Get A Workout Without Even Realizing It

Posted by Hilary Young on August 19, 2013

Get A Workout Without Even Realizing It

We’re only given one body in this lifetime and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. For seniors, it’s especially important to remain active because inactivity can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Since maximum heart rate declines with age, it’s necessary to stay physically active.  

Get A Workout from Your Daily Routine

Don’t have time to make it to the gym? Double up on your housework! Non-activity exercise thermogenesis, or NEAT, is the low-intensity physical activity that we engage in everyday, and it actually can burn calories. How much of everything do you have to do in order for it to make a difference?

Cleaning the House. Dreading vacuuming the carpets or mopping the floors? Maybe you’d be more willing to clean if you knew you’d get a workout in the process...30 minutes of light housework can burn up to 95 calories and if you commit to cleaning for a full hour, you can burn almost 200 calories! 

Gardening. Weeding, mowing the lawn, and planting new flowers can actually burn up to 200 calories for 30-45 minutes of work. Scientists at Kansas State University found that moderate physical activity through gardening can actually improve your mobility, strength, and endurance. Since you’ll be outside in the sun for an extended period of time, you should be sure to apply sunscreen before you leave the house and wear a hat that keeps your face shaded.  

Washing the Car. When the elements (or birds) have taken their toll on the exterior of your car, opting to wash it yourself can prove to be an excellent workout. A 30-minute car wash can burn about 120 calories. And if your grandchildren are around, it’s a great way to get them active too!

 Shoveling Snow. While many of us loved the promise of a winter wonderland as children, as adults the threat of snow means we’ll have to shovel driveways and walkways. While just 15-20 minutes of this task can burn up to 200 calories, it’s also important to protect your back by shifting your weight into your legs as you shovel.  

Other easy ways to burn those calories? Taking the dog for a longer walk than usual, choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or ride your bike to run local errands. Making these small changes to your daily routine can help you live a longer, fuller life. Not to mention that your house will be cleaner and your garden a bit brighter. It’s a win-win situation!


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