Yes, These Everyday Tasks Do Technically Count as Exercise

On the lookout for a few easy workouts to keep you in shape? You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym or even change into workout clothes to get the job done.

Your body burns calories throughout the day whether you’re at rest or engaging in some type of physical activity. And some everyday tasks, such as chores, might actually burn more calories than you think. Find out whether you’re actually more active than your workout routine implies.


Planting flowers in pot with dirt or soil

It’s a nice way to get fit outside. |

  • Calories burned: 200 to 400 per hour

Spending time with your plants — whether you have a few or a backyard’s worth — doesn’t just provide healthy food for you and your family. It’s also a good, relaxing form of exercise. If you’re really tackling those weeds, you could burn between 200 and 400 calories per hour just playing in the dirt.

Next: There’s no getting around this chore, so you might as well make the most of it.

Grocery shopping

woman holding a bag of fruit

This chore gets you moving. | Choreograph/iStock/Getty Images

  • Calories burned: 100 to 200 per hour

It’s not likely you’re going to lift enough to check off your strength training for the day. However, walking up and down the aisles while pushing a weighted cart can burn some serious energy. If it takes you an hour to get through your list, you could burn between 100 and 200 calories before you drive home.

Next: Clean carpets might have an unexpected health benefit.


Vacuum Cleaner in Living Room

Goodbye, dirt and extra calories! |

  • Calories burned: 50 to 100 for every 30 minutes

You can burn a lot of calories while cleaning your house. Vacuuming can burn a minimum of about 50 calories every 30 minutes. But it could burn over 100, depending on how hard you’re working. Vacuum the stairs for double the benefits.

Next: Give this item a good scrub for added health benefits.

Washing your car

Clean your car, and get some exercise. | Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

  • Calories burned: 130 per hour

Waiting as long as possible to wash your car might not bother you — and sure, paying for a quick drive through a car wash station is both easy and affordable. However, giving your car a good rinse as often as you can might burn up to 130 calories per hour.

Next: Don’t worry — nobody’s looking.

Dancing when no one’s watching

Girl dancing

Why not? | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

  • Calories burned: 100 for every 15 minutes

Everyone dances around the house when no one’s there to judge them, right? Just 15 minutes around your kitchen, with the perfect playlist, could help you burn nearly 100 calories. Do it while you’re cleaning for an added bonus.

Next: Get two chores done at once!

Doing laundry

Laundary basket

This can burn some serious calories, depending on how you do it. | humonia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Calories burned: 70 per load

The amount of calories you burn doing laundry might depend on how many flights of stairs you have to carry your laundry basket up and down, as well as whether you hang your clothes to dry. Combining all the steps required to clean your clothes could burn around 70 calories or more per load.

Next: Pretend elevators don’t exist.

Taking the stairs

woman running up on mountain stairs

There are little ways to move more. |

  • Calories burned: 10 per flight of stairs

If you’re able to take the stairs, doing so really can make a huge difference. Climbing just one flight of stairs burns about 10 extra calories — more than you would standing still. It might not seem like much, but it can easily and quickly add up over time.

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