!

If you head out for a few hours to pick up trash, you’ll do something good for the community and torch a bunch of calories in the process.

9. Mowing the Lawn

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Calories Burned: 396 calories per hour

No, not with a riding mower! Pushing a lawnmower, even the self-propelled style, is a fantastic cardiovascular and strength activity combined in one.

Plus, you’ll get a great leg workout with bonus core strengthening when you pull your abs in to protect your back.

10. Walking the Dog

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Calories Burned: 133 calories in 30 minutes

When you take your dog out for some fresh air (and a potty break), you can burn over 100 calories in 30 minutes just by walking 3.5 mph. Not too shabby, right?

If you don’t have a dog, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a morning stroll. A leisurely walk might not feel like much, but you’re getting more of a workout than you think!

11. Moving

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Calories Burned: 500 calories per hour

No one likes moving, but the next time your friend asks for help, you might want to consider it!

Moving heavy boxes around can burn around 500 calories per hour. And since moving is usually an all-day affair, you’ll get a pretty major workout without going near a gym!

12. Sleeping

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Calories Burned: 44 calories per hour

Yep—you burn calories while you sleep! This might motivate you to aim for those coveted 7-8 hours of sleep every night: getting a good 8 hours can burn around 350 calories.

How Many Steps Do You Really Need A Day To Lose Weight?

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Are you wondering how many steps a day you need to lose weight? 

When it comes to your daily step count, speed, intensity, and consistency actually matter more than just the total number if you’re serious about weight loss!

Here, we’ll explore how many steps a day are best for your weight loss goals.

How Many Steps Do You Really Need A Day To Lose Weight?

5 Effective Ways To Increase Your Metabolism After 50

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Do you want to increase your metabolism after 50 and stay healthy in your golden years? It’s possible!

After age 50, our metabolism can slow down due to lifestyle habits. However, with the right knowledge and effort, it is possible to boost metabolism even at this stage of life.

5 Effective Ways To Increase Your Metabolism After 50

3 Walking Workouts For Weight Loss

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If you want to start working out or get back in shape after taking a break from exercise, there’s no better—or more convenient—form of exercise than walking. Walking is low-impact and doable for almost everyone, but if weight loss is your goal, we’re here to tell you that intensity is the key to success.

3 Walking Workouts For Weight Loss

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