I’m a huge proponent of exercise. The endorphins we release when we work out boost our mood, our energy level and our overall health.
But when you’re running from work to school to baseball practice to cooking dinner, how can even think about hitting the gym, too?
Fortunately, you can squeeze more calorie-burning activity into your day than you realize. Many of the daily chores and activities we do as moms can be easily altered to work those muscles and burn more calories. Here’s how.
Channel Your Inner Mermaid
Next time you take the kids to the pool, don’t just sit on the deck—hop in! Swimming burns around 400 calories per hour. And that’s just leisurely swimming. Just think how many calories you can burn by tossing kids through the air while they yell “CANNONBALL!”
Put the Pedal to the Metal
Heading to the grocery? Dust off that trusty old bicycle instead of driving. Biking burns hundreds of calories per hour. Try pulling a wagon on the back of your bike for your groceries and you’re set to burn even more!
Workin’ at the Car Wash
Throw on your swimsuit, put on some music and give that minivan a bath! You’ll burn about 300 calories per hour.
Dish It Out
Give that poor dishwasher a well-deserved break. When you wash dishes by hand, you can burn about 160 calories. Even loading and unloading the dishwasher burns 105 calories, so either way, make this your chore.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Gardening and yard work burn about 315 calories for just 30 minutes of digging. That’s the same amount as taking a spinning class for 45 minutes! And you may even get some pretty flowers or yummy garden veggies out of the deal.
Scrub-a-Dub-Dub the Tub
You can burn a whopping 200 calories by really scrubbing your bathtub. And let’s face it, with the kids running around outside all day, it probably needs a good scrub after bathtime.
Suck it Up
Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, which is equivalent to a 15-minute boxing session. And if you vacuum as often as I do, you can feel a little better about indulging in that evening scoop (or three) of ice cream once in a while.
Iron it Out
Ironing not only tones your arms, but also burns about 70 calories. Offer to iron your hubby’s work shirts. He’ll have no idea you’re really doing it to burn calories.
Give a Room a Spruce
Did you know that painting burns 160 calories per hour? Pick a room—now’s your chance!
Up, Down, Touch the Ground
I don’t know about you, but I already run up and down my stairs a million times a day, sometimes carrying kids! This one will get you 285 calories in 30 minutes.
The next time you feel bad about not getting to the gym, just carry a basket of laundry up the stairs and put a smile on that face. You’re burning more than you realize!