Raking, mowing, planting and cleaning are all tasks that fill up our to-do lists come spring—and that’s not only good for our homes, but for our health. While more intense exercise like HIIT training is essential if you want to lose fat, everyday activities can still count towards your recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Plus, they’re a great way to burn calories doing things you enjoy—or, in the case of spring cleaning, things you have to do anyway. The following activities are simple ways to get outside this spring and burn calories without working out—just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Remember, there are many benefits to moderate-intensity exercise, including.
- Increased energy
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and cancer
- Lessened arthritis pain
- Lowered risk of osteoporosis
- Decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression
Gardening: 238 calories/1 hour
This might just top the list for favorite spring activities! Come March and April, people are ready for some sunshine and vitamin D, and gardening gives you an excuse to spend an entire day outside. Digging in the dirt and planting fresh flowers or veggies is hard work, especially when you have to pull weeds and clear out dead leaves or sticks leftover from winter.
Raking: 350-450 calories/1 hour
Rake up that dry, brown grass and uncover the green beauty beneath it. Raking your lawn and bagging the dead brush will burn anywhere from 350-450 calories an hour. But that’s not where it ends. Think about the upper body workout you get while you are raking! Your biceps, shoulders and upper back will be sore, but strong! Just remember to avoid blisters by wearing good gloves.
Shopping: 500-600 calories/3 hours
If you’re anything like us, you’re thinking spring clothes sound pretty good right about now. Its fun to clean out your closet, put away the sweaters and winter coats, donate the things you won’t wear again and head to the mall for to shop for something fresh and new. A 150-pound person can burn up to 200 calories an hour walking around at about 2 mph. And let’s face it—no one shops for just an hour!
Spring Cleaning: 600 calories/ 3 hours
Spring is the natural time to clean everything thoroughly and start fresh. Maybe cleaning isn’t under the category of things you enjoy. (Or maybe it is!) In either case, it’s a very active way to spend your day and it burns up calories fast! You’ll burn 153 calories for just 30 minutes of mopping the floor, 119 calories for 30 minutes vacuuming and 270 calories for 30 minutes of carrying heavy boxes and moving furniture around.
Painting: 1026 calories/3 hours
There is something refreshing about painting a room. It not only brightens up the entire space, but it gives it a calm, clean feel. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars hiring a painter to do your next painting job, save the money and do it yourself. Paint is relatively cheap and you’ll burn tons of calories in the process.
Outdoor Clean Up: 1800 calories/4 hours
Neighborhood clean-ups are common in the spring. If your neighborhood tries to get one organized, make sure you take part! It’s great exercise and a wonderful way meet your neighbors. If you head out from 12:00-4:00 and pick up trash, you’ll not only do something good for the community but you’ll torch 1800 calories in the process.
Mowing: 306 calories/1 hour
No, not with a riding mower! Pushing a lawn mower, even the self-propelled style, is a fantastic cardiovascular and strength activity combined in one. There is something very satisfying about mowing. Every time you make a nice, new line of completion in the grass it’s a sense of accomplishment for sure! Plus, you’ll get a great leg workout with bonus core strengthening when you pull your abs in to protect your back. The average person burns 244 per hour for a self-propelled mower and 306 for a traditional power push mower.
So what’s your favorite spring activity? What can you do to get outside and get moving?