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Ah, the holidays are officially here!
And as much as we look forward to them, and all that comes with them (the friends, the family, and of course, the food!) it’s hard to escape the stress that they also bring.
"Exercise routine? Heh. Healthy eating? Forget about it." Sound like you?
Between the cooking, cleaning, traveling, decorating, shopping, and entertaining, how can you fit in your normal exercise routine? Or even a shorter exercise routine?
Well, if you’re like most "normal" Americans, you’ve probably bitten off more than you can chew when it comes to responsibilities. So, here’s a list of common holiday activities and the number of calories they burn. Realistically, you can keep your caloric intake in check (by keeping portions small and making healthier recipe substitutions), and by adding up these common activities—like cooking and cleaning—you can still burn a hefty sum of calories without setting foot in the gym.
(Based on a 40-year-old 5’5", 140-pound woman. Men, and women weighing over 140 pounds will burn more calories during the same activities.)
Bathing dog (to look and smell pretty for guests!): 15 minutes = 56 calories
Wrapping gifts or making crafts (hello party favors): 30 minutes = 48
Bagging grass & leaves: 30 minutes = 127 calories
Light baking (of all your favorite treats): 1 hour = 159 calories
Tending bar for guests (not drinking it yourself!): 1 hour = 146 calories
Changing bed linens (for the out-of-towners): 15 minutes = 40 calories
Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories
Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Taking out Trash: 2 minutes = 5 calories
Carrying wood or lumber (Marshmallows not included): 5 minutes = 26 calories
General to Heavy house cleaning: 1 hour = 191 calories
Clearing dishes from the table: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Washing dishes by hand: 15 minutes = 37 calories
Dusting: 15 minutes = 40 calories
Family Reunion (includes sitting, talking and eating…not fighting): 1 hour = 95 calories
Food preparation: 1 hour = 195 calories
Flag Football (fun for the whole family): 1 hour = 508 calories
Putting away groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Quick nature hike after dinner: 15 minutes = 95 calories
Light jogging (to get away from scary relatives): 15 minutes = 127 calories
Mowing lawn (pushing power mower): 20 minutes = 95 calories
Mopping floors: 15 minutes = 56 calories
Playing catch (baseball or football): 30 minutes = 79 calories
So, if you’re finding it impossible to get to the gym, try something new this year…like NOT avoiding the extra holiday chores. Your partner and/or host will be happy, and so will you for keeping your waistline in check.
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.
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