Fitness Articles

Everyday Ways to Boost Your Calorie Burn

Think ''Fit'', Not ''Fast''

By Liza Barnes, Health Educator         
Page 1 of 2
You stare at your to-do list with dread: Unload the dishwasher, return the library books, do the laundry, pick up dinner, drop the kids off at the mall, go to the gym…and that’s just the beginning. The list seems endless and unfortunately, your time is not. 

The good news is that one simple change has the ability to shorten your list, save you money, improve your health, bring your family closer together, and conserve resources—all at the same time! 

Instead of using modern technology to do things the fast way, try doing things the fit way. By shunning modern conveniences in favor of the old-fashioned methods, you’ll find endless calorie-burning potential!  While the fast way may seem more efficient, think of the fit way as a way to combine your goals.  In essence, you'll be getting more things done at once, so you'll check off that to-do list with ease.  If you’re so used to the fast way that you’ve forgotten that there IS another way, start with these alternatives: 

Fast Way: Drive through the car wash. 
Fit Way: Wash your car with a sponge and a bucket of suds. 
In just 30 minutes, you can make your car sparkle and burn about 140 calories too. If you want to get your kids involved, bring out some extra sponges and let them scrub and rinse with you. There’s no guarantee anyone will stay dry, but the chances are good that you’ll have fun. If you don’t have a place to wash your car (not everyone has a driveway), there are lots of do-it-yourself coin carwashes that will do the trick. 

Fast Way: Drive to the supermarket, cleaners, or video store.
Fit Way: Walk, jog, or ride your bike to your destination. 
If you only have a few things to pick up or drop off, take a backpack and use non-polluting “people power” to get there. You’ll burn calories, get a workout while running errands, and reduce fuel expenses and wear and tear on your car. 

Fast Way: Pick up dinner at the local carry-out. 
Fit Way: Cook dinner yourself. 
In just 15-45 minutes you can whip up an amazing dinner with lots of healthy veggies and whole grains, and you can burn at least 126 calories while you’re at it. If you have kids, get them involved. They’re great at measuring, mixing, and setting the table—plus learning how to cook wholesome foods will set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. 
Continued ›
Page 1 of 2   Next Page ›
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • Couldn't put my clothes out on a clothesline because I am allergic to the trees around here. - 12/17/2015 2:26:33 PM
  • I've been hanging my laundry out for years, because I love the way they feel, it's energy efficient, and it keeps me busy. Had no idea this was a fit way to do things, but that's just another reason to keep it up! (plus, hey, there's no outlet for a dryer in my house! lol) - 11/30/2015 9:11:29 AM
  • I don't use a leaf blower. I use a broom and rake. I pull weeds. I don't spray them with chemicals. I brush cobwebs off my house. I don't waste water by spraying them with a hose. I do everything I saw my grandmother doing, because I now know the importance of doing things her way. - 8/4/2015 11:44:15 AM
    I already do all these things (except for washing my car, because I don't own one). Some other article on this site stated that the calories burned by household chores are overrated. Which should I believe? - 7/18/2015 2:01:13 AM
  • Love all these fab "old-fashioned" tips. I remember helping my grandma hang clothes in the backyard on a clothesline. Do they even sell clothespins anymore? LOL - 4/30/2015 2:50:29 PM
  • Often these things (and others like them) are not only "fitter" but faster as well, when you figure in the time used to GET to where you are having the "service" done.
    The other day I had to take a bus from my suburb to the city. I also hasd to get my exercise in. In the end I walked to the city, and it took me no longer than waiting for the bus+bus ride time. - 2/6/2015 5:55:33 AM
  • The car wash does a better job of getting the dirt off the car, and as long as you stick to touchless, you don't end up with fine scratches on the clearcoat. Hand washing = scratches. Scratches = BAD. Assuming, of course, that you give a rat's hat about that sort of thing.
    I drive through the touchless, but then I take'er home and wax'er by hand. I like her to GLEAM. - 9/10/2014 9:15:14 AM
    when your poor all these "old fashioned fit ways' are just a part of life. - 7/16/2014 8:16:18 PM
  • Three cheers for doing things the "old-fashioned" way! It's the way we live our live here in the country. I don't own a dishwasher, I wash our car with hose and buckets, I walk to our mailbox (6/10's mile total to and from), I hang out my clothes whenever the weather allows (there is nothing better in life than going to bed on fresh-washed, line dryed sheets!!!), I push-mow our yard (I do cheat in using self-propelled) - it takes hours and hours to do, but such a good feeling, I use a hoe in the garden, I rake grass and leaves, etc. etc. etc. I should be about as fit as they come. It was fun for me to read an article here on SP that I finally felt like "Finally, I measure up to something!!!" (and can even brag a little!) - 7/16/2014 11:47:34 AM
  • Great article! I would add for the "hanging the clothes out to dry" that your arms get a great workout from carrying a basket full of wet clothes. Surprised there wasn't a guesstimate for calorie burn added in there for that one, lol - 7/16/2014 6:22:26 AM
  • So many great ideas in this article! At first I thought it would be about washing the laundry by hand and was even hesitant to read the article! LOL. I actually do many of these things already as we do not have a dryer or a dish washer, and I really enjoy walking to the site instead of driving. Some of these tips are even double the benefits, for example if you cook dinner you will likely eat less calories and more nutritious food. I stated to cook even my snacks and do not regret it, it shows me to ensure that 90% of what I eat is packed with nutritious ingredients. Last tip I would like to add to this list in the article is, in order to add yet a third productivity variable to each of these tasks, si then while listening to podcasts! I discovered podcasts and now I make sure that I am not allowed to listened to them sitting, si it actually makes me want to do the dishes so that I can continue my favorite podcast, or go for a longer walk to finish this episode... I chose podcast that not only I have an interest in but also from which I can learn! Continuous learning in one of the greatest joy in my life and one thing I was only getting from books and articles... I.e. Sitting, nor I learn while being active and even crossing stuff off my list and the best of all, I look forward to it! - 1/26/2014 12:36:43 PM
  • I am doing this kind of things whenever is possible and makes sense. I love the name: think fit not fast! - 1/26/2014 11:30:03 AM
  • Last time I hung my laundry out to dry, it came back in with bird droppings and spiders and I ended up washing it over again. Add to that, half of the year it would come back in frozen. - 5/9/2013 8:01:59 PM
  • I think car washing is a great idea. I love my car and will enjoy doing a great job on her. I have a lot to learn though. Yesterday I tried to get rid of the surface dirt by dusting her off and wiping her down with sprinkles of water and a towel but I ended up with a glaze of dirt all over. Today I will do better. The first step is to go to the hardware store to get the faucet handle because the condo where I live takes all the faucet handles off. Lol. so that's good. I'll get exercise points walking to the hardware store and more exercise washing my car. Great idea. Thanks. - 12/8/2012 2:05:42 PM
    Washing your car by hand may be more fit for you, but going to a car wash where they recycle the water is more fit for the environment - 11/29/2012 10:27:39 PM

x Lose 10 Pounds by June 10! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.