Burning more calories can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Exercising and eating the right foods are two effective ways to do this — but you can also boost the number of calories you burn in more unusual ways.
Here are 8 unconventional ways to burn calories.
1. Get off your bus or subway a stop early
I always recommend maximizing movement during your commute. That means getting on the train one stop further away from home and then getting off the train one stop sooner than you typically would. Doing this can add about 20 blocks to your walking—and that’s just one end of your commute! This works if you take the bus, too.
2. Park far away
This trick is an oldie but a goodie.
When headed to a store or event, instead of waiting for a close parking post, try parking a lengthy distance from your destination and power walk to the entrance to burn extra calories.
3. Use The Stairs
This is an obvious one, but you may be surprised how much weight you can lose by doing it. You have a file you need to deliver to the 15th floor, but your office is on the 10th. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, and you’ll burn twice as many calories as you do walking. According to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, a 150-pound person could lose about 6 pounds per year just by climbing up two flights of stairs every day!
4. Play with your kids
Have kids? They’re surely in needing of burning off a ton of energy so take advantage and get in on the action with them. Not only are backyard games like tag, hopscotch and catch, enjoyable and fun, they can actually burn off a fair share of calories.
Don’t have kids? Borrow your friends’ kids and let their parents go on a day date while you babysit.
Got a green thumb? Put it to work for weight loss! Gardening burns about 100 calories for every 25 minutes that you spend digging, weeding, and planting. The added bonus is that you enjoy the outdoors while you create a beautiful garden and maybe even grow a few healthy vegetables.
6. Wash Your Car
Car looking a little dusty recently? Why not skip the drive-through carwash, save some cash, and do the sudsing yourself. Delegating an hour to hosing down and buffing up your vehicle will burn roughly 140 calories if you weigh 150 pounds.
7. Tidy Up
Got a house to clean? Believe it or not, housework can be an effective exercise session. Standard house cleaning burns about 100 calories in 30 minutes.
8. Take It to the Dogs
Your pooch’s playfulness is also a great calorie burner for you! Running around with the dog can be a great way to burn calories and get in a great workout without going to the gym. As long as you are moving, your muscles are contracting and burning calories. Just be sure to set aside some dedicated time each day. Just ten minutes per day of playing with your dog at a moderate level of intensity can burn more than 15,000 calories in a year! This equates to roughly five or six pounds of fat! If you’re already outside walking your pup, why not take an extra lap or two? The extra steps will aid your weight loss efforts and will benefit your four-legged friend, too!