Most people think you have to go to a gym or have a set of weights to get a great calorie-burning workout. Actually, you may have certain activity’s right in your own home or back yard, which can help you burn tons of calories to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Consider the following 5 great activities for a heart-pumping workout:
I know, it’s much easier for the local landscapers to come and prune your bushes and mow your lawn, but you could burn an extra 400-600 calories per hour with a “do-it-yourself” attitude! Activities such as weeding, trimming trees, cutting the grass, raking leaves, planting new shrubs or trees, fertilizing, or other outdoor projects can help you but a lot more calories than you may realize, resulting in an impressive weight loss.
2. Wash Your Car
This weekend, pull that Ferrari into the driveway and give it a good scrub! The motion of washing and/or waxing your car can burn significant calories. The washing motion uses numerous upper body muscles, as well as core and leg strength. If you have an SUV or truck you may even need to climb a ladder a few times to reach the top. If you clean your vehicle properly, you’ll need to squat down to reach the bottom of the car and the wheels. You could end up doing 30-50 squats as you wash – focus on that form and make the most of it! And don’t forget to realize your upper body muscles will be hard at work too, such as your shoulders, arms, chest and back. But don’t stop once your car is clean and polished – go the extra mile and wash your significant other’s car while you’re at it! Wink, wink!
Cleaning your home is surprisingly a great workout. I refer back to a personal story for this activity. I once had a Body Bugg to monitor my calorie expenditure. It was something that I wanted to recommend to my clients, so I tried it myself first. My parents were coming to visit one weekend, so I was rushing to get my humble abode spotless. I spent an hour and a half scrubbing tubs, mopping floors, washing windows, sweeping, vacuuming, making beds, and fluffing the pillows. I kept things moving at a pretty fast pace, but when I looked at my Body Bugg, I had burned a whopping 610 calories! And I had a spotless house to boot.
4. Raking Leaves or Shoveling Snow
Actually, either of these can be one of the most strenuous activities to engage in.
The raking or shoveling motion requires a high level of cardiovascular endurance, uses upper and lower body strength, and is a complete full body exercise. Anytime you shovel, be sure to lift with your legs and not your back and feel that amazing burn in your legs and arms as you repeat over and over again. Raking, is excellent for your back, shoulders and abs and the high repetitions required to get the job done will get your body burning calories and building muscles.
5. Chopping Wood
Well, just short of being Paul Bunyan, or going on an episode of Ax Men you’re going to need some wood to keep warm this winter. Even people living in warmer climates might like a good ‘ole fashion fire to warm up to once in a while. Use this activity to help assist with the demolition of a few calories and/or pounds of body fat. If you’re handy enough to safely operate a chainsaw, you’ll know it’s a great workout. Holding an eight to 10 pound chainsaw at arms length for a period of time will make those arms burn with muscular fatigue. Now that we have those logs cut, it’s time to get them split in two! Swinging an ax and piling wood is an amazingly effective cardiovascular workout. Good luck, watch those fingers, and Happy Chopping!
In conclusion, household activities can be used as great supplementary workouts. They can also provide you with a fantastic sense of self-worth, achievement, and accomplishment. It’s an amazing feeling to step back and look at a job you’ve just completed. So, give yourself a pat on the back and keep working hard. If you have a calorie tracking devise such as a Polar Watch or a Body Bugg, you can see the results first-hand.
Have a great weekend!
Todd Bassler, Certified Personal Trainer, Premier Fitness Camp
Todd was born and raised in Vermont and grew up playing competitive ice hockey which he continued through college. Prior to joining Premier Fitness, he was the Fitness Manager of six 24-Hour Fitness locations. Todd holds the NASM certification, a B.S. In Psychology and a Minor in Athletic Coaching. Todd lives in Carlsbad with his wife and 2 children.