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10 Everyday Activities That Burn More Calories Than Sitting

By Lizzie Heiselt |

Okay, so you’re busy. And you don’t have time to go to the gym. Or you’re embarrassed: you don’t know how things work at the gym, what all the machines are for, if you have to make a reservation to run on the treadmill or something. Or maybe you just don’t want other people to see you exercise. In fact, maybe you are exercise-averse. It’s hard, and you don’t want to do it.

Well, what if I told you that you are doing it? Every day you are exercising, whether you realize it or not. You may not think you are an active person, but there are things you do every day that burn more calories than just sitting, things that could be the gateway you need to leading the more active lifestyle you secretly dream of, but can’t quite commit to just yet.

I used the calorie burn calculator at to determine how many more calories a 140-pound woman would burn doing a common activity for 30 minutes than she would just sitting/resting for the same amount of time. This hypothetical woman burns approximately 34 calories when she is at rest for half an hour.

Now, let me walk you through her hypothetical day to see how many calories she burns during typical activities – and maybe you’ll see that just by living life you are on your way to being an “active” person.


10 Activities That Double As Easy Exercises

Washing Dishes

The first thing she needs to do is wash all those dishes she left in the sink the night before. Right off the bat: 71 calories burned, even if it does take her 30 minutes. 


Add these things up and you could burn a substantial number of calories. Just remember that if you are trying to lose weight, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in as food to get rid of one pound.


all photos: Lizzie Heiselt


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About Lizzie Heiselt


Lizzie Heiselt

Lizzie Heiselt is a wife, mother of three, and slightly obsessive record-keeper/historian of her little family. You can read more from her at The Mother Runner . Read bio and latest posts → Read Lizzie's latest posts →

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