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Fitness Articles  ›  Family & Lifestyle

Everyday Ways to Boost Your Calorie Burn

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

-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
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Fast Way: Load the dishwasher and push start. 
Fit Way: Wash your dishes by hand. 
Before you run away screaming, listen to this: Just 30 minutes of dishwashing burns 70 calories! Get your family involved for a great opportunity for conversation; if you’re solo, turn on some music and make it fun. With you powering the scrubbers, you’ll save money on your electric bill and extend the lifetime of your dishwasher too. 

Fast Way: Drop the kids off at the mall so you can go to the gym. 
Fit Way: Go for a hike together. 
This substitution packs more than fat-burning power. You’ll bond with your kids, get closer to nature, and fill your lungs with fresh, clean oxygen to boot. Plus you’ll burn almost 400 calories an hour. At that rate, you can just cross the gym off of your list for the day.

Fast Way: Use a leaf blower (or hire a lawn service to rake those leaves). 
Fit Way: Jump into your self-raked leaf pile. 
When raking leaves torches 126 calories per half hour, why would you pay someone to work out for you? 

Fast Way: Dry your clothes in the dryer. 
Fit Way: Hang your laundry out to dry. 
Next time you’re at the supermarket, take a walk down the laundry aisle. You’ll see a plethora of “outdoor” scents like mountain fresh, summer breeze, and spring rain, all to make your laundry smell as if it actually was dried in the fresh air. If you go for the genuine scent by actually hanging your clothes out to dry, you’ll burn calories, save on energy consumption, and save money by skipping the dryer sheets. 

These are just some ideas to get you started.  “Thinking fit” will burn more calories, save you money, and may even improve your relationships. Chances are, you might even have fun with these fit alternatives, or at the very least, gain an appreciation for how easy you really have it. Think fit, not fast!
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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

  • 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
  • QUORNDAWG
    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
  • We live on 1.3 acres of land, and until this year I used a tractor to do most of the mowing. Now I used a self propelled push mower to do it all. If I do everything in one day, it is over 30,000 steps! I usually break it up into smaller sessions over a few days though. - 8/28/2012 8:48:13 AM
  • Unlike some posters, I actually liked the article. It put a perspective on every day things. I hate to wash dishes, but reminding myself that I am burning calories will fuel me to do it more often. The article was a bit one sided, but the concept of the article to open our eyes and see that the things we manually do every day helps burn calories, is good. - 6/13/2012 5:17:23 PM
  • You can always tell when an article has been written by someone who lives in the city. The whole walk or bike thing just isn't practical for most people. It isn't a matter of laziness it is a matter of sheer d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e.

    If you live in a rural area things tend to be spread-out not by a few blocks or so but by many many miles.Country roads are often too busy to be safe to bike or walk on and the tasks you are trying to achieve require a truck bed or a trunk to accomplish.

    In a Disney world maybe we would all live in places where you could bike and walk but in the real world outside of the cities it just is not a practical option for most people. - 5/20/2012 7:32:53 AM
  • I think the biggest thing is becoming aware that you can improve on whatever you are doing... making it more "fit" than "fast". I wear a pedometer from when I get up until I go to bed... I am always trying to work in more steps.
    We can always benefit from taking a fresh look at how we do our daily tasks, and how we are SPARKin' along!
    Great article! Thanks for sharing it!
    - 1/21/2012 8:16:42 AM
  • One of my favorites: park my car in the lot as far away from the building as possible. Unless it's a Walmart sized lot, then I tend to limit the distance to about 50-60 yards. - 9/10/2011 5:32:26 PM
  • Washing a car by hand might be a good work out, but you would still have to go to the carwash to get the underside.

    Time is more of an issue with me than finding some way to burn a few extra calories. - 7/25/2011 11:04:25 AM
  • There are a lot of good suggestion's here not all of them will work well for everyone. I do my own dish's as I don't own a dishwasher or have a big kitchen.

    I cut my own grass since I don't have a big yard. I do grow a garden every year. I love fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce's..

    I do try and walk a lot of places. - 6/10/2011 9:24:42 AM
  • Washing dishes by hand is Not better for the environment! Surprisingly, dishwashers use less water and if you buy "green" detergent, you can have even less impact. I only wash my pots n pans by hand these days.
    http://m.guardi
    an.co.uk/envi
    ronment/green
    -living-blog/
    2010/aug/19/c
    arbon-footpri
    nts-dishwashe
    r-washing-up?
    cat=environment&type=article

    - 5/2/2011 7:38:07 PM
  • To be honest I just skimmed a lot of the article but I noticed that you think I should go back to a very poor method of washing my car versus using a car wash ( and yes I know of what I am talking about I used to clean cars for a the major chysler dealer when I was in high school) . Sorry I have WAY TOO much invested in my car and my truck and they use SALT on the roads in my part of CANADA I am NOT going have the bodies on my vehicles ROT OUT prematurely. - 12/30/2010 9:02:06 PM
  • Clearly all options aren't for everyone, but the article provides food for thought. One topic I missed is growing and preserving fruit and veggies. When I lived in the boonies, far away from the nearest grocery store, it was great to be able to just go outside and pick supper (or get it from the pantry). And nothing beats the taste of a tomato fresh off the vine. - 12/3/2010 8:06:20 AM
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